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Update from Club O #153347
01/23/2018 04:58 PM
01/23/2018 04:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 579
jenniboston Offline OP
Traveler
jenniboston  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 579
For those of you not on the Book of Face, here is the latest posting from Club O:

"Dear Friends,

I hope all of you enjoyed the holidays and are looking forward to a great New Year. I know those of us on St. Martin are certainly hoping for a better 2018. It would be tough to imagine a worse year than 2017!

We are doing our best to keep you updated on where we are in the re-building/renewal process, as well as getting back on track and handling the office/accounting issues we have faced.
We have received many questions and one of the more common ones is, “why hasn’t Club Orient started clean-up or rebuilding?” We mentioned this briefly in the posting and email in December, but would like to provide a more thorough explanation. Club Orient is really two entities. There is the management company, OBC, and the association of homeowners, Copro. OBC has received its insurance payment and is ready to begin on the areas that it is responsible for maintaining.

Copro, which is ALL of the rooms, plus the Papagayo, front office and part of the Boutique, are responsible to clean-up, repair and or rebuild those areas. They have not yet received their insurance payment. OBC, the management company, does not have the right to become involved with the property of the Copro. How quickly will this be settled? We don’t know, but we think shortly as they are working diligently on getting this rectified. By the way, there are literally hundreds of claims on the island that have not been settled as yet, so we are not the only ones dealing with this.

Having said that, none of this means that we are not rebuilding. It just takes more time than we would have liked.
With generous donations from our friends and loyal guests, we have already retained an engineer and an architect. We will be receiving our initial drawings next week. Just this week, we received the new building requirements from the government for beachfront development.

Unfortunately, in a situation like this, social media is filled with anecdotes, comments, comparisons and critiques from people who have no idea what is really happening on the island or in a particular business. Some pass along accounts they heard from “someone who knows” or they may have talked to someone on the beach or who lives on St. Martin.

Please, if you have a question just write to us and ask before posting heresay. We can’t always promise you a quick response, but we will respond. We do our best to be factual and tell you only what we believe to be true.

The other things on which we receive comments are, “why did my friend get his deposit refunded from another hotel and Club Orient still has not sent mine?” We share your frustration. We have tried to be as clear as possible. First of all, not all resorts received the devastating damage that Club Orient sustained. We lost everything in the storm, including all of our records, computers, and access to our servers for a number of weeks, as they had been looted and damaged. We had no reliable phone service or internet for months. We have slowly been making progress and just recently, were able to begin issuing refunds on a credit card machine. This was not possible even one week ago. Refunds had to be checked and money wired from our account to a US bank and a check written and then mailed via regular mail, in many instances. This could take a few days to arrive or even a few weeks.

How could other hotels do it? Many hotels use a foreign bank, i.e. US, Canada, France, etc. and often, the funds for the deposits were never in St. Martin in the first place. Also, some of the larger foreign hotels have access to funds without waiting for insurance and their reservation systems do not reside on servers in St. Martin.

Most importantly, many resorts, especially on the Dutch side, were not completely destroyed and could get access to their records and create at least a makeshift office. Bottom line, the four of us (mostly Florence) are answering emails and processing things as quickly as we can.

We know it is difficult for people to comprehend what has happened to us without seeing it and especially living it every day. Elsewhere, when disasters happen, such as the hurricanes that impacted Houston and Florida last year, an army of help and aid immediately swings into action, including FEMA, Red Cross, the National Guard, Salvation Army and many others. These areas have access to materials, equipment and trained workers to almost immediately begin putting things back together.
These places also have Federal, State and local resources to draw upon to aid in the recovery and rebuilding. So far, we have received almost no help from Paris.

The above is not an excuse for not moving more quickly or efficiently. It is simply the reality that we are now living. At a recent French Hotel Association meeting, about half of the 20 hotels that were present were not certain they could ever re-open, while others gave estimates of 6 months to 2 years.
We would like to ask you to please bear with us, as we are doing the best we can with little assistance and under very challenging circumstances.

