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Club Orient interesting info #155280
02/20/2018 10:02 AM
02/20/2018 10:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,622
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline OP
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We attended a talk from one of the 80 or so property owners of the Club Orient rental units during the mid-winter nude cruise we were just on. He had pictures that I hadn't seen yet online showing the damage. All that was left of his unit was the concrete slab. Their structural engineer went through and identified 30-35 units that could be repaired fairly quickly (by island time) to get the hotel at least started. He mentioned "by the end of the year" and I thought "2019 or 2020?". They counted about 55 total that can be salvaged, which is around 1/2 of their total rentals. The rest aren't worth saving and will be demolished (if they aren't gone completely) and started over. They had a map of the whole property with every building colored in green (worth salvaging), orange (probably not worth salvaging), or red (either gone already or should definitely be demolished). Most of the greens are the mini suite deluxe units owned by the management company that runs the resort. Most of the mini suites were red (totally gone except the concrete pad) except the one closest to the security gates which had burned down and was replaced by a concrete building painted to look like wood to match the rest). The big problem is that the government wants buildings in the high risk zones (within 80 meters of the water, which means all of Club O) to build to a new code that they haven't even come up with yet. The owner wasn't even sure if repaired units would be grandfathered or would have to also go by the new code. He does know that part of the new code will probably be anchoring the concrete slabs to the bedrock rather than just pouring them on the ground and "floating" them. Of course, that's what the shops between Pedro's and Kon Tiki did, but the buildings were blown right off the pads just like at Club O. Another idea being floated by the government is a requirement for "safe rooms" higher than the 8' storm surge that reached all the way to the lobby of the resort offices. They are not sure if that means one for the resort, several scattered throughout the property, or if every building needs one. He did mention a phased approach to rebuilding that included a final phase of new construction on Club O owned land out near the salt pond. Someone asked if they had thought about reconfiguring to a smaller number of bigger buildings, which they said they had, but seemed to be leaning towards keeping the current building format (I would thing the "safe room" requirement might change that thinking).

The preceding was posted on orientbeachforum.com. I asked for & received permission from the OP to copy and paste.


"It's a magic kind of medicine, that no doctor could prescribe." JB
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Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155281
02/20/2018 10:09 AM
02/20/2018 10:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,840
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Thanks for posting. Very interesting. Sounds like government for ya--they want buildings constructed to a new code, that they haven't even come up with yet!!! duh ...and it's six months after the hurricane. People are just supposed to wait forever, until they make up their minds??


Carol Hill
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155285
02/20/2018 10:36 AM
02/20/2018 10:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 305
Maine
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There was a report on Facebook yesterday, from someone who is currently there, posting pictures of an excavator and a crew cleaning up. They talked with them and was told clean up was going to take a couple months. That sounds like some serious island time.


Life's a beach!


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Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: SXMbeacher] #155286
02/20/2018 11:21 AM
02/20/2018 11:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 157
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I was on the cruise and attended the presentation... Here are the notes I took:


Okay - so I'm gonna take a stab at this... there was a ton of information presented this morning. The couple who did the presentation own #21.

So... I'll start with the good news:

The owners definitely want to rebuild/reopen as do the Hotel corp. So both parties are on the same page.
They have had a full engineering assessment done of the structures still on site.
They do have an Insurance advocate (required in France)
They do have insurance adjusters.

I say 'they' to those above because the Club O we all know and love it two separate legal entities... The HOA (owners), and the Hotel (Orient Beach Club). OBC owns about 25% of the units as well as the infrastructure, Papagayos, Perch, Boutique..... Dealing with two different groups has made this more troublesome.

