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WorldMark the Club: A Comprehensive Overview of the Timeshare System

Early History of the Brand: Originally named WorldMark by Trendwest, this point-based vacation club was created in 1983 by Jeld-Wen Inc, a privately owned window and door manufacturer in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Jeld-Wen is a true American success story, incorporating in 1960 as a small millwork operation with just a handful of employees. In the early 1980's, annual sales numbers were nearing a Billion dollars and the company began to explore numerous investment and business opportunities. Executives for Jeld-Wen began making numerous investments in a variety of markets, including real estate. Their primary initial real estate development was the Eagle Crest golf resort located in Redmond, Oregon. By the late 80's, timeshare sales at Eagle Crest began to soar- and JeldWen assigned William F. Peare with the task of developing an expanded timeshare program. He conducted surveys of Eagle Crest timeshare owners, and discovered that many owners simply wanted more flexibility in their ownership. In late 1989, Jeld-Wen created a company called Trendwest that sold the timeshare product WorldMark the Club, which is regarded as the very first point based system in the industry! The unique system flourished, reaching annual sales in excess of $45 million by 1993, and eclipsing the $100 million mark in 1996! In 2002, Trendwest was acquired by the mammoth Cendant Corporation- which owned timeshare brands such as Fairfield, Wyndham, and RCI. Today, WorldMark is owned by the Wyndham Corporation (stock ticker WYN), and boasts more than 270,000 members. It's is widely regarded as one of the best values for any point based timeshare system in the world. The Timeshare Resorts: WorldMark offers resorts in both high traffic tourist markets such as Orlando, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Anaheim- as well as a tremendous selection of drive to locations within a few hours of urban areas. WorldMark has been very selective in the resorts they acquire, and as a result boast award winning Gold Crown and five star resorts throughout the system. Many resorts are shared development properties that can also be owned as deeded ownership at the individual resort, or as part of another affiliated point system such as Wyndham Vacation Club. Affiliation and reciprocal usage agreements are always subject to future change, but at the time of writing this article the WorldMark vacation destinations include the following properties:

WorldMark the Club: Arizona: · WorldMark Bison Ranch in Overgaard · WorldMark at Pinetop · WorldMark Rancho Vistoso in Oro Valley British Columbia, Canada: · WorldMark Cascade Lodge in Whistler · WorldMark Sundance in Whistler · WorldMark Canadian in Vancouver · WorldMark Victoria California: · WorldMark at Angel's Camp · WorldMark at Bass Lake · WorldMark at Big Bear in Big Bear Lake · WorldMark at Clear Lake in Nice · WorldMark Dolphins Cove in Anaheim · WorldMark Indio · WorldMark Marina Dunes in Marina · WorldMark Mission Valley in San Diego · WorldMark Oceanside Harbor in Oceanside · WorldMark Palm Springs · WorldMark Beachcomber in Pismo Beach · WorldMark San Diego · WorldMark San Francisco · WorldMark Solvang · WorldMark Windsor Colorado: · WorldMark Estes Park · WorldMark Steamboat Springs Florida: · WorldMark OceanWalk in Daytona Beach · WorldMark Kingstown Reef in Orlando Fiji: · WorldMark Denarau Island

Hawaii: · WorldMark Kapaa Shores in Kauai · WorldMark Kihei in Maui · WorldMark Kona in Kailua · WorldMark Valley Isle in Maui

Idaho: · WorldMark Arrow Point in Harrison · WorldMark McCall Illinois: · WorldMark Galena Louisiana: · WorldMark New Orleans at Avenue Plaza Mexico: · WorldMark Coral Baja in San Jose del Cabo · WorldMark La Paloma in Rosarito Beach Missouri: · WorldMark Branson · WorldMark Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach Montana: · WorldMark West Yellowstone Nevada: · WorldMark Las Vegas · WorldMark Las Vegas Spencer Street · WorldMark Las Vegas Tropicana · WorldMark Reno · WorldMark South Shore in Zephyr Cove · WorldMark Tahoe in Stateline Oklahoma: · WorldMark Grand Lake in Afton Oregon: · WorldMark Whale Pointe in Depoe Bay · WorldMark Eagle Crest in Redmond · WorldMark Gleneden in Gleneden Beach · WorldMark Running Y in Klamath Falls · WorldMark Schooners Landing in Newport · WorldMark Seaside Texas: · WorldMark New Braunfels

