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The Big Easy is no stranger to real estate upheaval and exploitation. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the New Orleans timeshare industry is looking for its piece of the Big Easy.
Timeshares have a long and storied history. Launching onto the scene in the 1970s, they presented themselves as alternatives to the vacation homes that were out of reach for so many. They sold the American dream of luxury on a standard American budget.
The timeshare world of the 1970s and 1980s was rife with dreams. It was also rife with scams. Timeshare junkets, big promises, and the entire spectrum of high-pressure sales would earn the industry a well-deserved bad reputation.
In recent years, the hospitality industry has worked to rebrand timeshares. They certainly needed it after decades of bad press. Companies now offer more perks and flexibility in an attempt to put buyers at ease.
Consumer protections over time have made timeshares less risky (still risky, but less so). But maintenance fees, never-ending contracts, and scams remain. Every day, we see the worst the industry has to offer.
New Orleans Timeshares
When we look at the history of timeshares and New Orleans, we see a convergence of scams. It might all work out, but in our business, we’re always skeptical of the industry.
New Orleans is already home to many timeshares. The French Quarter and central business district struggle with low hotel-room capacity and high-demand. As tourism continues to grow, so will the demand for accommodations. The city and the hospitality industry are always working on creative solutions to drive development and profits.
The City Planning Commision and city council support timeshares. In 2018, the council passed timeshare-friendly zoning changes. “There’s a move afoot to come here in the timeshare business because it’s a permitted use,“ says Lenny Wormser of Hospitality Real Estate Counselors in the New Orleans Advocate.
The New Orleans timeshare model most recently introduced is the newer points-based model. Initial buy-in provides a certain number of points per year that can be used within the restrictions of the contract. Owners can also buy additional points to upsize their getaway.
Risks & Concerns
The points-based timeshare model does seem to offer more flexibility, but people across the country report issues. Scheduling is a concern and many find themselves unable to use their extra points because of a lack of available accommodations.
We’ve also seen some typical complaints of scams and high-pressure tactics coming out of New Orleans. Don’t ignore the timeshare scam red flags: free gifts, wiring money out of the country, and unsolicited calls.
In addition to these concerns, residents also worry about being displaced. As more high-end rentals hit the scene, the availability of an affordable New Orleans timeshare unit is already a factor. A transition to short-term housing and timeshare units is tightening the market further.
Only time will tell how the New Orleans timeshare industry will perform. But history can teach us at least one solid piece of advice: Consumer beware!
Having timeshare regret in New Orleans? Louisiana law gives you a 7-day cooling-off period to cancel your contract. Too late to opt-out? Primo Management Group is here to help. Our free consultation can get you started on your journey to timeshare freedom.