So.... a full 60% of the rooms on site were either destroyed or damaged to the point where they need to come down. The other 40% have been deemed structurally stable - those are the Delux Mini suites and the Garden Chalets (mostly). Of the infrastructure, the office and boutique building are salvagable. The utilities are a huge question mark... They are trying to decide if it would be best to repair them (water, sewer and power) or pay to hook up to the municipal support. Interesting wrinkle here.. if they go municipal, then a hidden cost is hot water - seems they were getting all their hot water by using the generators waste heat. I thought that was interesting.
Just yesterday they voted on and agreed to let the first contract - $200k just to remove debris. That does not include demo of any kind...just to clean up what is laying around. FYI - most of the wooden units are over by the Butteryfly farm - they had aerial pictures...
Beyond that they are developing a 4 step plan:
1) have 30 of the surviing rooms ready first. NO TIMELINE yet.
2) bring the remaining 25 surviving units online, along with the office, boutique, Papagayos and the Perch
3) Rebuild remaining units
4) Possible expansion to include a 2 story hotel behind where the message building was.

They said, that there are those that hope to have step one in place by the end of the year, but all believe that is VERY aggressive.

Here are the sticky points:
1) all exeisting buildings will have to be granted a waiver from the new codes, and the new codes are not in place yet.
2) New building plans can not move forward without the new building codes - and France is saying middle to end of next year (2019) for those. Now, they are pushing back on that one...
3) The entire of the Club O's property falls in the newly designated 'high risk' zone - which means both special permission to build, and that insurance will be a trick

The other big hurdle they are dealing with is coming up with a new business plan - they are built today around 110 unit hotel. Step 1 only bring 30 units and step 2 only gets them to half of that... My guess is that was a way of saying that prices will go up....

Officially right now, Club O is operating out of a rental office in Orient Village. They have NO presence on the beach or at the resort at all. The Perch lite that we have all seen and the chairs are all being done by employees on their own. That also means there is no security.

Okay - I think that is all... The room (Comedy lounge on the ship) was packed!!! I would guess 250 or so folks in there. ...most like us are here because we can not be at Club O.

So... there it is.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155287
02/20/2018 11:21 AM
02/20/2018 11:21 AM
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Here are my notes from the Club O update given on BNB
———-
A couple who owns and is on the board gave a detailed update to a packed crowd aboard the boat.

Structural engineers inspected each unit.

60% of units destroyed or beyond economic repair.

40% may be salvageable.

Two entities. Hotel company and owners association.

They have a phased plan put together for rebuild.

Phase 1 Stretch goal is to have 30 of those which are owned by the hotel company open by year 2018 end. Again a stretch goal. They believe hotel company has the funds to do so.

Phase 2 is the other salvageable units that are owner owned and subject to insurance and personal decisions to put more owner money in to rebuild.

Insurance is being negotiated. Under French insurance you hire an insurance agent who in the end gets a percentage.

They had just switched insurance two years ago as their previous long time carrier exited St Martin market.

They just let a contract for debris removal. This has been a long process reviewing/rejecting bids and the price is substantial. 100k’s

They have architects drawing up concepts and negotiating with local govt. Govt rqmts are fluid at this point.

They do know anything within 80meters of high tide is now considered high risk zone.

This is true of all orient.

Possible requirement for previously floating slabs to be anchored into bedrock. Safe rooms may be necessary on premises. Each unit, scattered communal or 1 large TBD.

Luckily club o was closed but what if they were not?

Question was raised and tiny thought to a hotel like building inland in addition. The last phase of rebuild.

Debating pros/cons of booking to public utilities.

Club O utilities were more reliable,economical and efficient. For instance the electrical plant heat made the hot water. The treated grey water watered the plants.

The current electrical system is not compatible with public utilities.

Some engineer owners are looking into rebuilding their own utilities.

Most owners want to rebuild units if they can. A few may drop out.

There were about 12 units for sale at time of storm.

A May owners mtg will have some votes on the rebuild.

The chair concession and perch lite are not club orient run operations. It is ad hoc by some employees.

There is NO club o security at present.

Club O is closed at the moment.

French labor law requires payment of employees at some level even while revenue ops are ceased.

24 hour Security was largest expense line item in the hotel budget.

Refunds are being made by hotel company.
—————-

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: PelicanPirate] #155288
02/20/2018 11:39 AM
02/20/2018 11:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,840
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Thanks for the additional info, Pelican and PnPin. That's very interesting, that Perch Lite is being run by employees individually, not by the Club.