Utah: · WorldMark Bear Lake in Garden City · WorldMark Midway · WorldMark St. George · WorldMark Wolf Creek in Eden Washington: · WorldMark Deer Harbor · WorldMark Birch Bay in Blaine · WorldMark Camlin in Seattle · WorldMark Discovery Bay in Townsend · WorldMark Lake Chelan in Lake Chelan Shores · WorldMark Leavenworth · WorldMark Long Beach · WorldMark Mariner Village in Ocean Shores · WorldMark Surfside Inn in Ocean Park WorldMark Asia Pacific: Australia: · WorldMark Balarat in Sebastopol, Victoria · WorldMark Trinity Links in Cairns, Queensland · WorldMark Pacific Bay in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales · WorldMark Flynns Beach in Port Macquarie, New South Wales · WorldMark Golden Beach in Queensland · WorldMark Kirra Beach in Queensland · WorldMark Esplanade Waterfront in Lakes Entrance, Victoria · WorldMark Pokolbin Hill Chateau in Pokolbin, New South Wales · WorldMark Port Macquarie in New South Wales · WorldMark Port Stephens in Salamander Bay, New South Wales · WorldMark Marama in Rotorua, New Zealand · WorldMark Seven Mile Beach in Tasmania · WorldMark Trendwest Suites in Sydney, New South Wales · WorldMark Wanaka in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand WorldMark members also currently receive reciprocal usage at many Wyndham Vacation Club afiliated resorts as well as several Vacation Internationale destinations.

Introduction to Ownership, System Rules, and Usage Strategies: The First Rule of Timeshare is that ownership should never be considered a financial investment in real estate. Timeshare properties do not generally appreciate over time. Often, the only true gauge of a timeshare's value is your usage and enjoyment of the property, and in the photos and memories of your incredible vacations! This simple truth leads directly to the Second Rule of Timeshare- Always Buy Resale! Purchasing a timeshare interest on the secondary market from a current owner who no longer uses their ownership is the best way to save thousands on your purchase. Also, purchasing from an experienced and respected brokerage is the safest way to ensure you have all the information you need to ensure the timeshare you purchase provides you with years of great vacations! Ok- now on to specific info about WorldMark the Club...... Ownership Types: WorldMark the Club and WorldMark Asia Pacific are two separate companies, but cooperate with a shared reservation system based on annual credit allotments. Owners in one system can access resorts in the other, but they do have a slightly smaller reservation window out of their home system. Both systems are non-deeded ownerships of a specific allotment of annual credits. (The only exception to this would be original owners of the Eagle Crest Resort, who may have an underlying deed.). Almost all ownerships are classified as Premier Memberships. These are owned in-perpetuity and do not expire. Premier Memberships receive access to bonus time usage. They can be sold and can be willed to your heirs (although TravelShare and Elite status do not transfer). There are a few Standard Memberships in existence which only give a 40 year right to use. I have never personally seen a Standard Membership, however, and I've processed hundreds of ownership transfers! Standard Memberships also do not get access to bonus time usage. Your brokerage or closing agent should always verify the type of ownership being transferred! Seasons: WorldMark follows three simple season designations. These are red for high season, white for mid season, and blue for low demand season. Exchange Options: There are different ways to exchange your ownership week for another resort. The easiest way is using your WorldMark credits to reserve at another Club affiliate. To go outside the Club's affiliated resorts, a third party exchange system must be used such as RCI, Interval International, or a smaller system such as SFX Resorts.

Fees: Maintenance fees are determined each year based on the overall operating budget of the Club. These assessments will vary from year to year, and you should expect these fees to increase over time. You should always consider annual fees before making a purchase. Generally, the annual allotment of credits or points determines the annual dues amount (the original deeded owner's at Eagles Crest are the exception. Fees are made up of a base amount, which is then adjusted by the number of credits owned. For 2010, the base amount is $142.57. If you own multiple contracts that have not been combined into a single account, you will pay this base amount for each contract that you own. Most buyers who are adding credits to their existing membership choose to combine the accounts to avoid this additional fee. After the base amount assessment, owners pay a an additional amount for every 2,500 credits owned. For 2010, this assessment is $110.56. For dues calculation, you always round up to the next multiple of 2,500. The dues amount for WorldMark maintenance fees in 2010 are: 6,000 credits= $474.25 7,000 credits= $474.25 8,000 credits= $584.81 9,000 credits= $584.81 10,000 credits= $584.81 11,000 credits= $695.37 12,000 credits= $695.37 13,000 credits= $805.93 14,000 credits= $805.93 15,000 credits= $805.93 16,000 credits= $916.49 17,000 credits= $916.49 18,000 credits= $1,027.05 19,000 credits= $1,027.05 20,000 credits= $1,027.05 You can see that there are some point levels where it makes perfect sense to purchase a larger allotment, since the fees are the same as a lower point level. For example, buyers who determine that they will need 8,000 credits for their planned reservations might be wise to purchase a 10,000 credit contract- since the annual fees are exactly the same. The slight difference in the initial purchase price will be offset over the years by the annual dues savings! Plus you can always bank or sell the unused points from your account each year- either giving you more usage or further reducing your annual costs! Housekeeping fees must also be paid with each reservation. Each owner receives at least one free housekeeping service each year (one free housekeeping token is given for every 10,000 credits owned). Once you are out of housekeeping tokens, a housekeeping fee will be charged for each reservation based on the unit reserved.

