As China’s economy grows and its government accepts greater amounts of its people to leave its shores and explore the world, Chinese-born tourists are causing hotel rates to rise across Europe.
“Where you’re seeing a big pickup in (revenue per available room) is in cities where the Chinese have an influence and are traveling, because they fill the lower end of hotels and then the whole toothpaste tube fills – from the bottom up,” according to Starwood Property Trust CEO Barry Sternlicht.
Chinese travelers’ favorite destinations include Rome, Barcelona and London. They are driving all lodging business upwards; not staying at budget places either, increasingly choosing 5-star hotel rooms.
The recent recession hit Americans and Europeans hard, but not so much the Chinese. They are buying cars at record rates, and traveling the world like never before. China’s emergence as an economic superpower is “changing the dynamics of this market,” Sternlicht continued.
With the recent release of Mitt Romney’s tax information, the disclosure that he has $100 million available in his Individual Retirement Account (IRA) was surprising to some. But prodigious investors saving for the future are looking at IRA’s in a whole new light and exploring the many options they offer.
IRAs began in 1974 as an act of Congress. There are several different types all with different tax benefits. For example, the SIMPLE IRA requires an employer to match employee contributions dollar for dollar, similar to a 401K. The Roth IRA, started in 1997, will have no tax impact on the user. All monies invested here will not be subject to taxes.
IRAs can have a diversified portfolio. Investments in land, business or charities can all be a part. What is illegal is using your IRA before it matures or before you turn 59.5 years old. For example, using a timeshare that’s in your IRA; using a hotel room that your IRA has stock in; or taking a vacation in a rental car from a company that’s listed in your IRA. Financial advisors issue these warnings to prospective buyers:
Keep your paper work. There are articles of organization, investor agreements and a secretary of state certificate. The IRS audits IRA’s once a year, and the custodian keeps these audits on file.
Learn your tax rules. Any prohibited transaction can render your entire IRA taxable and also subject you to a 10% penalty if you’re under 59.5 years old. As I wrote earlier, don’t self-deal, which includes buying, selling or leasing an asset to or from your IRA, such as a timeshare.
Know your providers. There are the state-regulated banks and private ones. They also tend to charge higher fees than 401K providers.
The world’s largest Legoland, LEGOLAND Florida, is offering new deals and promotions to entice people to visit them this summer. At 150 acres, it is the world’s largest Legoland, and since it opened in October of last year it’s also the newest. As 2012 will be their first full summer, they want to make a big splash for their inaugural busy season.
Much like a G-rated movie, the park is marketed to kids and their families. On May 26th they will open their Water Park, and new rollercoasters will also open over the summer. There are 50 rides already, with different ones aimed at adults, big kids and small children. The Duplo brand is obviously aimed at the smallest children.
Adults will like the “Island in the Sky” ride, where a rotating platform rises 150 feet into the air and gives you a view of central Florida from 15 stories up. They should also enjoy much of Florida’s first theme park, Cypress Gardens, as many acres of it were preserved. The teenage crowd may enjoy videogames at home however, as very few rides are aimed towards them. Of course the big draw for all is all the inspired ideas one can do with Legos. The Studio City store has a life-sized Lego Darth Vader in front of it, and there are Lego recreations of Tampa and New York’s skylines. There aren’t any plans for a Legoland Resort or Timeshare business yet but we’ll keep you updated.
One-Day adult passes are $75 and kids/seniors are $65, but buying online will take $7 off those prices. Further discounts can be found by buying in groups of 15 or annually.
1 Legoland Way,
Winter Haven, Florida 33884
Vail Resorts already owns the Northstar California and Heavenly Mountain Resorts. They are looking at numerous other properties around the western United States in order to further expand their business. Effective immediately, pass holders at Northstar and Heavenly Mountain will be able to use the Kirkwood facilities. It will be the smallest of Vail Resort’s ski resort properties. A limited number of rooms at Kirkwood are dedicated to timeshares. Kirkwood is about 35 miles south of Lake Tahoe.
OwnAmerica, a collection of real estate experts, has launched an ongoing online survey asking people about their experiences investing, which investments are the smartest, and which ones yield the highest returns.
81.6% of respondents who have invested in real estate said they made money, and the same amount expect real estate values will “definitely” appreciate over the next 10 years.
The survey represents a trend that investors are fed up with Wall Street stocks and now believe in something much more tangible. Their past experience and future outlook backs up their claims. One thing proposed as an investment but is actually a huge waste of money are timeshares. Here at Transfer Smart, we believe people should spend their money the way they want to, and not continue to waste money on poor investments like timeshares.
“The unique nature of this market today has created a perfect scenario for investors — dropping prices and rising rents,” says Gregory Rand, OwnAmerica CEO. “As a result, there are hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S. that have become positive cash flow markets, meaning the rents exceed the costs to own. Investors can buy, earn double digit returns just on the rent and gain the appreciation when it comes.”
As of this writing the survey was still open and can be found here.
Let’s say you live in perhaps the densest concrete jungle in the world, New York City. You have a small studio apartment located on the 100th floor of a high-rise building. There’s hardly enough space in there for your desk, but in your heart you wish you could throw a barbecue, complete with tiki torches and a slip-n’-slide, with all of your friends laughing and drinking around the grill.
