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Orient Beach and Club O #188106
03/21/2019 02:56 PM
03/21/2019 02:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,983
Southport, North Carolina, US
candj Offline OP
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I am sure there is a thread on this but I couldn't find it; What is the status of Club O? Is there any signs or word on progress to rebuild?


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Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188112
03/21/2019 03:20 PM
03/21/2019 03:20 PM
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Hello Candy (or is it Candj?) ... Was there just two weeks ago and posted my reports of our SXM vacation last week on this forum. But, rather sending you hunting for those posts let me give you my eyewitness report. Club O. is no more in terms of a physical place. It was destroyed 18 months ago and it essentially lays in ruins today. This was so sad to see. About half of the individual cabins are still standing, but have been gutted and are most likely beyond repair. Others were flattened by Hurricane Irma and are just piles of debris. And, some others are just gone with just the footprint of where a cabin once was. At the southern end of Orient Beach the restaurant Papagayo has also been destroyed and should be roped off from curious bystanders because it looks like the roof is about to collapse at any time. No work at all was being done here, and what really is needed is a complete bulldozing of the former structures here and a rebuild from the ground up.

When will this be rebuilt? I have no idea, but some others on this forum may have updates that they can share. But, it doesn't appear to be any time soon.

However, all is not lost! The clothing-optional beach is alive and well and had many visitors the two different days we were there. The yellow umbrellas were flying proudly in the breeze, and people were in various groups talking and laughing just like before. On our last day there my wife and I decided to eat lunch at the new Perch Bar & Grill and support the local business man named Cedric who helped resurrect this place. It was just great! For $26 USD we hot two huge cheeseburger platters with fries an drinks. And, the burgers were delicious and cooked to perfection. Every table was taken at 12:30 that afternoon, and I would guess that 70 percent of the guests dined without clothing. Nearby other folks were playing a three-on-three volleyball game in the buff and having a great time.

In all honesty if you can avoid looking and staring at where the cabins once stood and at Papagayo (just turn your backs), and focus on what is there now and enjoy the people dedicated to this area, the same feeling is there as it was when Club Orient was open. This is just my take on it, and my wife's as well. I wish I had photos I can share with you, but I don't take my phone to the beach and suggested to my wife to keep her phone tucked away in her tote bag. Hope this helps!

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188113
03/21/2019 03:23 PM
03/21/2019 03:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,749
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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The actual status of Club O is NO STATUS. Nothing really being done to reconstruct the resort. A very sad state of affairs there. The beach is still beautiful but the Club O resort is non existent!



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Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: islandgem] #188173
03/21/2019 10:13 PM
03/21/2019 10:13 PM
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Things have been “radio silence” for months. That could be nothing or guessing maybe a sign of progress from those involved in trying to deal with the dissident owners are making some sort of progress and dont want to upset things yapping to us.

If so, stay quiet and get somewhere asap.

But, the beach is open and the view and shade from a yellow umbrella as good as ever.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188192
03/22/2019 06:11 AM
03/22/2019 06:11 AM
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Been on the Cub O beach this week. Cedric and his guys just ROCK!!! Also noticed one of the dissident couples sitting back against the tree line by the Perch lite. Oh I wanted to say a few things, but behaved....

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188234
03/22/2019 10:04 AM
03/22/2019 10:04 AM
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It does indeed rock! I'm curious about one thing, however. How was this particular couple dissident on the day you were there? Were they refusing to believe Club O. was gone and sitting there like all was well with the former place? Or, were they behaving in a manner contrary to the way people should behave in this area? Just a bit curious. On the days we visited everyone was just great and having a good time with or without clothing on.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188237
03/22/2019 10:21 AM
03/22/2019 10:21 AM
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They were behaving fine..... it was just knowing that they are one of the ten owners that are holding up the rebuild, and have cost the fantastic staff their jobs, that bothered all of us.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188255
03/22/2019 11:27 AM
03/22/2019 11:27 AM
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Thanks. It really bothers me, too. All those nice people who worked there ... what a shame. One thing I always seem to notice both during the Club O. years and today is that there are far more people smiling and enjoying themselves on the clothing-optional section of Orient Beach. Places like Kontiki and Bikini Beach are fun, too. But, rarely do you see someone not having a good time on the lower beach. I do believe Club O. will return someday, or something similar to it. Here's hoping.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188553
03/24/2019 05:51 PM
03/24/2019 05:51 PM
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Michigan
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When we were on the island in mid February I talked to several owners. They said the owners run the place not the defunct management company. Almost all the owners have clear title and the money to rebuild. I was told it "will happen" shortly after a settlement.
Club O was the largest private employer on the French side.