Carol Hill
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155290
02/20/2018 11:51 AM
02/20/2018 11:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 134
Columbia, SC, USA
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Thank you very much to all who posted this info! Due to lack of info, I've been starting to think Club O was a thing of the past. Just maybe, there's hope?


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Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155291
02/20/2018 11:52 AM
02/20/2018 11:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 305
Maine
SXMbeacher Online content
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Great Info, Thanks!


Life's a beach!


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Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155293
02/20/2018 12:06 PM
02/20/2018 12:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 157
PnPinNC Offline
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Oh... one more thing I left out... He also said that all official communications from Club O would be handled on their FB page, and then through their newsletter. Watch that space for all updates.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: PnPinNC] #155294
02/20/2018 12:11 PM
02/20/2018 12:11 PM
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Posts: 7,114
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thanks for the report. I had asked about the business structure a few months back but got no answer.

Which entity received the gofundme donations?

Wendell

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: SXMWendell] #155298
02/20/2018 01:30 PM
02/20/2018 01:30 PM
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PelicanPirate Offline
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I suspect that was a private offering toindividuals. It was started by Nancy the head of Bare Necessities .

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: SXMWendell] #155318
02/20/2018 04:26 PM
02/20/2018 04:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 233
Toronto, Ontario
Kevin_B Offline
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I am passing on what I heard from someone in the know ...

The money raised by the gofundme account went to the hotel company and was distributed to the employees.


Kevin
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Kevin_B] #155326
02/20/2018 05:06 PM
02/20/2018 05:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,114
SXMWendell Offline
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Isn't by law on the French side that the employees have to be paid working or not?

Wendell

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155330
02/20/2018 05:17 PM
02/20/2018 05:17 PM
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Posts: 6
Wareham,MA
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briandenise Offline
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Does anyone know if chairs and umbrellas are or will be available by the end of May? Any word on Mount Vernon? Thank you!

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155331
02/20/2018 05:18 PM
02/20/2018 05:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 8,025
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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They are available now.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: briandenise] #155332
02/20/2018 05:21 PM
02/20/2018 05:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,840
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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If you read the original post and/or the replies, chairs and umbrellas are available for rent now, yes, and should continue to be in future.

Regarding Mt. Vernon, those are all individually owned, so individual owners are responsible for renovating them. Some of them I believe are open for rent, but the pool apparently is not operational.


Carol Hill
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: SXMWendell] #155334
02/20/2018 05:44 PM
02/20/2018 05:44 PM
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Posts: 13,069
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Originally Posted by SXMWendell
Isn't by law on the French side that the employees have to be paid working or not?

Wendell

From what Pelican Pirate posted:

Quote
French labor law requires payment of employees at some level even while revenue ops are ceased.


Sadly, I am thinking many people were duped with their kind contributions to the various GoFundMe drives. I am sure a lot of it went to a good use but I am also thinking a lot of it was never distributed as it was implied it would be.


J.D.
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: ruralcarrier] #155337
02/20/2018 06:44 PM
02/20/2018 06:44 PM
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In this case, im confident it went to the employees. A good deed by good people for good people.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155338
02/20/2018 07:36 PM
02/20/2018 07:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 8,025
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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You'll never know for sure unless you actually get a confirmation from an employee that was a recipient.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: SXMWendell] #155347
02/20/2018 09:02 PM
02/20/2018 09:02 PM
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whitesands Offline
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Originally Posted by SXMWendell
Isn't by law on the French side that the employees have to be paid working or not?

Wendell


It is my understanding from talking to employees on the French side that employers are required to pay them unless they expect a 2+ year of business interuption. If they file for this, the employees are given a payment(?), and then are released from the employer. That is why you see so many of the "big" guys not expecting to reopen until 2020. As long as they are not open 100% before that date, they have no obligation to former employees and can hire new.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155421
02/22/2018 07:44 AM
02/22/2018 07:44 AM
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PA
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I made an audio recording of the owner's update during the cruise and sent it to AANR and Club O. Hopefully one or both entities will make it available on their website. I am leery of sending it elsewhere as I do not have the speaker's permission to publish it Thanks for the above summaries, right on the button!