WorldMark housekeeping fee charges for 2010 are: Studio/Hotel= $44 1 Bedroom Hotel= $58 2 Bedroom Hotel= $67 Studio= $51 1 Bedroom= $67 2 Bedroom= $74 3 Bedroom= $80 2 BR Chalet= $80 3 Bedroom Chalet= $89 2 BR Penthouse= $95 3 BR Penthouse= $110 4 BR Penthouse= $125 3 BR Presidential= $110 4 BR Presidential= $125 Finally, point systems also may have incidental fees that may be charged for various services and transactions such as guest certificates and RCI exchange system deposits. It also is a good idea to ask about resort specific fees such as parking fees and tourist taxes prior to confirming a reservation. Reservations: Red season reservations require a minimum seven night stay when booking from 91 days to 13 months in advance of the requested dates. This reservation may be split among two or more resorts as a Group Booking Reservation, but must still be at least seven consecutive days. The reservation may not be for more than 14 nights. The minimum stay requirement is removed (except for Weekend Only bookings) for reservations made 90 days or less from the requested usage dates. White and Blue season reservations can be made from 48 hours prior up to 13 months in advance of the requested usage dates. There is no minimum stay requirement for these reservations, except for Weekend Only bookings. Weekend Only reservations require that both Friday and Saturday be reserved when available. If another day of the week is reserved in combination with either Friday or Saturday it is not considered a Weekend Only booking (for example a Thursday & Friday reservation, or a Saturday, Sunday & Monday reservation are both acceptable!). Owners may only have one Weekend Only reservation pending on their account for every 5,000 credits owned. Once a Weekend Only reservation is used, however, another may be made immediately up to the maximum number allowed for your point allotment.

Saving and Borrowing Credits: Unused credits are automatically saved or banked on your account at your anniversary date. Once saved, credits will remain available for two years. Owners also have the ability to borrow credits from the next usage year. If you find that you have saved credits that are about to expire, you can also extend the life of those points even further by making a reservation up to 13 months out! WorldMark's policies for saving credits are among the most owner friendly in the industry, and give you an incredible amount of flexibility and protection from losing points due to nonusage! WorldMark also allows you to borrow future credits. If you are short credits for a reservation request, you can borrow from your future usage without having to prepay the next year's maintenance fees. Bonus Time reservations: This is one of the most popular benefits of a WorldMark ownership for those who have the ability and flexibility to take advantage of last minute cancellations. This privilege is available only to Premier Memberships. These reservations are made with cash, and do not require housekeeping fees. For 2010, the rate for bonus time reservations is $.05 per credit, with a minimum charge of $30. per night. Reservations can be made up to 14 days in advance of the dates of travel (five days or less if you are booking the reservation in a guest's name) and you can stay up to a maximum of four consecutive days. The weekend only booking requirement does apply to bonus time, so if you reserve a Friday night via bonus time- you must also reserve Saturday night if it is available. Owners are allowed to have only one bonus time reservation pending at a time. However, you can use Group Booking to make reservations at multiple resorts as long as the reservations are for consecutive days. There are no restrictions on the total number of bonus time reservations you can use each year, but members are only allowed to make a single weekend only bonus time reservation each quarter for each 10,000 credits owned. Exotic Bonus Time reservations: This includes bonus time usage for resorts in Hawaii, Fiji, and San Jose del Cabo. The guidelines for these reservations are slightly different, but actually allow for even more flexibility and usage for owners at some of the Club's most popular resort affiliates! The cost per credit is the same as standard bonus time reservations. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance of the dates of travel and there are no restrictions for guest reservations. You can stay up to a maximum of thirty consecutive days, and can use the Group Booking principle to stay at multiple resorts during that time (this is a fantastic benefit for the resorts in Hawaii, as it allows owners to island hop and explore all the breathtaking islands!). The weekend only booking requirement does apply to bonus time, so if you reserve a Friday night via bonus time- you must also reserve Saturday night if it is available.

Owners are allowed to have only one bonus time reservation pending at a time. However, you can use Group Booking to make reservations at multiple resorts as long as the reservations are for consecutive days. There are no restrictions on the total number of bonus time reservations you can use each year, but members are only allowed to make a single weekend only bonus time reservation each quarter for each 10,000 credits owned. WorldMark Owner Education Program: This is another aspect of WorldMark ownership that truly impresses me! The Club frequently offers free Owners Education Workshops at many of their resorts. These workshops provide members with strategies and personal assistance in order for owners to learn to maximize their usage and enjoyment. WorldMark demonstrates a consistent belief that educating members is the best way to ensure owner satisfaction, and these workshops are a great way to stay up to date with developer programs and usage opportunities. Point Charts: Please review the Member's Guide online for the latest point charts and season calendars. Buying, Selling, & Renting: Please allow us the privilege of helping you with any transaction involving WorldMark the Club. Our licensed agents can take you safely through the process of buying, selling, or renting a WorldMark timeshare ownership vacation. Please visit our website or call us toll free at (800) 868-8290.

Overview of the WorldMark timeshare system  

This article is a comprehensive overview of the WorldMark the Club timeshare system. Includes company history, resorts, ownership info, rese...

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