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Last posting from Club Orient Management #169772
09/15/2018 03:46 PM
09/15/2018 03:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,534
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Online content OP
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The Management of Club Orient claims they are in a critical time where venue is not covering their costs. It is not known how long they can continue with overhead of office space, paying all employee salaries etc.


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West
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Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #169775
09/15/2018 04:16 PM
09/15/2018 04:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,596
Central Florida!
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Which means what, I wonder?


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Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #169776
09/15/2018 04:22 PM
09/15/2018 04:22 PM
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I believe a classic stalemate has been reached between OBC and Copro (homeowners). This usually happens when both sides believe they have the correct insight as to how to move forward. Mediation might be an answer to rebuild Club Orient but that seems to be a long drawn out solution, if it were ever to happen. So sad.

Club Orient Resort might have a similar outcome as the premier Mullet Bay Resort owned by Hushang Ansary after hurricane Luis. And we all know what has happened to that prime property, unfortunately.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Maria_and_Steve] #169778
09/15/2018 04:46 PM
09/15/2018 04:46 PM
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Incorrect. The problem is not between the hotel and the homeowners, but rather caused by a very small number of homeowners. I will copy over the posting from Facebook when I get home if someone doesn't beat me to it so we can stop this particular rumor from gathering steam.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: jenniboston] #169781
09/15/2018 06:37 PM
09/15/2018 06:37 PM
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Posts: 6,534
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Online content OP
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Originally Posted by jenniboston
Incorrect. The problem is not between the hotel and the homeowners, but rather caused by a very small number of homeowners. I will copy over the posting from Facebook when I get home if someone doesn't beat me to it so we can stop this particular rumor from gathering steam.

I don't know why you are trying to say it is a rumor? It is on Club Orient FB page stating what I posted?

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Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #169782
09/15/2018 06:53 PM
09/15/2018 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Maria_and_Steve
I believe a classic stalemate has been reached between OBC and Copro (homeowners). This usually happens when both sides believe they have the correct insight as to how to move forward. Mediation might be an answer to rebuild Club Orient but that seems to be a long drawn out solution, if it were ever to happen. So sad.

Club Orient Resort might have a similar outcome as the premier Mullet Bay Resort owned by Hushang Ansary after hurricane Luis. And we all know what has happened to that prime property, unfortunately.


Originally Posted by sxmmartini
Originally Posted by jenniboston
Incorrect. The problem is not between the hotel and the homeowners, but rather caused by a very small number of homeowners. I will copy over the posting from Facebook when I get home if someone doesn't beat me to it so we can stop this particular rumor from gathering steam.

I don't know why you are trying to say it is a rumor? It is on Club Orient FB page stating what I posted?


I think the first post quoted is the rumor

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Uksimonusa] #169789
09/15/2018 09:22 PM
09/15/2018 09:22 PM
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Posts: 426
Northern California
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thesimpsons Offline
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You are correct.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #169794
09/16/2018 12:12 AM
09/16/2018 12:12 AM
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This is the best synopsis of the current situation (cut and pasted directly from Club O's Facebook page:)

"FAQ#5 (8/13/2018)
So, what’s the problem with the insurance?