Last edited by ChuckG; 02/22/2018 07:45 AM.

Chuck and Joni
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: ChuckG] #155430
02/22/2018 10:24 AM
02/22/2018 10:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,840
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Chuck--please post an update if they do publish it.

But hey guys, how was the cruise?????


Carol Hill
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155440
02/22/2018 02:16 PM
02/22/2018 02:16 PM
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Posts: 396
PA
ChuckG Offline
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OK, Carol, will post a short report on the Nude forum


Chuck and Joni
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: ChuckG] #155441
02/22/2018 02:30 PM
02/22/2018 02:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,840
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Thanks! Looking forward to hearing about it.


Carol Hill
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Biturbo] #155504
02/23/2018 10:37 AM
02/23/2018 10:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 3
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Club Orient Resort Offline
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We would like to provide an official response to the information being shared on this forum.
Some of it, based on a talk by an owner at a recent meeting held on the mid-winter nude cruise, is correct, some of it is partially correct, and some of it is incorrect.
We have been trying to post accurate, updated information on the status of the resort on our Facebook page as soon as it is made available to us and on a regular basis. In addition, we have emailed newsletters out to everyone on our mailing list with updated information.
There are currently only four of us on the island, working for Club Orient full time, who are aware existing situation at any given period. What is true today may not be true tomorrow, or accurate next week. A number of issues are in flux, and this is one of the reasons we may sometimes wait to post an update until we are certain.
We want to be as transparent as possible with our guests, and we are doing our best to make sure only accurate information is posted. Unfortunately, with the amount of misinformation posted online concerning Club Orient, it is difficult and time consuming for us to try to address all of the inaccurate postings.

As an example, just after the hurricane, Nancy Tiemann from Bare Necessities kindly set up a Gofundme account for our employees.
We received over $150,000 in donations, and were able to distribute 100% of this money to our employees on Monday, October 30, 2017 (after paying for the different fees like the Gofundme commission, currency exchange, bank & security).

We posted this information along with a photo of our employees receiving this money on our Facebook page on October 31st and yet, for whatever reason, some people with access to the internet post, not just nonsense, but blatant falsehoods, accusing us of pocketing some or all of the donations.

Also, we are currently paying to our employees 70% of their full gross salary, and they continue to receive this money from us, not the government, even though they are not working. We get a small percentage of this returned usually within about two months.

In addition, all employees were also given the annual 13th month salary, as they have been every year. We also have paid vacation pay to all of those who were due vacation.
Our employees safety and well-being have been our biggest concern from day one.

In closing, for current and more importantly, accurate updates, we ask that you please visit our Facebook page, or send an email to reservations@cluborient.com and we will answer whatever questions you may have accurately and in a timely manner.

We will be posting another update soon, including a picture showing the progress we are making during the cleanup process. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with us during this difficult time and are supporting us by posting positive comments and very generous donations. We look forward to welcoming you back to a new and improved Club Orient.

Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Club Orient Resort] #155526
02/23/2018 01:03 PM
02/23/2018 01:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,622
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline OP
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Thank you for this info and thank you for joining this forum. My wife & I love Club Orient and were heartbroken when Irma caused so much devastation. We were scheduled to visit again in Nov. '17. (I've lost count). Many people on here are not on FB and this should placate the naysayers. We can't wait to return.


"It's a magic kind of medicine, that no doctor could prescribe." JB
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: Club Orient Resort] #155544
02/23/2018 03:16 PM
02/23/2018 03:16 PM
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Ohio
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Thanks for the post and the update. "Official" information is always best.


J.D.
Re: Club Orient interesting info [Re: SXMScubaman] #155622
02/25/2018 05:40 PM
02/25/2018 05:40 PM
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Posts: 6
Wareham,MA
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briandenise Offline
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Thanks a lot SXMscubaman! Appreciate the info.


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