Ginn Resort Executive Updates Club Members

Recallable Invitational Memberships coming to Ginn Clubs and Resorts.

palm coast real estate ginnPalm Coast, Florida – March 3, 2009 – In a refreshing, and hopefully continuing, move to communicate company policies and positions to club members, Ginn Clubs and Resorts yesterday sent members an update letter. The letter acknowledges the severity of the financial climate and its effects. It further acknowledges closing the real estate sales and marketing business, the cancellation of any further PGA and LPGA Golf tournaments, and the phasing out of Ginn Security.
New news included the announcement of fully recallable Invitational Memberships and a new marketing effort directed toward increasing occupancy and revenue at the Reunion and Hammock Beach resorts.
The Invitational Membership idea first surfaced during an interview with Bobby Ginn last June (see Two Hours with Bobby Ginn). It saw light recently when recallable membership availability at Bella Collina was announced (see Ginn’s Bella Collina Club Offers Invitational Memberships). Clubs in private communities are struggling with declining membership, non-paying members, and reduced member spending. Invitational memberships offer a temporary respite. would also encourage clubs to reduce their membership initiation (or deposit) requirements to bring them more in line with current real estate valuations and membership demand. (Developers were quick to raise deposits while real estate values soared, but have ignored the market reality on the down side.) Such a move would have several benefits. First, new memberships from the pool of existing property owners would be encouraged. Second, lower membership deposit fees would make real estate in the community more attractive to potential buyers. Third, many clubs require resigning members to wait for a certain number of new memberships to be sold before their deposit money is returned. The near total absence of new members at today’s rates dooms resigning members to long waiting lists and/or forfeited deposits. Increasing new memberships with realistic deposits would provide a more realistic opportunity to receive their deposit refund.

Letter Ginn Club members

Dear Club Members:
The past six months represent one of the most tumultuous financial periods in our nation’s history. With the financial markets in peril, people from all walks of life have been affected both in the short-term and on their outlook for the future. We realize that our owners and members have also been affected and have become aware of changes within our resorts and communities. During these difficult economic times, we feel it is important to keep our members informed of our ongoing efforts, on their behalf, to provide them with the level of service and amenities that distinguish Ginn Clubs & Resorts from its competitors.
Most of you are aware of the recent Credit Suisse related activities that have taken place at several of the Ginn communities. While this impacted our long-term vision with respect to these communities, it has allowed us to focus our efforts on our remaining communities. We have been working diligently to identify cost efficiencies and to promote new revenue and funding sources in order to continue to provide the superior member and owner experience that you have grown accustomed to. Our goal is simple: To make our resorts and clubs the best possible destinations and value for our members and owners.
In recent months, we have had to make many difficult decisions, but we believe these will ultimately have a positive impact on your experience as an owner and member at a Ginn resort community.
♦  We opted to exit the real estate sales and marketing business. In today’s economy, it became too costly to operate a real estate sales business to provide the degree of marketing and management support we feel our owners deserve. For this reason, we felt it to be in your best interest to have the opportunity to list your property with sales organizations that specialize in the resale market. We hope this will increase the overall exposure to your property listing as well as the number of potential owners exposed to our communities’ lifestyle experience.
♦  We ended the sponsorship of our PGA, Champions Tour and LPGA tournaments. Despite our tireless attempts to attract potential sponsors and to identify cost cutting measures that would not impact the guest experience, the cost of sponsoring, hosting and producing three golf tournaments, in this economy, became prohibitive. Without exception, these were premier events for both participants and spectators, something we should all be proud of. While this was a most difficult decision, during these challenging economic times, we thought it best to focus our resources on our members.  
♦  We hired a leading marketing and advertising agency to assist with increasing occupancy and revenue at the Reunion and Hammock Beach Resorts. This marketing firm has a vast experience in launching and augmenting resort and hospitality brands. We are confident that with their help, we will continue to make tremendous progress, in spite of the economy, regarding occupancy levels at both resorts.
♦  In the next few days you will be hearing about the launch of a new Invitational Membership at our resorts.  This fully recallable membership class will bring new dues-paying members into our communities. This will assist us in offsetting significant financial burdens associated with the recent increase in membership resignations and terminations brought on by the downturn in the economy. Moreover, this will offer another avenue of exposure for future real estate sales and full residential memberships. More information on this program will be released under separate cover but we are encouraged by the early feedback.
♦  We are fortunate to have a core group of members and owners who actively participate in our clubs and in our communities. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, we are experiencing an increase in the number of owners and members who are not meeting their financial obligations not only with respect to their Club but also with respect to their property owners’ associations. In an effort to prevent a reduction in the current level of service, we are conducting a thorough analysis of our POA expenditures to identify areas where costs can be reduced. This will be an ongoing effort and we will be working with the POA Boards and Membership Advisory Boards to keep the dialogue open to how we can all be successful.
♦  As part of that effort, we have recently made the decision to phase out Ginn Security Services. In that regard, we have arranged the transfer of security operations to American Eagle Sentry, a company owned and managed by Rick Staly, our Chief Security Officer.   We are confident that American Eagle Sentry will provide you with the same high caliber of personnel and management that we offered at Ginn Security Services.
I hope these highlights help give you an insight into our ongoing efforts on your behalf. Please know that we are constantly looking for opportunities to create efficiencies while preserving the lifestyle and experience you deserve and can cherish for a lifetime at our resorts and clubs.
Please contact me if you have any questions or need additional information. 
Steve Grainger
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Ginn Clubs & Resorts

