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 Post subject: February, 2013
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:54 am
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FEBRUARY lst, 2013

Dear Members,

Aruba’s Fifty-Ninth Carnival Season is well underway and to those already here or arriving the early part of February, welcome and we hope you will enjoy the remaining happenings.

OFFICIAL HOLIDAY:
Please note that February 11th, Carnival Monday is an official holiday on the island and as a result of this most businesses on the island will be closed. Housekeeping service will be provided same as our Sunday Housekeeping service.

REMINDERS TO ARRIVING GUESTS:

• Should your plans include renting a vehicle during your vacation time, please always lock your doors and close all windows securely, be sure to park your vehicle in a safe, well lighted, parking area, and leave nothing of value in your car when unattended.
• Refrigerators – A reminder to arriving guests to check the Temperature setting of your refrigerator. The Club is not responsible for items stored at improper setting.
• Also, as a safety precaution, check the knobs on your stove/oven to ensure they are in the off position when not in use.
• Balcony doors are required to be closed at all times, for occupants own security and also for the prevention of mold and mildew in units. Open doors also works against the optimal functioning of our Air-Conditioning system.

FRIENDS OF THE HANDICAPPED: This year again Friends of the Handicapped are planning their usual fund-raising Sweethearts Dinner Dance which will be held on Thursday, February 14th 2013 in the Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel. The evening will start with a Cocktail Hour (Open Bar) at 7:00 p.m. following by a sit-down Dinner with live music. Cost per ticket is $90 per person, available at the following locations:

Casa del Mar (Executive Office ask for Anouchka)
Radisson Hotel (Concierge)
Art Stark – Cell Phone 567-4102 or 586-3273
Dave – Cell Phone 568-8199

Your contribution to the Friends of the Handicapped Foundation will support worthy causes in the local community.

AIRPORT ROUNDABOUT:
The long-awaited improvements to the roadways surrounding the airport opened on December 21, 2012 with the opening of Aruba’s first “Spiral Roundabout”. Local authorities are asking drivers to be sure to feed in the right lane when they approach it and not try changing lanes if they are not in the correct lane, but rather go around again. There is visible signage to indicate which lane to take wherever direction you may be taking.

TRAM:
As soon as some new traffic laws, that in fact were omitted, can take effect, the trolley will be traveling through Main Street creating a new experience for all visitors, as well as local shoppers. When it is finally up and running it will do a loop from the cruise ship terminal and follow through to the downtown area. A nice addition to the improvements our island is making to its tourist business.

SECURITY – Pool & Beach Policy: No towels can be placed on pool or beach chairs/lounges before 6 AM. Any towels or items placed before 6 AM will be removed by Security. At 6 AM ABC towels (green towels) can be placed. At 8 AM CDM towels (blue and white towels) can be placed. CDM towels placed before 8 AM will be removed. No hut can be left unattended for more than 2 hours. Any huts that are not used within a 2-hour period the possessions of that hut will be gathered by Security. Returning occupants can retrieve their items at the towel station or Security hut (depending on the time of day). There will be no towel sweep if there are still empty huts available at 6:00 A.M.

HOUSEKEEPING: In order to limit beach towel damage which has increased considerably over the past year, We have instituted a new policy. Guests are requested to check their beach towels as received at the Beach Towel Station, and again, when returning, beach towels will be checked for damage. The Guest will be charged for any damage to their beach towels.

POLICY ON ISSUING OF BEACH TOWELS TO NON-IN HOUSE MEMBERS: One of the benefits of our non-in house ABC Members is to make use of the facilities outside of their owned interval week. The use of pool and beach is the most used facility and beach towels are signed for but not always returned. This creates a shortage of towels for the in house Members and Guests and therefore we are forced to implement a procedure which will accommodate everyone without any inconvenience.

As of immediately, ABC Owners/Co-Owners who are going to make use of the pool and beach outside of their owned interval week (non-in house Members) will have to pass at the Front Desk and show their membership card together with a valid Picture Identification Card. After the Front Desk has validated your membership, you will receive a day pass to sign and to obtain beach towels the same day. These must be returned at the Beach Towel Station on or before 6:00 PM. However, for any valid reason you did not return the beach towels to the Towel Station by 6:00 PM, you must return the towels each day to the Front Desk before leaving the ABC property. Non-compliance to this rule, ABC Members will be held financially responsible for towels not returned or damaged. A $25.00-charge per towel will be added to your membership account.

Moreover, we want to reiterate that your Membership Card is non-transferable. Only ABC owners and co-owners have the right to receive beach towels outside their interval week (s).