On a more positive note, we are awaiting the initial drawings from the architect that many of you helped us retain, showing the wonderful new facilities, which we hope will become part of the revitalized Club Orient Resort. In the meantime, we are still planning to open a few rooms before the end of this year and will let you know as soon as we have an ETA.

Thanks to all of you for everything, but especially for sticking with us. We look forward to welcoming you back!"

SXM Sponsors
Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153350
01/23/2018 05:11 PM
01/23/2018 05:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,250
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,250
Brookfield, CT.
Jenni,

What a great response from what is obviously a very well run property. It's got to be reassuring to everyone to see this and to be given a clear explanation of exactly what's going on and what they're dealing with. Sometimes, no news is good news because, if nothing else, it's a sign that you're being taken into consideration even if there is nothing positive to relate.

I have no persponal relationship or involvement with Club O, but if I did, I'd be very pleased with their responsive attitude.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153353
01/23/2018 06:03 PM
01/23/2018 06:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,385
P
PelicanPirate Offline
Traveler
PelicanPirate  Offline
Traveler
P
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,385
Good information that reassures the hope to rebuild.

Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153356
01/23/2018 06:47 PM
01/23/2018 06:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,605
Southern Maryland suburbs of D...
Bill_S Offline
Traveler
Bill_S  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,605
Southern Maryland suburbs of D...
A GREAT update from the people who are working hard on bringing Club Orient back to life! Thank you!!!!

Let us all support this dedicated staff...and their efforts...

...and remember, we ALL knew about "island time" throughout the islands... A disaster only exacerbates the problen...

We are eagerly awaiting the reopening so we can return to the resort that changed our lives forever (for the good) way back in the late 1990s...!



Bill
Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153359
01/23/2018 07:00 PM
01/23/2018 07:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 429
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
Traveler
SXMbeacher  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 429
Maine
Great explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. Also, maybe they will develop some better business procedures learned from this experience.

Last edited by SXMbeacher; 01/23/2018 07:08 PM.


[Linked Image]


Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153360
01/23/2018 07:05 PM
01/23/2018 07:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 51
Eastern shore South Carolina
J
Jay&Kath Offline
Traveler
Jay&Kath  Offline
Traveler
J
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 51
Eastern shore South Carolina
Thank you for the detailed update. We are returning in June and will make sure to utilize whatever services are available to us.

Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153373
01/23/2018 08:13 PM
01/23/2018 08:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 952
PA
biglar Offline
Traveler
biglar  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 952
PA
My wife and I have never stayed there, but we always spend many days utilizing your facilities and just love the resort. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. I can only imagine how nice it will be in the near future. Good luck with everything you have to do. I'm sure you will have a first-class place once again.

Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153406
01/24/2018 10:27 AM
01/24/2018 10:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 13
M
MarkKhoury Offline
Traveler
MarkKhoury  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 13
Kudos! Nice to see the part at the end about some rooms open this year. I appreciate the information, but I'm taking it as a best-guess forecast and won't be back in 10 months crying that "they promised ..."

Re: Update from Club O [Re: jenniboston] #153446
01/24/2018 06:01 PM
01/24/2018 06:01 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 106
Ontario
C
Canuck54 Offline
Traveler
Canuck54  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 106
Ontario
The boutique "lite" opened today, near Perch Lite, the merch that was ordered prior to Irma while they were closed arrived in October and is now for sale in the small building. Busy day there today with three cruise ships, probably over two hundred people on the beach, busiest day we have seen.

Re: Update from Club O [Re: Canuck54] #153452
01/24/2018 06:44 PM
01/24/2018 06:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,270
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Offline
Traveler
sxmmartini  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,270
Long Island, New York
Originally Posted by Canuck54
The boutique "lite" opened today, near Perch Lite, the merch that was ordered prior to Irma while they were closed arrived in October and is now for sale in the small building. Busy day there today with three cruise ships, probably over two hundred people on the beach, busiest day we have seen.


What would Truus Brink former boutique owner think of boutique lite? https://gobeach.com/orient/updates.htm


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West

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