By Dan Walton
Timeshare owners at Sunchaser Vacation Villas in Fairmont Hot Springs are on the hook for thousands of dollars, after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favour of a property management companys right to upgrade the buildings at owners expense.
Owners have to decide whether they want to participate in the resort moving forward or choose the cancellation option and go, said Kirk Wankel, the chief executive officer of Northwynd Resort Properties Ltd., which manages the timeshare properties.
The ruling was made after a class-action lawsuit was filed by a group of owners who felt the upgrade bill was unwarranted. Owners must now choose whether to pay $4,195 per unit, or to pay $3,168 to opt out of
ownership. While there are no guarantees, Mr. Wankel said he expects fees to stabilize after the renovation.
This renovation is addressing the significant deferred maintenance backlog, and in conjunction with that, we need to create a long-term capital cost reserve for those long-term items, he said, adding the fees will also be
invested into cash reserves.
The health of the resort is important to all of the owners; its important to the Columbia Valley, he said. Weve worked to sustain that, and were very happy the judge has acknowledged the responsibilities of everybody to pay their fees and pay the for renovation, and we hope that everybody will take the opportunity to understand the decision and move forward in a positive light.
Once its known how many owners will remain, the size of the resort will be adjusted accordingly, he said.
Once all of that has been done, we will have a smaller, healthier and more modern resort, which is a benefit for everybody.
A total of 15 Better Business Bureau complaints have been filed against Northwynd in the past three years, with 13 of those from the past 12 months. The majority were under the category of problems with product or service.
We are genuinely trying to make the resort better for the future; were not the group who put it in this position, said Mr. Wankel.
The Pioneer was unable to obtain comment from any of the timeshare owners prior to press deadline.