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4 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    Too little too…….

    Did the higher-ups at Ginn just realize that people were having a tough time paying POA dues???? I have sat in numerous meetings where people were begging for some relief by way of a reduction in dues.

    I also find that part about the letter stating that some homeowners are not meeting their "financial obligations" somewhat comical. People have been begging for some help for a long time and they have finally had enough. That part of the letter almost condemns those people. This coming from the group that just welshed on a $675 Million dollar "financial obligation".

    I’ll pay my debt as soon as you pay yours!!!

  2. Cherie
    Cherie says:

    You are joking!!

    The letter is a joke or should I say "cloak". It is merely another attempt to cover up the real facts of what is happening at Ginn Reunion & Hammock Beach.

    Fact – Ginn failed to pay Credit Suisse. This is not a "related activity" it simply failure to pay your bill!
    Question – How can demand owner’s pay their club dues, HOA, etc when Ginn doesn’t pay their bills? Sounds like a do as I say, not as I do attitude!!

    Fact – Difficult decisions in recent months equals out to dumping the rental managers, dumping your real estate dept., breeching contracts w/the LPGA & PGA.
    Question – Who’s taking care of the properties/guests/owners and how much will the law suit cost all of us?

    Fact – Hired a fancy marketing/advertising agency to increase occupancy & revenue.
    Question – where are the occupants & where’s the revenue??

    Fact – launching an Invitational Membership to increase revenue.
    Question – Will the owners struggling to pay their club dues receive any kind of a reduction? Or can we simply breech our contract with Ginn as Ginn has done w/Credit Suisse, LPGA & PGA?

    Fact – Current security is being dumped and being outsourced.
    Question – Isn’t it a conflict of interest to hire the company belonging to YOUR Chief Security Officer Rick Staly? Sounds like an inside job!!

    And finally, the insight offered is not insight. Everything has been sugar coated, twisted and manipulated in an attempt to "look good". If one looks closely, they will see the kingdom crumbling. Marriott & Wyndham have looked and turned away. Linger Longer came and never lingered…they ran. The only thing that can save the Kingdom is new management.

  3. sam johnson
    sam johnson says:

    who is grainger

    toby we have all seen this latest letter at reunion, but the biggest question is who is this latest executive making a statement…they are so top heavy for a company with absolutly zero expertise in the hospitality business. its like when reunion had no water and the golf courses looked like hey a vp of golf showed up at a meeting stating his displeasure at the way the golf courses looked….where the heck has this guy been when his job is vp of golf….just another title for one his good old boys…toby its downright scary how a bunch of liars can screw up a place that is so beutiful and so well thought out by the same people who are now destroying the resort….they try to blame it on the economy, but holding members hostige with inflated dues to pay for PROMISES which were never fullfilled is the reason that the vast majority of members have stopped paying their dues.come on lucky come back with a comment that makes no sense

  4. p jester
    p jester says:


    Sounds familiar – We are transferring our Security from the expensive Ginn Security Services to Eagle, funnily enough a company that is owned and operated by our chief security officer – how did he manage to run a security firm and be a full time Chief Security Officer. Seems like he knows that they were charging too much and now Ginn is handing a lucrative contract to a current employee!

    Surely this should go to tender as should every contract? Maybe he is still on Ginn’s staff so nothing really has changed

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