We have been asked this multiple times and have avoided trying to give more than a cursory answer. We are still limited in what we can say as there are a host of attorneys involved in getting the problem rectified.
First, I need to preface this by saying once again there are two separate entities to Club Orient Resort. One is Orient Beach Club (OBC) which is the management company and employs all the staff, provides utilities, does the marketing, reservations and a host of other things.
The copropriété or Copro for short is similar to a Homeowners Association. They represent the homeowners at Club Orient and are represented by an elected Board of Directors with a President. In addition, they retain a Syndic which is a professional property manager, who pays their bills and assists them in conducting Copro business.
These are two distinct and separate entities with different regulations and mandates. OBC is a French Corporation called an SAS and has shareholders which are comprised of most of the homeowners, with certain conditions.
Under French law the OBC must be a profit-making company, whereas the Copro must be a non-profit organization.
Now, just on the above paragraphs we could drone on endlessly on where they work in tandem for the benefit of Club Orient and where they must operate independently of each other. But, they are not adversarial, even when disagreements arise. Both entities want a vibrant and strong Club Orient!
When it comes time for insurance to be purchased every year, the two organizations must solicit and negotiate their policies separately. This has always been the case.
OBC owns very few structures. The Warehouse, Utility buildings, Housekeeping building, Water sports and Spa building as well as the boutique.
The Copro is responsible for all the infrastructure both above and below ground and all the other buildings, plus the landscaping on their property. A much larger and more expensive proposition.
After Irma wreaked havoc on us we (OBC) retained an insurance expert. Yes, in France the insurance company does not send out an insurance adjuster. You are required to hire one, at your expense and the money is deducted from your insurance proceeds.
It was determined that OBC suffered a total loss and the insurance company agreed to pay the full-face value of our policy. This included coverage for our structures, business interruption, as well as several lesser categories.
These funds were received by OBC on October 31, 2017. This has allowed us to continue to pay our staff “chomage partial” (explained in previous updates) as required by law, rent office space, maintain our website and many other things such as; building the Perch Lite and purchasing supplies for Cedric at Water sports to name just two.
What OBC did not have the ability to legally do was to effect any repairs or even clean-up on the property belong to the Copropriété. This was very frustrating for all concerned.
The Copro retained their own insurance expert who also declared the Copro property a total loss and submitted the necessary paperwork to the insurance company.
The insurance company, after months of inaction, raised the question of should they forward proceeds to Copro’s syndic, or directly to each individual owner. Copro wanted the proceeds to go directly to the syndic so that rebuilding contracts could be signed and work could begin immediately. The insurance company required a majority of owners to provide a power of attorney for this action, which was provided.
I’ll spare you the back and forth which followed, bs time consuming and frustrating and still has not resulted in one penny of money being sent to the Copro.
Now add into the mix that there is a very small minority of homeowners who seem to be bent on destroying Club Orient and basically turning it into a rest home for themselves. They have not paid homeowner dues OR INSURANCE PREMIUMS for 10 years! Yet, they have written to the insurance company demanding insurance proceeds be sent directly to them. They have also advised the insurance company that the Syndic is not authorized to receive any of the proceeds.
Unbelievable as it sounds, even though they have contributed nothing to the Copro or the insurance, and owe approximately one million euros in dues, under French law they are still considered members of the Copro. When this occurred the insurance company, not wishing to be sued by either the Copro or the small group of non-paying owners, simply said we will not release any funds until this is settled. There are now 4 lawyers working on this case for Copro and the belief is that there will be funds forthcoming sometime in the Fall. Unfortunately, that will be too late to have units ready for occupancy this high season.
You may ask why you don’t just buy them out. Many people have tried to do just that, and every offer has been refused. The goal of this group appears to be the destruction of Club Orient, not money.
We realize the above may raise as many questions as it answers, but it is very difficult to explain every detail of what has transpired over the last eleven months. This is especially true when you are dealing with the laws of another country, which may be vastly different than your own.
The Copro is very positive about eventually prevailing in all the above challenges. But, OBC is currently a management company, with no resort to manage and unlike the Copro they have significant obligations each month.
OBC is exploring every option at its disposal under French law to continue operating, even with no revenue. This continues to be more challenging with each passing month. But, the Copro is ultimately responsible for the rebirth of Club Orient and by not being burdened by the monthly obligations which face OBC, they remain confident the obstacles which they currently face will be overcome."

The rather taken out of context posting which was previously and only partially quoted, in full, is:

"Irma 1 year after... Part 3 (9/7/2018)

Back at the Grand Case Beach Club we still had no medical for Bert or Linda and no ability to prepare food. We ate two meals a day. Once at 6:30 am and again at 3:30 pm. We had no cooking facilities, and I remember our first meal was breaded fish filets that had defrosted, and we each received one for breakfast. Not cooked, but it was great.

Soon, we saw people walking up the beach from Grand Case. Their hotels were no longer habitable and were looking for any place to stay. We could barely take care of ourselves, but you couldn’t turn them away. So our small group quickly grew to about 40 people.

It was about seven days before we were able to begin getting people to the airport to stand in line and hope an evacuation flight would arrive. Some days one came, some days you would spend 8 hours outside in the sun, and no plane would arrive.