Last edited by Clifford; 03/24/2019 05:52 PM.
Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Clifford] #188555
03/24/2019 06:08 PM
03/24/2019 06:08 PM
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Clifford---This is a very complicated situation, but my understanding that basically NO ONE has clear title to the land where Club O is (was??). Pretty sure that's what was posted here by Maitre' Jim, who I believe is a lawyer involved with some of the owners. Something about some heirs from over a hundred years ago? Don't remember the details, but apparently a real mess. I think that is part of the problem. Or, that's what I've read. ...which could be incorrect.


Carol Hill
Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Carol_Hill] #188575
03/24/2019 09:52 PM
03/24/2019 09:52 PM
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The title situation is complicated, but it is unrelated to the delay in rebuilding.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188580
03/24/2019 10:33 PM
03/24/2019 10:33 PM
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Jenni ... I know you have covered this extensively in the past, but just what's it going to take to get things moving with this? It's such a black eye for this area. With more visitors returning this winter and spring in greater numbers it's long past the time to clean this area up and at minimum begin to layout plans for a new and improved Club O. Let me put it this way ... if there are three things that had to happen right now what would they be in order of importance? If you don't care to answer this again I fully understand, but it was difficult to see this once thriving area laying there in a state of total ruin earlier this month. Thanks for all your input!

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188582
03/24/2019 11:46 PM
03/24/2019 11:46 PM
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From what I saw, there are about 50 buildings that are intact and level. They would need renovations and the supporting infrastructure (water, sewer, and power). That would be a great start to getting club O in the right direction. Not sure why there is such red tape with the rebuild, but whatever they do, the controlling entity should be set up properly so this ridiculous situation is not repeated in the future when the next inevitable storm occurs. Just my $.02


Last edited by dannan; 03/24/2019 11:47 PM.
Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: PnPinNC] #188586
03/25/2019 03:14 AM
03/25/2019 03:14 AM
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I was told there were 11 but whatever the number I suppose it is better that they are visiting and realizing the state of the beloved reaort and probably wishing they didnt have to get in the rental car and go “home” and wishing they could have dinner at Papagayo and wishing they could get up in the morning and get pastries at the Boutique.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: PelicanPirate] #188593
03/25/2019 07:02 AM
03/25/2019 07:02 AM
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Ordinarily, I would agree with you.. however... The dissident owners have been getting in their cars and staying somewhere else for years... ever since they lost the last round and had all of their utility hookups removed from their units, and were restricted from Papagayos, Perch and Boutique... This is a long running problem with these people.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: SammyM] #188636
03/25/2019 01:19 PM
03/25/2019 01:19 PM
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The simplest (and yet apparently hardest) thing would be for the hold-out to stop holding out, drop their lawsuits and allow the insurance company to pay out the proceeds. Second would be for the courts to rule in the Owners' favor (this has been an ongoing process for years; unfortunately the court system is typically slow), and finally maybe if some laws regarding homeowner ship and co-op rules to change (which might move the previous legal process along faster).

I suppose if someone were to win the lottery they could always front the owners the funds. I got my Powerball ticket already! banana

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188641
03/25/2019 02:12 PM
03/25/2019 02:12 PM
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Thanks for your response. Obviously not impossible, but I'm not holding my breath. Until such time that adults begin acting like adults my wife and I will still return to Orient Beach on future visits. And, I'll still swim here and eat lunch at the Perch like always. What was really interesting is that when we visited earlier this month, and when talking to people on the clothing-optional section of the beach, they were actually asking me about places to stay in the nearby area! So, as the various hotels come back (i.e., Palm Court this summer) those dedicated to this area will have more choices and that's a good thing.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: SammyM] #188642
03/25/2019 02:21 PM
03/25/2019 02:21 PM
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Yep, fortunately people keep coming to the beach and the owners are helping Cedric keep up the "beachfront" so that there will be customers when
they do rebuild! smile

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: jenniboston] #188652
03/25/2019 03:39 PM
03/25/2019 03:39 PM
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Texas
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Jenni,
Thanks for the insight. Have never clearly understood what the beef is by the “dissidents”. Can you shed any light on what the exact issue is with the “hold outs” and their lawsuit?