Well now you can. At 145 Ludlow Street, New York, New York, you can throw the backyard grill party of your nature-loving dreams. Dubbed a Backyard Timeshare, a group called The Participation Agency will rent out an empty patch of land right in the heart of the city to you for the low price of $50/hour.
However, just like at a movie theatre, you can’t bring your own treats. The slip-n’-slide rental will cost you a flat $100, a grill built to serve 10 people is $150, a kiddie pool is $200, and having a live band play will cost a whopping five grand. You’re also capped to no more than thirty people total, and your party must stop at 8pm. Renters will also have to buy all food from the company.
A backyard timeshare sounds like fun, but it won’t carry a lifetime contract. Resort timeshares do, and if you want to get out of yours, Transfer Smart is here to help. Contact us today and inquire about our In-Writing Guarantee.
A class-action suit was filed in San Francisco last Thursday claiming Shell Vacations charged thousands of dollars for “points” sold on Ebay for $1.
Shell Vacations Club, which has resorts all over the United States and Canada, was charged with false advertising and scamming consumers.They claimed timeshares were purchased at a “fixed cost,” there were “thousands of dollars in hidden fees” and “price increases.”
Plaintiffs purchased 2,500 points they thought they could use towards vacations all over the United States at the many SVC resorts, at a price of $14,224. They then found Ebay links to 9,700 points for $1.
Upon further internet research, a complaint from a consumer not familiar with the case read: “In the next 10 years we will be paying $50,000 to go on vacation 10 times, and that only covers the condo, not airfare, etc,” one man wrote on an online complaint forum, according to the complaint. “How is that a great investment?” Another complaint cited “”one unpleasant surprise after another” and “many lies and conveniently concealed information.”
The plaintiffs seek damages for breach of contract, breach of faith, fraud, false promises deceptive business practices and negligent misrepresentation.
Transfer Smart is the only company that can get you out of a timeshare contract with a legal, 100% In-Writing Guarantee. No one else can do that, no one. Contact Transfer Smart today.
In the first time since economic downturn of 2008-2009, the travel industry is growing. Travel and tourism is being called one of the healthiest job sectors in the United States, getting back to the peak seen in 2007.
Many things drive the industry, but at its base are international travelers visit the United States, which supports 1/8th of the travel jobs. Domestic travel supports the rest.
Hotel occupancy in 2009 was at 55%, almost the lowest since the Depression. Occupancy in 2012 is projected to climb to 61%, showing a 10% growth in two years.
The travel industry is not only important to the obvious benefactors like resorts and airlines, but to an entire supply chain. Aircraft have to be built by one company, fueled by another, maintained by another.
Most service industry workers make more than minimum wage. The national average wage for a housekeeper Is $10. During the first six months of last year, the travel industry increased its workforce by 16,000 per month. Total employment has gone up by 224,000 jobs since December 2009.
“It really didn’t turn out to be a tour,” D’Errico said.
Instead, he was invited to a high-pressure shark-tankesque sales pitch involving multiple timeshare salesmen. They offered him a timeshare for $25,000 and didn’t tell him about yearly maintenance fees or special assessment fees. After hours of haggling, Sedona dropped the price to $17,000. D’Errico signed and now says he can’t afford the over a $1,000 a year in additional fees. “My pension is like $9,800 a year,” he said. “So that doesn’t give you a whole heck of a lot.”
The company currently has 53 complaints lodged against them and an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau. Arizona law allows the purchaser seven days to reneg on their timeshare contract, something D’Errico didn’t do. He has now filed a lawsuit against the company.
Don’t go through what Mr. D’Errico is going through. Transfer Smart will get you out of your timeshare contract forever with a written guarantee. Contact us today.
Steven Wynn, the billionaire co-founder of Wynn Resorts, is getting sued by Kazuo Okada, the man who helped him start his company.
This comes less than three years after his messy 2009 divorce with wife Elaine Wynn. That resulted in her owning half of his shares in Wynn Resorts.
On January 11th Okada filed a case in Clark County, Nevada demanding access to the company’s financial records. He claims the company donated $135 million to the University of Macao, which Okada said was politically motivated.
The donation is the largest ever made in the history of any company listed on the Hong Kong stock market.
According to Okada, he spearheaded Wynn’s lucrative mood to Macau, a former Portuguese colony on China’s mainland near Hong Kong.
Mr. Okada alleges the real purpose of the large gift is a renewal of Wynn’s gaming license with the protectorate.
Mr. Wynn’s lawyers claim this is merely a money grab my Mr. Okada, who was fired from the resort’s board October 2011.
In 2008, Mr. Okada sought to open a casino in the Philippines on his own. Wynn fought bitterly against the proposal, saying it would take business away from
Macao is the fastest growing casino market in the world. In 2002 its gambling revenues totaled $2.8 billion; last year they were $33.5 billion — more than three times the revenues in all of Nevada.
Wynn’s official press release regarding the matter can be found here. Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau regularly receive A-list celebrities and hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Okada is the already the highest percentage shareholder of Wynn Resorts at 20%. Wynn Resorts was up one cent to $39.89 during daily trading as of the time of this posting.
Transfer Smart will never let you down. If you qualify, we will get you out of your timeshare contract with a 100% In –Writing Guarantee.