One of the problems with the evacuation was that each country had its own rules on who they would transport. There was one line for the Dutch, one for the French one for Americans and so on.

Initially, the Americans would only take tourists who had return tickets. The other county’s airlines, only their own nationals. Linda and Stephen were turned away by all the airlines, as they were not tourists and they were French residents, not nationals. Even Bert with his injuries had to wait for hours in the sun to get a KLM flight to Curacao.
Bert by this time had walked with assistance, to Grand Case Airport where the French Military had finally set up a military triage, to re-stitch his wound. He would later have two weeks of treatment in the hospital in Curacao with his gash being stapled shut. He is fine now.

Many of our employees eventually got flights to Martinique, Guadeloupe, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Paris, and many other destinations. Finally, Stephen and Linda did get seats on a flight to Panama, where they stayed for a week to get Linda’s foot attended to and then had to leave for Columbia to eventually get to Curacao, where Bert was recovering.

The Club Orient family was literally spread out all over the world, with only limited ability to communicate with one another.

Florence set up a private chat room through WhatsApp while in Guadeloupe, so employees could check-in and let us know if they and their families were okay and what help they needed.

It was weeks before all of our office staff was able to return to St Martin. Once we returned, we found that things had not improved very much. Electric and water were sporadic, and the internet worked in some places on some days and other places other days.
Irma had taken all of our computers, servers and the credit card machines. The water destroyed all of our paper back up files.

People have said, “What about your US office?” We don’t have one. Never did! What we have is our marketing company in Orlando, which was trying to help us respond to the hundreds of emails we were getting. That ended when Hurricane Maria flooded the marketing companies office in Florida, and they too lost all their equipment and had to abandon their building.

We have said it before, but it bears repeating. The overwhelming number of positive and supportive emails were incredibly important to us.

We understood the frustration of people who emailed us and got an auto response. Sometimes they would email numerous times a day (not helpful). Only Florence was available to respond when she returned from Guadeloupe. Not only did she not have electricity or water at home, but also two children to care for and no access to the internet on many days.

Gaelle, our HR director, left her house every morning (which was not only without a roof but also no water and electric) to try and find an internet signal anywhere on the island. Sometimes she did, many times she did not.
By the way, Gaelle just had her water restored in February and is still living in a destroyed house.

Once we finally got our servers returned from the Gendarmes which they had retrieved from the looters, our IT guy had to redownload all of the programs we need to function. The download accomplished via iPhone hotspot. Not the quickest method. Once that was completed, we had to load all of the cloud back-up the same way.

Our credit card machine was lost in the storm and had to be ordered from Paris. It arrived in early December but it didn’t work. We then had to reorder another and wait for the bank to give the authorization to use it for credits.
It seemed we couldn’t catch a break.

One of the real bright spots was the outpouring of support for our employees through the GO Fund Me account, started by Nancy Tieman to help our Club Orient family. However, people actually wrote and said, “how you could distribute funds if the banks were not operating?” These comments posted on social media sites, even after we had posted pictures of the cash distribution!

Really?
The answer is because while on Curacao, Stephen was able to deal with the parent bank of Windward Islands bank and they were able to arrange for the transfer of funds, as well as waive the rules for the amount of daily cash withdrawals. We met the day of the distribution privately with the local bank president to take possession of the funds.

They were tremendously helpful.

We’re also pleased that many small companies were able to return advance deposits so quickly. It helps if you have a credit card machine , access to your reservations, internet… we didn’t.

We would admit it was discouraging when people would post on some social media sites that we “obviously didn’t care about our guests,” or “we must have spent or stolen the money.”

Club Orient had about 700,000 euros in advance deposits to begin returning and no infrastructure. We had set up space in an old church in Orient Village that reeked of mold and did the best we could.

Unless someone has gone through an event like the largest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic and find themselves with no resources on a thirty-five square island, they probably should keep their armchair opinions to themselves in the comfort of their living rooms.

But, the overwhelming majority of the comments were very supportive, and we realized these hateful people were either just ignorant or had their an agenda. French St Martin is roughly 17.5 square miles has very little skilled labor, heavy equipment, supplies, and especially financial resources to deal with this type of catastrophe.