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Sun4MnM] #188659
03/25/2019 04:06 PM
03/25/2019 04:06 PM
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I can't speak for them (and have no interest in doing so, frankly) I will have to let them weigh in if they so see fit.

I will express my opinion; due to habitation laws put in place after Irma they're not going to get what they want, and
they're just delaying things now out of spite. Again, just my opinion.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188679
03/25/2019 05:31 PM
03/25/2019 05:31 PM
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Posts: 1,983
Southport, North Carolina, US
candj Offline OP
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So basically nothing has changed since we were there last December, what a waste.


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SSN691-May She Ever Prowl The Seas in Defense of Human Freedom!
SSN787-Preserving Peace, Prepared for War
Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188704
03/25/2019 08:51 PM
03/25/2019 08:51 PM
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Unionville, PA
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TITLE
Some of the owners have good title. That is because Maitre Mouiel, the notaire, passed on their titles and the deeds were recorded before the Beauperthuy suit that started in the 1980s (or maybe early in 1990 I have tried to forget it). After the suit was filed the notaire could not pass on titles.

Let me give you a specific example that deals with one of the units which is now a hole in the ground filled with water and pieces of concrete (unit 50). Unit 50 was conveyed by recorded deed from Brink to William and Eva Schertzer. Bill was a brilliant engineer who designed the electric, water and sewer systems. Bill died and shortly thereafter so did Eva. There was great resistance on the part of the notaire to the transfer of a recorded deed to their daughter. We found a loophole in the Code Civil which permitted this (after two or three trips to the island to argue and countless phone calls). That daughter agreed to sell the unit to Dr. Renee Epper and Elisabeth Epper. Their deed was never recorded. They both died and their interests passed, again by non-public documents to their son Martin and, I believe his sister. The result: the record title is still in the name of the Schertzer's daughter and the Eppers hold a piece of paper.

THE DISPUTE
We became friends with Martin Epper during 1990s fight with the Brinks. Before the hurricane I reached out to the opposition group and offered to act as a neutral mediator. At the same time I spoke with the then President of the homeowners group who indicated a willingness to sit down and mediate. (Remember mediation is not like arbitration. The mediator simply tries to facilitate conversation between the parties designed to help them reach their own settlement). Owner Paul Dietterich replied, on October 27, 2016, to my offer as follows "Thank you for your message, your good intentions, and your generous offer of assistance. Our group has a new attorney, a specialist in copropriete law. She has developed plans that appear to be very strong, both for our case and for the resolution of the conflict. So at this moment we are following her lead."

After that message we have had the destruction of the resort, and no word from any judge. Perhaps the lawsuits continue to crawl along. Perhaps the parties are talking. As I have said many times the best thing would be for the parties to engage in mediation. Let me give you the #1 reason: Other than Martin Epper, the opposition group are all in their social security years. Some, like Paul and his wife are in their 80s. We can all imagine that after age 70, delaying something by 3 to 5 years, will feel very different than it did at age 45. I would imagine the opposition group is not out buying 20 year bonds.

I am still willing to act as a mediator between the groups. I don't have a dog in the fight. Perhaps with the passage of time the opportunity to mediate might be more interesting to both groups. I know both groups are represented on this board. Is it possible someone will see the light and want to sit down. Has it occurred to anyone that the new building code will change the face of the resort forever? Why not use that fact as a catalyst to bring the resort up from the ashes better than ever.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Maitre_Jim] #188720
03/26/2019 08:26 AM
03/26/2019 08:26 AM
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New Fairfield, CT
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Tonythepilot Online content
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Jim,
Still not sure what the dispute is. Does Schertzer's daughter still claim ownership of the unit even though it was sold by her parents?
Tony

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Maitre_Jim] #188723
03/26/2019 08:56 AM
03/26/2019 08:56 AM
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Jim--thanks for posting.


