If you’re an owner at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa, you have probably already received communication from the company giving you an update on the state of the resort and repairs. The Westgate fire was devastating to the resort, though some buildings did escape the blaze.
However, having your timeshare resort almost completely destroyed by a fire can definitely make you nervous. How will this affect your ownership? Will you be asked to pay extra fees, in the form of special assessments?
Westgate tried to head off any nervousness by sending out an email to address the most pressing concerns of owners. From the email:
“While many buildings were destroyed by the wildfire, Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort has the necessary insurance in place to cover this damage. Please be assured your timeshare equity is protected because your property will be rebuilt to an even better standard than before. We will start reconstruction of the damaged units immediately and will utilize every resource available to us to complete that process as quickly as possible. In fact, our construction team is already in place and we have sourced the materials needed to start the reconstruction effort. The good news is that most of the resort core, including the original check-in center, Lodge 1000, waterpark, fitness center and swimming pool are intact, as well as 352 units in and around the resort core. Our goal is to have the main resort open within 30 days.”
While it’s certainly true that the resort was insured, rebuilding a resort with upgrades is NOT cheap. And any extra fees that are incurred during the rebuilding can be pushed onto owners in the form of “special assessment” fees. Though a spokesperson for Westgate told the Orlando Sentinel that owners aren’t being asked to pay extra fees now, that may change as the construction process continues. It is included in every timeshare contract that owners can be asked to pay these special assessment fees.
Regardless, you WILL be asked to pay your Westgate maintenance fees throughout the construction, and those fees will probably rise again this year as they have every year before.
Hopefully the Westgate fire will not become a nightmare for owners.
If you’re interested in talking to a timeshare expert about your timeshare and how the Westgate fire might affect your ownership, give Castle Law Group a call at 844-578-4866.