So, we sincerely apologize if you feel we were not responsive enough, but understand we had only Florence to answer initially over 1000 emails and limited internet capabilities.

Our island government has worked tirelessly to get Paris to help and has been very supportive of Club Orient, and it is solidly behind our efforts.

One year later we still have issues with utilities. But it is slowly improving. We remain hopeful that Paris will contribute money for re-building and fixing the infrastructure and we will escape this hurricane season unscathed.

Will Club Orient be back? Many dedicated owners are working very hard to bring back Club Orient. As we have pointed out in previous missives, the Copropriete is responsible for the reconstruction, and OBC (us) is the management company. We may not be able to continue the management company, as the cost of paying the employees and maintaining offices is getting critical with no revenue to offset the expenses. But the Copro does not have those burdens and is committed to rebuilding, once the insurance issue is resolved.

Sorry for the long update, but we tried to answer as many questions as possible, and yes it was to an extent, cathartic to respond to some of the things we saw posted online.

Club Orient is important to all of us, and we know that the Corpro will do everything possible to bring it back better than ever and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the beach!"

If you're still with me; the hotel and the homeowners BOTH very much want Club Orient to be rebuilt and reopened just as soon as possible.

Last edited by jenniboston; 09/16/2018 12:13 AM.
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: jenniboston] #169807
09/16/2018 09:59 AM
09/16/2018 09:59 AM
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Northern California
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thesimpsons Offline
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jenniboston,

Thank you for posting!

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: jenniboston] #169822
09/16/2018 05:29 PM
09/16/2018 05:29 PM
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stangied Offline
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Thanks so much for the post. There have been many negative post on here about have things have been handled. I hope all the negative posters will read your posts and now understand how difficult things have been for both sides involved.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #169831
09/17/2018 08:27 AM
09/17/2018 08:27 AM
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Maine
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davew Offline
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Thanks so much for the explanation of what is happening at our special place. We'll be there in March and hope for everyone's sake that issues get resolved.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171276
09/22/2018 07:39 PM
09/22/2018 07:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
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Pittsburgh, PA
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I have been watching this saga for over 20 years without having an interest but having good friends that did. I believe that the facts would show that OBC has been taking everyone to the cleaners for all of that time with a constant whoa is me refrain. OBC owns the land, probably the most valuable land on all of St. Martin...they could take that to the bank any time they want to but instead they play the game. Very sad for us that love the beach...wish the government would hand it over to someone that could make the people some money...

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: gotaluvit] #171286
09/22/2018 11:03 PM
09/22/2018 11:03 PM
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Yeah. No. (But thank you for confirming your bias.)

Last edited by jenniboston; 09/22/2018 11:05 PM.
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: jenniboston] #171296
09/23/2018 07:32 AM
09/23/2018 07:32 AM
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The Jersey Shore
Pan Offline
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Let's face it, Club O is in serious danger of never re-opening if they can't convince the renegade owners to accept the insurance settlement and re-unite with Corpro. Won't happen in my opinion and unless some well heeled owners buy them out Club O is done. I sincerely hope I'm wrong as we love the place.



Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Pan] #171313
09/23/2018 11:35 AM
09/23/2018 11:35 AM
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I do recommend going back in this thread and reading the information posted from Club O, but to reiterate in regards to the renegade owners:

"You may ask why you don’t just buy them out. Many people have tried to do just that, and every offer has been refused. The goal of this group appears to be the destruction of Club Orient, not money."

Many offers have been made, all rejected. Hopefully the attorneys can break up this logjam and soon. It is very sad that a small group of people
have decided to hold the rebuilding up, resulting in the possible loss of hundreds of jobs, simply out of petty spite apparently.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: jenniboston] #171318
09/23/2018 12:11 PM
09/23/2018 12:11 PM
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The renegade owners want to live in or use their units for most of the year, which violates their purchase agreements per the rental pool policy. Their heels are dug in and I see no resolution to ending the conflict. Everyone has a price in mind for what they think their property is worth and they may feel a better offer may come with the sell off of Club O.



Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Pan] #171323
09/23/2018 01:34 PM
09/23/2018 01:34 PM
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It actually doesn't matter who owns the lot; the government is not going to allow anyone to build homes there; only hotel type (short term rentals) can be built so close to the water now.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Pan] #171326
09/23/2018 02:22 PM
09/23/2018 02:22 PM
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I wrote a good and long comment, bit decided it would not help.

The renegades have to be dealt with. Compromise and get moving.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Pan] #171328
09/23/2018 03:41 PM
09/23/2018 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pan
Let's face it, Club O is in serious danger of never re-opening if they can't convince the renegade owners to accept the insurance settlement and re-unite with Corpro. Won't happen in my opinion and unless some well heeled owners buy them out Club O is done. I sincerely hope I'm wrong as we love the place.


As stated before it was already offered; "You may ask why you don’t just buy them out. Many people have tried to do just that, and every offer has been refused. The goal of this group appears to be the destruction of Club Orient, not money."


Fair winds and following seas!
SSN691-May She Ever Prowl The Seas in Defense of Human Freedom!
SSN787-Preserving Peace, Prepared for War
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: candj] #171344
09/24/2018 09:01 AM
09/24/2018 09:01 AM
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The Jersey Shore
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Like I said everyone has their price and that includes the renegades. No one in their right mind will watch an investment go down the drain. They obviously feel a sell off to a hotel group is their best bet and that gamble may backfire if there is no interest in buying the property. Unless the potential buyer (deep pockets) is naturist oriented kiss this c/o beach goodbye.
Again, I hope I'm VERY WRONG but it seems bankruptcy is just a matter of time.



Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Pan] #171350
09/24/2018 10:18 AM
09/24/2018 10:18 AM
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I really know nothing about bankruptcy law in SXM, but if they have something similar to a chapter 11 reorganization, perhaps that would be the answer, in order to get the project moving. Not to liquidate, but to settle the impasse with the small group of owners.


Carol Hill
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171353
09/24/2018 10:37 AM
09/24/2018 10:37 AM
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I would love to see a solution to this mess. The last time I was there in NOV 16 I saw about 8 rebel units boarded up and they have been that way for years. They are real hardliners to forfeit the enjoyment that their unit and the Club provide.
The question now is how long can OBC hang on with funds dwindling?



Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171354
09/24/2018 10:49 AM
09/24/2018 10:49 AM
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Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Online content OP
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It would seem now that my title to this thread was spot on. There has been no news coming from Club Orient Resort. It is worrisome to think this will drag on with lawyers with no end in sight. IMHO this is not about money but about cutting your nose off to spite your face.


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171355
09/24/2018 10:52 AM
09/24/2018 10:52 AM
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Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
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We like to think of ourselves as optimists, and would like to believe that this impasse will get resolved. The thought of a chain hotel, with chain restaurants, buying this beautiful property (money talks) is beyond dreadful. I trust Club Orient to be forthright in their updates. I believe that Jenni's family is one of the non-renegade owners and am thankful for her input.


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Biturbo] #171363
09/24/2018 01:41 PM
09/24/2018 01:41 PM
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Long Island, New York
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Originally Posted by Biturbo
We like to think of ourselves as optimists, and would like to believe that this impasse will get resolved. The thought of a chain hotel, with chain restaurants, buying this beautiful property (money talks) is beyond dreadful. I trust Club Orient to be forthright in their updates. I believe that Jenni's family is one of the non-renegade owners and am thankful for her input.


Club Orient Management up to this point has been very informative about the status of the resort. I hope for the sake of all the loyal customers they keep posting updates and will soon be able to start taking reservations for future stays.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171370
09/24/2018 03:57 PM
09/24/2018 03:57 PM
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Sarasota, Florida
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Sarasota, Florida
We can all have our opinions and ideas but the fact of the matter is that we are basing our decisions on our home country. I would imagine that here in the USA if you sign a contract to rent your unit and you then fail to do so, the corporation would sue you for breach of contract. Likewise if you don't pay your insurance as required, you'd be sued for your portion. And I also read that some of the owners hadn't paid taxes in 10 years and in the US I would think the local government would put a tax lien on your property and potentially sell it from under you. Now in Florida if the homeowner is a member of a homeowners association and that homeowner fails to pay their dues, after appropriate notice the HOA can and some will foreclose on your property. Again these laws may not be on the books in the area where Club O is. After our 1st visit to the C/O beach this month, I for one, hope they can get this settled and rebuild.



