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 Post subject: January, 2013
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:54 am
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JANUARY 1ST, 2013

Dear Members,

First, a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous New Year to all Aruba Beach Club Members, families, friends. There is quite some important news to share with you this first month of the year, so let me begin.

OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS:
Please note that January 1 (New Year) and January 25, 2013 (Betico Day) are official holidays on the island and as a result of this most businesses on the island will be closed.

CARNIVAL SEASON 2013:
• January 5th Aruba’s Torch Parade
• January 13th Balloons Parade
• January 24th Aruba’s 38th Children Queen and 50th Youth Queen Election and Coronation
• January 26th Aruba’s 43th Grand Tumba Contest
• January 27th Children’s Parade San Nicolas
• January 28th Aruba’s 19th Mrs. Carnival Election
• February 1st Aruba’s 59th Carnival Queen Election and Coronation
• February 2nd Children’s Carnival Parade Noord
• February 2nd Aruba Tivoli Lighting Parade
• February 3rd Grand Children’s Carnival Parade in Oranjestad
• February 5th Tourist Night Steelband and Costume Show
• February 7th Lighting Parade San Nicolas
• February 9th Jouvert Morning & Pyjama Party
• February 9th Grand Carnival Parade in San Nicolas
• February 10th Aruba’s Famous 58th Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad
• February 12 Grand Burning of the Momo

HUMAN RESOURCES – HONORING “EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH”:
Employee of the Month elections were held recently at a ceremony attended by all employees and I am proud to announce the following Employees of the Month, for the last six months of the year, July thru December 2012 in recognition of their exemplary dedication to the Aruba Beach Club, its members and guests:

EOM July 2012 – JANETTE HUNTINGTON, Jr. Accountant
EOM August 2012 – GLAUDE JOSEPH, Public Area Attendant
EOM September 2012 – RENE PAESCH, Administrative Clerk
EOM October 2012 – BRENDA FLORENCIO, Room Keeper
EOM November 2012 – MARIA GOMES, Sr. Accountant & ROSA ROA, Public Area Cleaner
EOM December 2012 – GUILLERMO TOLOZA, Painter

YEAR END CELEBRATION WITH THE STAFF:
The evening of December 12th, 2012 was dedicated to the staff of Aruba Beach Club where Christmas Celebration was at The Renaissance Center, with a tremendous buffet dinner, music, dancing and holiday fun. During the festivities all EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH of all twelve months of 2012 were recognized. MARTHA BOEKHOUDT, Room Keeper was selected as Aruba Beach Club’s Employee of the Year, and SORAYA ROLDAN-CORTES, Floor Supervisor was selected ABC’s MOST DEDICATED Employee of the Year. Congratulations to all of them.

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.

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:
The first TRAM Car arrived on Island and was inaugurated on December 22nd - Aruba's new trolley was rolled out for the very first time with Prime Minister Mike Eman and Santa on board. It was all over quickly but the fun has only just begun. 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 P.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 pert 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.

IMPORTANT INFORATION 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, which still has to pass through Parliament before it goes into effect, 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.

RESORT RECOGNITION:
Aruba Beach Club has once again earned the RCI Silver Crown Resort® designation for 2013! RCI presents this award to Aruba Beach Club in recognition of its outstanding resort facilities and services which include resort quality, service delivery, and overall vacation experience.

Congratulations to the entire staff for their strong commitment to quality and service, sharing our ongoing commitment to customer satisfaction.

RONALD MC DONALD HOUSE POP TOP DONATION PROGRAM:



ABC’s Pool Towel Station Employee, Fabiana Maduro has been the Center of its collection efforts on behalf and together with her colleagues and the Members and Guests of the Resort for over fifteen years. These Pop-Top Tabs have been transported over the years by Aruba Beach Club Members, Dr. Lorraine Gutowicz-Weinberger, and other ABC Members, on their return to the USA for donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

With Airline Security measures becoming more and more tightened, it has become almost too restrictive for the Aruba Beach Club Members to carry the Pop-Top Tabs on return flights to the USA. Recently, Board Member Rick Titone decided to look for an alternative. Rick Titone contacted Donna Silvera Barnett, Port Operations/Logistics Specialist of the Princess Cruises. Donna listened carefully to his plea and decided to accept the challenge of transportation of shipment of the over One Million Pop-Top Tabs that had been collected from Aruba to Fort Lauderdale where the donation would be turned over to The Ronald McDonald House there. When The Princess Cruise Line learned of our efforts, they also started collecting the Pop-Top Tabs and will add theirs to the Aruba Beach Club’s donation.

Donna contacted Giovanni Raghunath of the Armada Port Agency here in Aruba with the challenge, who in turn accepted and began preparation and coordination efforts for the delivery of the Pop-Top Tabs from Aruba Beach Club and pick-up by the Island Princess (photo above) which docked in Aruba on December 7th, 2012 and in turn, the Pop-Top Tab Donation was turned over to The Ft. Lauderdale Ronald Mc Donald House with the assist of Rick Titone.

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.

Our best wishes for a Prosperous 2013. Stay healthy and enjoy life.

Kindest regards,

Farida Mansur
General Manager


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