Carol Hill
Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188731
03/26/2019 10:00 AM
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Thank you for your detailed explanation of this complicated situation. And, I thought my late father's job was difficult! He was a staff representative for the AFL-CIO who negotiated labor contracts between management and the work force in western PA, but after reading all this I'm not sure mediation or negotiations are going to bring the necessary results with the Club O. situation. I honestly don't understand how the French government works, but to me some level of increased intervention on their part appears necessary. Just curious if a similar situation like this occurred on the French Riviera (i.e., St. Tropez) would the government's level of interest be any different? Just wondering.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Maitre_Jim] #188788
03/26/2019 04:45 PM
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Wow. Thanks for the info.

As someone who has inherited entangled property divided multiple ways it is an atrocity to not deal with that entanglement while you are alive and to divide the problem and give it to your children to resolve. I would bet most of those kids, unless die hard Club O addicts would rather have cash that they can do what they want with.

For any of these folks who are fighting the cause against the other owners and literally to your death, you are doing a disservice to your heirs/children to have to mop up a mess. Dealing with straight forward stuff in the USA is painful and stresses your heirs.

Convert your mess to cash and move on.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188804
03/26/2019 08:15 PM
03/26/2019 08:15 PM
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Unionville, PA
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I think Schertzer's daughter would love to own a unit in a functioning resort. On the other hand, she is a woman of honor and would not dream of going back on her word. As for the nature of the dispute, I have never been able to fully understand all the issues.

I believe there are some who believe they fought their way out of being trapped in a hotel operation with the Brinks so they could own and occupy their units without have to place them in a rental pool or have them involved in a hotel. The other group I believe sees to removal of the units from the rental pool as the one impediment to have a hotel running in the black. Some suggest a system that pools the rentals and divides the money equally by type of home does not create an incentive to spending money to upgrade over the basic uncomfortable furniture. If you do spend more for a unit closer to the beach and fix it up, it will be more in demand and less available to use, but it will generate the same income as a less desirable unit. For others the issue may be a simple as "I am sick of the cold in Chicago and I want to spend the entire winter in the sun not being bothered with hotel issues." I am rambling because it is really hard to figure out the real issue. Like I said yesterday, for some of these owners, when you are in your 80s, a solution that might come in 5 or 6 years will feel a lot different to you than it would to a 45 year old.

One thing I do know from practicing law for 44 years, many people suffer from a disease which causes them to believe they are 100% correct and everyone else is crazy. This disease causes people to dig deeper into their trenches and pay more and more to their lawyers to wage war. These people have one thing in common, the have never read The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu says never go to war, instead spend time building a golden bridge upon which you enemy may retreat. (Give the other guy a way out with HONOR). Oh back to the disease. Its name "cranial anal inversion."

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188833
03/27/2019 08:51 AM
03/27/2019 08:51 AM
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New Fairfield, CT
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To me the obvious simple solution would be for the majority to buy out the units of the dissenters, rebuild the complex, and then resell the units. However I'm sure that has been tried. I bet some would refuse to sell at any price just out of spite.
The money received from the sale by the dissenting owners could buy many winters away from Chicago in an operating unit.
So now the rest of us wait until they die????

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188852
03/27/2019 10:02 AM
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Nope. I'm not waiting until they die. In the future I'll get an AirBnB in Orient Village (or stay at one of the hotels), and I refuse to let this nonsense stop me. I'll spend even more time on the beach, eat at the Perch Bar & Grill, try to convince the people I meet north of the 'rocks' to check out the c/o side, and try not to look back at the destruction. If this is going to be the hand we are dealt we'll deal with it accordingly.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Maitre_Jim] #188882
03/27/2019 01:37 PM
03/27/2019 01:37 PM
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Is it a legitimate concern that the property is ultimately sold to an unrelated third party developer and the current C/O status is removed? I guess otherwise perhaps the resort goes the way of Mullet Beach and stays in an unrepaired state for many years to come.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188885
03/27/2019 02:46 PM
03/27/2019 02:46 PM
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Sarasota, Florida
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I sincerely hope that they are able to decipher the title issues however based on what we've seen in the past from the French government I would believe that it won't be done in the near future.