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Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171371
09/24/2018 04:24 PM
09/24/2018 04:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 37
Oklahoma
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Oklahoma
I just feel that Club O is gone. They did it to themselves with the different owner groups and the insane management relationship they had. Its so sad because there truly is no place on earth like it and it will be greatly missed. My first visit was in 1987 and tried to go back as often as possible.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Pan] #171424
09/25/2018 06:58 PM
09/25/2018 06:58 PM
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Posts: 361
Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
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SXMFOX Offline
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I agree with Pan, the future for Club O looks dismal. I only wish that the posters with negative feed back to everyone else would just tell us how they have such GREAT insight into Club O. Shoot I’m just a traveler! But mostly jenniboston, we are just having a conversation. My two cents, at the end of the day, whom ever controls or owns the land WILL have the last say in this Club O mess. I wish it would turn out for all concerned for the best, but PLEASE explain your comments better. Only because we, as travelers just wat to know. Thank You!

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171427
09/25/2018 08:00 PM
09/25/2018 08:00 PM
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Posts: 148
Unionville, PA
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Stephen has provided everyone with Club O news when it is available. He has done a fantastic job communicating a difficult situation. The majority owners are in a bit of a box. Anything they say can, and will, be used against them. I don’t have a dog in the fight between the majority of the owners and the “dissidents.” Last year I wrote to one of the leaders of the dissidents (Paul D) and offered to mediate the dispute. He said there was no need to negotiate.
Let me give you my point of view now.
BACKGROUND
I have been involved with Club Orient for 30 years +/-. When the resort was first being built, the owner of unit 50, did the engineering for the electrical, water and other systems that powered the resort until last year. He died, followed shortly by his wife. Their daughter has been a client of mine and has been, and will be, a lifelong friend. She hired me to handle her parents' estate. Like some of the early owners, these folks had good title to their condominium unit.
Before they died, a suit was entered by heirs of a Mr. Bearuperthuy, claiming ownership of most of the French side and much of the Dutch side, including the airport. To make a long story short, Beauperthuy’s estate (he died in the 1860s) was divided among his believed to be surviving children. A child who had absconded to the Republic of Texas was believed to be dead. He was not. His heirs (in the 1980s) raised the title issue, claiming a right to the property. Under French law, there is validity to such a claim.
As a result of the Beauperthuy claim, title to much of the community and other lands became defective. In the US we would say the title was not insurable by any title insurance company. In France, the Noitaires would not approve the title and therefore deeds could not be recorded.
Numerous trips to the island and much argument, and references to the Code Civil, we convinced the Notaire in Concorde to pass on the title from the estate of the owner of unit 50 to their daughter. When she wanted to sell, her title could not be approved, and a deed could not be recorded. Of course, this impacted the value of the property. A Swiss couple bought the property and received non-recordable documents purporting to pass such title as there was. When they died, they passed the unit to their son (a friend of mine) who is one of the leaders of the dissidents.
Several other of the dissidents have the same defective title. In fairness, some of the other homeowners have the same type of titles. My law firm has handled at least 3 other Club O sales due to the death of the owner. All those titles are not recorded.
BRINK
As all this was going on, the homeowners united in opposition to the Brink family, founders of the resort. It was believed the Brinks were making massive profits and stealing with both hands. After engaging in the lawyers’ full employment program, the owners won and found out the resort teetered at the edge of breaking even but needed ALL units in the rental pool to stay out of the red.
A BASIC DISPUTE
The resort functions best by having all the owners placing their units into the rental pool. Some of the owners were retired and wanted to roost in their units much of the year. The response was to charge a daily fee to offset some of the costs of security, utilities, landscaping etc. On top of this were the condo fees, which covered the rest of the costs of running the resort outlined in Stephen’s reports (insurance in particular). The dissidents, most of whom I know and like personally, decided to stop paying any fees. They still had access to their units, but they boarded them up when they were not on the island. They lost their electric and water connections. Some like my friend in Zurich, folks in West Chester, OH and others just seemed to not show up. They just left the units boarded up. Others brought in generators and carried water from the bathroom at the Papagayo and used its toilet and shower facilities. There was a basic issue that separated these folks. One group was willing to put their homes in the rental pool and one was not.
Part of the problem was there was no relationship between how nice your unit was, how much it was used, and how much of the pooled money would have landed in your account if the place got profitable. In many condo rental pool communities, the money is divided based on how often your unit was rented. This makes the units with a better location more valuable and it incents owners to refresh their units to stay in the “A” tier of rentals. A discussion of this issue could have been the beginning of an overall settlement. It never happened. Perhaps it should.
NEW LITIGATION
The Co-pro (the condo association) began litigation against the dissidents but as with all things in the French legal system, time passed with no signs of movement. I am a little surprised the litigation was not brought in Illinois, Ohio, MA, and other places were the dissidents could be found. That did not happen. I think most of the French litigation should be nearing an end, but for some reason, there never seems to be finality.
BACK TO TITLE
I brought up the title issues earlier because the record owners of some of the units are not the dissidents previously in possession of these units. This is perhaps a pressure point that could be used by the majority owners to compel negotiations. The main body of owners have a lot to lose, and that is the pressure being put on them. They have paid for their insurance and cannot collect. Perhaps if both sides felt the risk of losing the case could be settled. Time is on no one’s side. You have probably noticed many of the owners are deep into the Medicare years. They cannot leave this to be resolved in 5 or 10 years by the French Courts.
I was watching a PBS TV show the other evening entitled The Miniaturist. In the end, the main character had a rope tied around his neck which was connected to a large millstone. The Mill Stone was rolled down the dock and into the ocean. I would hope the owners (ALL OF THEM) would see the parallel in their lives.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Contact the owners you know from both groups. Press them to mediate this dispute before the millstone goes over the edge.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Maitre_Jim] #171430
09/25/2018 09:48 PM
09/25/2018 09:48 PM
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Posts: 1,603
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Thanks for the insight. My long post I was going to write centered on how when We looked at buying a studio the rental pool requirement sounded great if I spent relatively little time immediately on St Martin but in retirement could be a bummer if we wanted to park it there all winter.