RESERVATIONS - Reminder re Private Rentals: When placing a week/unit in Club’ Rental Program and also placing an Ad on the Rentals/Exchanges Page of Club’s Website, Member may withdraw his week/unit from the Rental Program, in writing, at any time, as long as it was not rented by the Club. Adherence to this procedure is required to avoid double rental of a week/unit by the Club and by the Member. Authorization forms, Guest of Member and Rental Program, are available under members section of Club’s website.

MEMBER OPTIONS FOR USE OF ASSIGNED WEEK/UNIT:

• Use as scheduled.
• Send guests to use (Authorization form available on Club’s website).
• Spacebank with Exchange Company – RCI or Interval International. NOTE: Prepayment of Club Dues on the corresponding week/unit/year must be received prior to spacebank deposit.
• Club’s Rental Program via Rental Authorization form (available on Club’s website).

Please do not leave your assigned week/unit vacant and “No-Show”. Should you not be able to make use of your week/unit as scheduled, and do not make use of one of the above mentioned options, your week/unit will be listed as “No Show” with the applicable Energy Charges on the week/unit, or any unused nights, will be billed to Member on Member’s Account.

ACTIVITIES CENTER:

The Activities Center is open Monday through Friday during the hours of 8:00 AM through 4:00 PM, closed on weekends. After 4:00 PM and on weekends, no requests for equipment will be taken after the mentioned hours, with the exception of Ping Pong Balls & Paddles which can be obtained at the Front Desk.

ABC Logo Items are available for purchase at the Activities Center during working hours.
Please contact our Activities Coordinator, Kenya for any assistance.

I look forward to meeting you at the regular Tuesday Members Meeting where most recent info will be shared and questions from the floor addressed.


Kindest regards,

Farida Mansur
General Manager



IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL MEMBERS

FISCAL REFORM RESULTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL LEVY:

The current Government as part of its policy, is undertaking many projects to enhance the experience of visitors to our island – which includes loyal timeshare owners. These projects include the Linear Park, the Street Car (Trolley) to improve the movement in downtown, the renovation of Oranjestad, the renovation of all the neighborhoods in Aruba, projects to improve cleanliness of the island and much more. In total there are over 50 different projects aimed at raising the quality of life for our residents and guests alike.

In 2010 the Government abolished half of the Turn Over Tax (BBO) from 3% to 1.5% to improve the buying power of both visitors and residents. However, to be able to finance and implement projects to protect the environment and after months of various discussions, brainstorming and negotiations, the Government has reached a new fiscal reform in agreement with the business community and the unions. Parts of the reform will impact the tourism community and as such, for the timeshare sector, the Government has introduced an environment levy which will go into effect on March 1st 2013 with a fixed fee as follows:

• Studios will be charged $10 per stay
• One Bedroom units will be charged $15 per stay
• Two Bedroom units will be charged $25 per stay

For timeshare customers, this levy is a one-time fee for continuous usage during your owned interval. As such, if you own four consecutive weeks, you would be charged only once during your visit. If you own four non-consecutive weeks, you will be charged for each stay. Similarly, owners transferring from one resort to another will be charged for a new stay. The above fee is regardless of the amount of nights, weeks or months a guest/member stay at the Resort and this is in addition to the existing Governmental taxation. This Law does have a positive impact for the timeshare sector. The Government has provided the concession to timeshares that it will not tax the reserves slated for resort renovation.

In addition to the above, the following have also been agreed on:

• The introduction of an environmental levy on car rentals of US$ 1 per day per car as of March 1, 2013, while adequate inspection of rental companies will take place; the levy on tours will take effect as of November 1, 2013; the definition of “tours” will be determined in agreement with the sector;

• The introduction of an environmental levy of US$3 per occupied room per night for regular (transient) hotels, also to be introduced on March 1, 2013 which will be evaluated in September 2013.

LABOR LAWS BEING ADOPTED:

The Minister of Tourism has been very busy these past months changing / adopting labor laws in order to present to the Parliament for discussion and approval. One of the labor laws that will affect our tourism industry is a reduction in the work week from 48 to 45 hours. While we are doing our very best to stay within budget by not hiring additional people in various departments, with the Housekeeping unfortunately that might not be so easy and the only option at this point is to introduce a second limited housekeeping service (same as we provide on Sundays). While this has not been officially announced yet – it will become reality at some point and we need to be prepared for this.

Another new labor law that will be introduced is the payment of lunch break if this is neglected by the employer. We always encourage our employees to take their lunch break but in the Housekeeping department, especially on Saturdays some Room Attendants opt not to take their lunch break taking into account the many check-outs that they have and the rush to get these rooms cleaned and ready for the new arrivals. With introduction of this new labor law, this will be no longer possible and we have to make sure that they take their lunch break and for this we ask our Members to take into account when arriving on Saturdays. We will keep you posted of the developments as we go along.


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