Empty parking lots and gloomy atmosphere at Pelican ResortPOSTED: 02/21/11 1:31 PM
St. Maarten – Not all went well on Saturday when the former Pelican Resort, now Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, closed its doors for business. Of the 350 reservations for whom the resort expected guests this weekend, twelve still showed up; they knew nothing about the closure. According to the web site of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association, the front desk found alternative accommodation for all of them.
On Sunday around noon, the resort offered a dismal and gloomy picture with near-empty parking lots, a few bored security guards, and a few lost guests that apparently still had access to their rooms. The bar in the main reception area was open for business and even had quite some customers.
A front desk attendant said that the resort was now closed and that there were no guests left on the property. In spite of the gloomy tidings, the lady still managed to put on a smile.
While the independent businesses in and around the resort used full page ads to proclaim that they will remain open, the counter of Splash Jewelers in the main reception hall was completely empty. A front desk clerk said that Splash has moved all of its business to the location next to the entrance of the Hollywood Casino.
On the travelers web site travel Talk online, unhappy timeshare owners vented their frustration. Line Denis, from Florida: “We have owned units and dumped them; given one away, but the location is great and price is right for renting. What irks me most is the fact that after having paid for a 10 day rental we were not informed of the closing. Not an email or a phone call or any other missive. This is despicable.
“How can you trust Royal to look after your business in the future? Do you think after this episode goes away it won’t happen again? We have been assured a credit would show up on our CC. So far after 5 days it isn’t there and possibly that’s because the head office is in Mexico or Belize or somewhere. I doubt we’ll ever stay at Pelican again…this way of doing business is not acceptable; it’s arrogant and very poorly timed. All the blame for inconvenience should be directed squarely at Royal Resorts.”
Sharon, a timeshare owner from Long Island had this to say yesterday morning: “I just spoke with a close friend who said she thought she and her family were among the last to leave and that the place is like a ghost town. She did say everything seemed to go rather smoothly and that no one came to tell her to get out earlier this morning. I am amazed that there are no reports of anyone on the resort who refused to leave as I would have done. Let them get the police and arrest me for using something I already paid for and was not being given a refund. IMHO (in my humble opinion –ed.) this would have been a great way to get Holland involved in this island and what is going on here since people were guaranteed, in their contracts, continued use without interruption by the government of The Netherlands.
“People are coming into the RP lobby with all of their belongings in garbage bags (guess they didn’t want to pack over and over) and it feels like a refugee camp which in some ways RP and all of the other properties on the island have become.”