Regardless, all the posturing is moot now that the resort is out of commission with the units destroyed.

The dissidents could get some money and buy/rent something else. As it stands all could lose everything, dissident and pro-rebuilder.

At this point everybody should take their share of the cash and move on. Those that still want to be in the nude resort game can invest in a new resort that should either be a pure hotel or typical timeshare with weeks.

For owners, dissident owners, heirs.........keep it simple and move on. While we dont have money in the game as hotel guests, our continued patronage kept Club O viable and kept your values up. Dont disrespect us. Club O is more than money and wood to the majority of owners and guests.

Boy my post doesnt make any sense but neither does the situation. Get Club O rebuilt and open.

Last edited by PelicanPirate; 09/25/2018 09:53 PM.
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Maitre_Jim] #171434
09/26/2018 07:02 AM
09/26/2018 07:02 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,534
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Online content OP
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sxmmartini  Online Content OP
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Long Island, New York
The risk of buying property in the Caribbean is that a percentage of land has a no clear title.
I like to search and find articles about the history of SXM...
Here are a few...
Mr. LAWAETZ was able to acquire title despite the very complicated laws governing inheritance and ownership of property. The entire French section was deeded over from the family of Madame Henri VIALENC and deeds to the Dutch part came from two owners, the BEAUPERTHUY family and a member of the PETERSEN family.
http://www.elitesxm.com/lowlands-history

"To understand the affair, we must go back to January 21, 1861, the day of the death of Pierre-Daniel Beauperthuy. He was the owner of a number of plots of land, mostly located in Orient Bay, French Quarter, and the Dutch part. He had notarized deeds, some of which dated in 1852 and 1854. He died without having organized his estate amongst his six children." more in link below

http://www.soualigapost.com/en/news/5199/justice/why-beauperthuys-saint-martin-have-sprung-action

http://www.soualigapost.com/en/news/5148/justice/some-beauperthuy-heirs-demanded-11-m%E2%82%AC-collectivit%C3%A9


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Maitre_Jim] #171451
09/26/2018 10:38 AM
09/26/2018 10:38 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,116
Virginia
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Jim - appreciate your posts as you certainly know the legal background. Do you think there is a way for Collectivite to pass the legislation necessary to end the Beauperthuy litigation and establish clear titles? Do you know why Collectivite would not try something to enable an end to the mess? Or would it have to be from Paris? It would seem that the economic loss to the Collectivite of just having that land sit as it is for years to come makes no sense. Gibbs seems very motivated by economic considerations - would he not be interested in trying to move this along? Or, is Collectivite just hostage to the litigation?

