In this trying year our exchange company RCI proved a dear friend to our staff and members.
RCI came through generously and promptly, salvaging 2020 for numerous families. Time is the very essence of what we provide – and what we did not have starting mid-March for what was then an indeterminate period. We knew trouble was brewing but the shutdown was sudden and thorough. RCI immediately offered our owners what we could not – time. Time to regroup. Time to be recouped. They let us know they would honor our outbound travelers though we could not receive inbounds. We had neither money nor inventory to make it up to them and they did not ask. In those early hectic days this was a tremendous relief psychologically, financially and scheduling wise.
Freed from that potential additional stress and strain, we contacted owners by phone, week by week, well into the summer season. We had to let them know we were closed with no guaranteed opening date, but there was good news to avoid losing their time. RCI allowed non-members and lapsed members to join and gave them exchange opportunities despite us not having space in return.
We have a recent widow with two April weeks who was not an RCI member. Between the sadness of the loss, and now the virus, she was not anxious to tackle joining RCI. It all seemed overwhelming. Despite being new to “banking” and “exchanging”, with a little encouragement from our staff, she got on the phone with RCI and got it done, on her own. She just spent two weeks with us in September thanks to RCI, on dates spanning her anniversary.
With help from RCI and the outreach from the resort she recouped all her time with relative ease in the very same year. And it’s worth noting, for those willing and able to travel, there have been tremendous bargains far below their typical credits or points. Even our new enrollees have booked very lucrative destinations at very enticing prices.
The hundreds of conversations our tiny staff had, offering a patient and knowledgeable guide through the process of joining and using RCI was a benefit to the owners and therefore the overall health of the resort. When you’re sequestered for months as some people were, these calls from the resort were often a welcome “pick me up” in a time when much of what you are exposed to is negative. Just a conversation with someone you know, or who knows your resort and wants to help can make a person’s day. And it appears that having time to ponder plans and staff communication leads to people thinking about their changing vacation needs. Despite an eight week closure and various uncertainties this year, both resorts are having banner years for resale activity. The resale function is another very important component of keeping the resort healthy.
“We’re all in this together” is a common phrase this year. By working closely with RCI and communicating with our owners, we were able to keep the resort viable, and even in difficult circumstances, not lose the time so many consider so valuable.
Tim Nolan, President
Las Olas Beach Club, Satellite Beach, Florida
Las Olas Beach Club of Cocoa Beach