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Province launches time-share check
Published Thursday, November 19, 2009 5:01PM MST
A time-share company CTV News has warned you about before is under investigation by the province again.
The names have changed from Royal Club International to Royal Crown Resorts to Chateau World but the goal remained the same: selling time-share memberships at the Banff Gate Mountain Lodge or Chateau Canmore.
In 2004, the province charged Royal Club International and its director, Andre Muran, with misleading consumers and failing to provide refunds. The province added Chateau World to the case when the company took over in 2006. Muran is not listed as the director of Chateau World but still speaks for the company.
The province settled the case in 2007 in return for Chateau World providing complaining consumers with refunds, $8,500 in costs, and a pledge to abide by the law.
The case has since been reopened.
"We currently have seven investigations underway into Chateau World," says Mike Berezowsky from Service Alberta
David Crick says he joined Chateau World because of its affiliation with well known time-share exchange network RCI and the access it would give him to resorts around the world.
Crick says he paid $10,000 to Chateau World but couldn't access RCI. "They've been bugging us for money on an on-going basis without delivering any services whatsoever and when we try to get and information from them well, it's deflect and defer," says Crick.
Crick says he eventually got RCI access but stopped paying dues when he heard rumours that some units in his home resort - Banff Gate Mountain Lodge - were going into foreclosure.
Brenda Land says she paid more than $5,000 to Chateau World but was wrongly denied access to the RCI time-share network. "Again, we were finally looking at the Mexico or Hawaii thing and we couldn't even get to and look at anything. It was useless, we weren't getting anything for our money," says Land.
Now, one of Chateau World's home resorts, Chateau Canmore, is gone. It's been removed from Chateau World's website and RCI confirmed Chateau Canmore was removed from its network because it's no longer a time-share property.
Court documents show there may be trouble at Banff Gate Mountain Lodge as well. Certain units have been foreclosed upon by an unpaid lender pursuant to a lawsuit filed against Andre Muran and Properties International.
And pursuant to another lawsuit filed against Muran, by another creditor, a receiver has been appointed to collect revenues received from properties Muran holds an interest in, including some Banff Gate Mountain Lodge units.
CTV News contacted Chateau World on October 5th and emailed a list of questions hoping to figure out what this all means for Chateau World members.
Their lawyer responded on October 15th, indicating Andre Muran would make himself available for an interview during the week of November 16th to 20th. CTV News accepted and asked Muran to choose November 16th or November 17th for the interview. Muran never made himself available, nor did he respond to the email questions.
Service Alberta says Chateau World members, who have paid their yearly club dues and maintenance fees but have not been able to obtain a booking, should call them at 1-877-427-4088 or seek independent legal advice. Any other questions about Chateau World should also be directed to Service Alberta.
We do want to note that the neighbouring property to Chateau Canmore shares a similar name.
Quality Inn Resort Chateau Canmore is a full service Choice Hotel. It is not a timeshare property and has nothing to do with the investigation.