Over the last few decades the popularity of timeshares has grown – so much so that over two million Americans have timeshare properties both in the US and abroad. But the rise of the timeshare industry saw the rise of timeshare scams and frauds with the timeshare industry being plagued by the unscrupulous activities of con-artists and scammers. Notwithstanding these serious problems with timeshares a new breed of alternatives is emerging. One of the main reasons why people were initially attracted towards timeshares was that it would be an expensive affair for a big family to vacation every year at a hotel or a resort. Timeshares proved to be an economical solution to all that.
On the other hand, buying a timeshare requires a large upfront fee and timeshares typically range anywhere from ten thousand dollars to fifty thousand dollars. On top of that the buyers have to pay the annual maintenance fee, property taxes, management fees etc. which can range from a few hundred to over a thousand. People have begun realizing that they are maybe paying over the odds for a property they only use one week a year. And people do get bored of going to the same place again and again. Although some timeshares offer exchange programs which allow owners to exchange their timeshare units across different resorts and locations it is not always that easy (with exchanges usually costing more bucks into the bargain!) Neither is it an easy task when the owner wants to sell a timeshare unit. Timeshares are one of the most difficult properties to sell. Even when they sell they sell at 30%-50% lower than their original price.
Now, however, a new spin on the timeshare idea is taking the vacation industry by storm, with ideas such as resort memberships and condo hotels. A resort membership is a one time investment i.e. you have to pay the membership fee only once and you can enjoy the benefits of the resort for the rest of your life. And what is more you are not required to pay any maintenance fees or taxes. Resort memberships can cost anywhere from a few grand to few hundred grand. Some resort memberships may also have yearly fees. But if you do thorough research you should manage to find some resorts within your personal range of affordability. The best deals are probably lifetime memberships for around $3,000 and a limited five year membership for $2,000. Members have access to not only the resort they have membership in but they can also choose from hundreds of resorts worldwide which are available in the resort company’s network. And as there is no limit on number of times you can visit or at what time of year you can go there, your vacation is always assured.
Another idea which is gaining popularity is that of the condo hotel. This is a relatively new concept and only very few people own condos in hotels, but it is receiving good reviews and thus getting increasingly popular. The way it works is that it allows people to buy condos in luxurious hotels and utilize the benefits of all the amenities available in the hotel. If the owner is not using the condo he can put his condo up for rent and can receive a percentage of the revenue it produces. A condo hotel in comparison to a timeshare offers more flexibility, is better furnished, and has better amenities, better services and a greater choice of locations.