Title of the property is very important and most of us on this forum are from USA and/or Canada where clear title is the only way we can transfer ownership.

I am not an attorney but I would assume there has to be some sort of statute of limitations in regard to heirs filing suit. I know I would never buy real property without clear title.

We all are basing our thoughts and viewpoints from our home country and a lot of what goes on in other countries just flabbergast many of us. I hope they can work it out without letting egos and biases take over.



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Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188902
03/27/2019 08:24 PM
03/27/2019 08:24 PM
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Unionville, PA
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One would think there would be a statute of limitations. In the US and Canada, the concept of adverse possession is based on the statute of limitations for bringing an action to eject someone trespassing on your property. But France is a different universe. The Beauperthuy claim comes from the 1860s. Under French law, the failure to distribute the property to Beauperthuy's heir, who was lost in the Republic of Texas, was considered a fraud on that man and his countless heirs. In the case of fraud, there is not such thing as a statute of limitations. There is not even a requirement to get the litigation moving. It has been the works for thirty years with no real movement. It sounds like a laxative might be useful!

Some of you may recall my comments right after the hurricane. I said it would be a perfect time for a legislative solution to clear the title issues. After all, when the Dutch Supreme Court upheld the Beauperthuy heirs claims on the Dutch side (which included the entire airport), the legislature took almost no time passing a law saying the Courts are nuts and the Beauperthuy heirs are out of luck. The problem is St. Martin is no longer a part of a departament (a state). It is a commune and of less interest to anyone in Paris. I suspect a change of this magnitude would require action in Paris.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: xraylady] #188953
03/28/2019 04:01 PM
03/28/2019 04:01 PM
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Xraylady from what I learned, the beaches are public, so I’d assume that regardless of the resort changing hands, the clothing optional use would be able to continue.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: candj] #188960
03/28/2019 05:28 PM
03/28/2019 05:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 328
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SammyM Offline
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SammyM  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 328
You are correct, Mark. The beaches are public, and the southern end of Orient Beach is now and will likely remain clothing-optional for a long, long time. At least that remains in place.

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: Maitre_Jim] #188996
03/29/2019 08:46 AM
03/29/2019 08:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,190
Long Island, New York
sxmmartini Offline
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sxmmartini  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 6,190
Long Island, New York
Originally Posted by Maitre_Jim
One would think there would be a statute of limitations. In the US and Canada, the concept of adverse possession is based on the statute of limitations for bringing an action to eject someone trespassing on your property. But France is a different universe. The Beauperthuy claim comes from the 1860s. Under French law, the failure to distribute the property to Beauperthuy's heir, who was lost in the Republic of Texas, was considered a fraud on that man and his countless heirs. In the case of fraud, there is not such thing as a statute of limitations. There is not even a requirement to get the litigation moving. It has been the works for thirty years with no real movement. It sounds like a laxative might be useful!

Some of you may recall my comments right after the hurricane. I said it would be a perfect time for a legislative solution to clear the title issues. After all, when the Dutch Supreme Court upheld the Beauperthuy heirs claims on the Dutch side (which included the entire airport), the legislature took almost no time passing a law saying the Courts are nuts and the Beauperthuy heirs are out of luck. The problem is St. Martin is no longer a part of a departament (a state). It is a commune and of less interest to anyone in Paris. I suspect a change of this magnitude would require action in Paris.


The Beauperthy family owned much of Orient but the French Government slowly took it away. Club Orient was all illegally built from the beginning. boohoo

Re: Orient Beach and Club O [Re: sxmmartini] #189097
03/29/2019 08:41 PM
03/29/2019 08:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 148
Unionville, PA
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Maitre_Jim Offline
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Maitre_Jim  Offline
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Unionville, PA
Actually the deed to Reint Brink came from Madame Fleming (mother of politician Louis Constant Fleming), who used to live in the large house on the right just before you arrive at the traffic circle coming into Marigot on Rue D'Holland, She was a Beauperthuy.


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