Sunday 26th June, 2005 Posted: 15:46 CIT (20:46 GMT)
Tarpon spotting at The Reef Resort Photo: Submitted
The Reef Resort’s quick recovery following Hurricane Ivan, prompt actions in keeping timeshare and condo owners up–to–date on its status, and its high quality and service have earned rave reviews from customers.
Reef Resort was the first timeshare property on the island to re–open – on 29 January – following Ivan. One investor emailed a detailed analysis of the East End hotel’s actions in the wake of the storm to its Thompson family owners, commending them and their staff.
The email, written only three weeks after the mixed–use resort –– timeshares and owned condos –– re–opened, having suffered $7 million damage, outlines Mr. Clapisson’s investment, as one of five individuals, in a unit at Castaway’s Cove.
The individuals bought the unit on Mr. Clapisson’s recommendation after a visit.
The group paid a deposit at the end of August, just prior to Ivan.
“If I was feeling the pressure before Ivan for having recommended this investment I’m sure you can appreciate what I was feeling afterwards,” says the email.
He says that within four days of the storm he contacted Director Tom McCallum via the Caribbean Hurricane Network, advising about damage to the resort and employee safety.
Six days after the storm, an initial damage report was posted on the resort’s website.
Two weeks after the storm the resort posted additional information, including contact details, re–opening dates for member services, and comments regarding guests, staff and insurance assessments.
In October 2004, Thompson Resorts offered full details of the expected special assessments, and announced details of “hurricane weeks”, including three options to ensure owners retained the benefits of their ownership intervals.
Thompson Resorts also agreed to match all contributions to the employee’s recovery fund.
From members, the resort collected a special assessment to cover the deductible on the insurance policy, then funded the balance for repairs while waiting for the insurance settlement.
Mr. Clapisson says that each step was a good thing, but, cumulatively, calls it “amazing”.
He said that “many resorts were completely out of touch with their members for long periods of time, extending months after the storm and some provided misinformation in the hopes of placating their members while they scrabbled to find a way to recover.”
He goes on to say: “I cannot possibly think of a resort or ownership group with whom I could be any more proud of having an association with.”
Glowing reviews were also posted on independent websites by owners and non–owners, including one from “Jim M. of New York”, James Margolis, producer of the Cayman segment that recently featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for The Comedy Channel.
The crew stayed at the Reef Resort. Mr. Margolis offers praise in a review on WheretoStay.com
“I spent three wonderful days at the Reef, and can do nothing but sing the praises of the resort’s staff and facilities,” he writes.
“The spot was breathtakingly beautiful; the rooms were clean, comfortable and spacious; the food was wonderful; and the bar was hard to leave.
“I also dove with Ocean Frontiers. The dives were excellent, and it was as good a dive operation in terms of equipment, safety and overall diving experience as I have ever experienced,” he said.
Another posting from Canada’s Kim Larkin reads: “The Reef Resort’s owners and staff are to be commended for their dedication to getting the resort up and running so quickly. The resort was as beautiful and inviting as ever.
“We have always loved our vacations at The Reef, but this one will hold special meaning since we spent more time talking with the cleaning ladies, men in security and maintenance etc. They were all so proud of their resort – and rightly so.”