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171472
09/26/2018 06:00 PM
09/26/2018 06:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 361
Eastern NC, N Topsail Beach
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SXMFOX Offline
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Thanks Jim, excellent explanation. It explains and fills in a lot of missing information! It really sounds like a mess. Thanks again for the explanation.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171474
09/26/2018 06:41 PM
09/26/2018 06:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 148
Unionville, PA
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Maitre_Jim Offline
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One comment about timeshare. There is a reason all the timeshare properties are on the Dutch side, under French law, you have a 30 day cooling off period to change your mind after signing a real estate contract. Timeshare sales require high-pressure sales, fear of loss, no time to really think it over and no ability to bail out if you change your mind (hopefully one of our clients who is a major US timeshare developer will not read this!!!). There is a very good reason that every day I hear a commercial from one company or another who claim to be able to get you out of a timeshare.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Snorkeller] #171477
09/26/2018 06:50 PM
09/26/2018 06:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 148
Unionville, PA
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Maitre_Jim Offline
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Unionville, PA
Great question about a legislative solution to the Beauperthuy issue. That is exactly what the Dutch did after their Supreme Court refused to eliminate the claims of the heirs of the Texas Beauperthuys. Let me add a little piece to the insanity of this case. Under the law of most English based jurisdictions (like the US, Canada etc), the law of adverse possession eventually may change the ownership of land. It does so because the statute of limitations for bringing an action in ejectment is measured in a limited number of years (10 in some states, 21 in PA and others). After this time you simply cannot evict someone who is open, notorious, hostile, exclusive, continuous possession of your land. France has something similar, but it does not apply to people who lost possession by fraud. The Beauperthuy heirs claim their ancestor was defrauded out of his share of the estate because he was in the Republic of Texas.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Maitre_Jim] #171481
09/26/2018 07:58 PM
09/26/2018 07:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,119
Colorado and Sailing the World
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I'm confused about when the Brinks owned the property.

How were the Brinks able to entirely rebuild ClubO after it was destroyed by hurricane Luis in 1995?

Maybe there were no owners other than the Brinks at that time and the Collective approved the rebuilding process?

The Brinks complete rebuilding process was successful and the resort lasted until hurricane Irma destroyed the property again in 2017.

Just curious.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171501
09/27/2018 07:17 AM
09/27/2018 07:17 AM
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Posts: 148
Unionville, PA
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Maitre_Jim Offline
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The Brinks were able to rebuild because there was no fight which prevented the receipt of the insurance proceeds. Remember that even though they owned 40 -45% of the units, they controlled the Co-pro. That was the basis of later court actions.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171503
09/27/2018 07:22 AM
09/27/2018 07:22 AM
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Posts: 148
Unionville, PA
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Maitre_Jim Offline
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Let's get back to what needs to happen. Both sides need to sit down with a mediator and work this out. I am sure the owners feel like they are at the brink (no pun intended) of winning in the courts. If that happens, the logjam will be broken and Club O will rise from the ashes (probably not looking like it did after Luis). If it does not happen soon, French labor law obligations may financially consume the OBC and leave it unable to operate.

Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: sxmmartini] #171504
09/27/2018 08:20 AM
09/27/2018 08:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,534
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Online content OP
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"The State unemployment benefit (chomage) ending on October 31,2018 you either go back to firing everyone at a cost of 2 million euros or you go out of business." "Our payroll used to run at over a quarter of a million euros every month."

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islan...ntends-to-rebuild-says-managing-director


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Mae West
Re: Last posting from Club Orient Management [Re: Maitre_Jim] #171505
09/27/2018 08:20 AM
09/27/2018 08:20 AM
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Posts: 1,119
Colorado and Sailing the World
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Thank you for all your information!

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