WINTER 2012 A Message from the General Manager Time flies and a brand new year is just around the corner. Fortunately, at the Playa Linda, we can look back on several accomplishments. The Great Leap Forward was well received by both members and guests. We also managed to successfully execute additional projects that enhanced your home away from home. We recently introduced a wonderful suite: the Spa Lanai suite. It was a project that received approval at our General Members Meeting in May and which was finalized on November 1, 2012 -- all in the same fiscal year. We are confident that the suite will entertain many happy owners. Its layout emphasizes the great Aruban outdoors, and it is from the new suite where new owners and guests will undoubtedly enjoy valuable, quality time with their families. The picture below depicts your staff in “I Love Aruba” shirts on the occasion recognizing an outstanding record whereby 65% of the staff realized ZERO sick days. What makes this especially remarkable is that many of those members of the staff are in their sixties. We consider that an excellent sign of motivation! The Playa Linda Beach Resort holds an excellent record in both low turnover as well as in limited number of sick days taken by employees. We salute our staff for their dedication. But none of this could have been accomplished without our wonderful staff, who go the extra mile, every day. Therefore, this edition of the INSIDER is dedicated to them. As your General Manager, I recognize that while the building and facilities can be in top shape, the resort would not be as successful without the loyalty and dedication of the staff. It is the outstanding work of our staff and their daily contributions on the job to which we can credit our recent achievement of the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ we received from Trip Advisor It is with great pleasure that we celebrate our shared accomplishments! We wish you a Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2013! LOCAL TALENT MAKES STRIDES her skills in a dynamic, Aruba-based organization like Playa Linda. Remo Kock was recently promoted to Director of Domestic Facilities. At the helm of a reorganization of the departments of grounds, housekeeping, security and loss and prevention, he has already proven successful in improving efficiency through quality measures, better processes and greater communication. New staff members: Human Resource Manager Sulaika Kelly, L, and Financial Director Richard Betrrian. A recent round of changes at the Playa Linda has resulted in both new additions and promotions to management by local talent. Further invigorating an already dynamic team, new additions include Richard Betrian as Financial Director and Sulaika Kelly as Human Resources Manager. Well-deserved promotions were earned by Remo Kock, who is the new Director of Domestic Facilities, and Walter Mohamed, now the Assistant Manager of Loss Prevention and Security, as well as Ingrid Todd, who now holds the post of Executive Housekeeper. New to tourism, but with a lengthy resume in the field of finance, including key positions with KPMG, Aruba Bank and government’s Central Accounting Agency, Playa Linda’s Finance Director Richard Betrian provides both an experienced hand as well as the management skills necessary in realizing an enhancement of the resort’s systems and processes. The new Human Resources Manager Sulaika Kelly also represents another strong addition to the team. While she enjoyed career success while living eleven years abroad in Holland, Sulaika appreciated the opportunity to apply Remo is aided in these goals by the now Assistant Manager of Security and Loss Prevention, Walter Mohamed. In only a yearand-a-half with the resort, most guests are familiar with Walter, who readily offers information as well as a sense of security with his ready eye in keeping track of all movements at the resort. Well deserved promotions were earned by Walter Mohamed, L, Ingrid Todd and Remo Kock. Ingrid Todd, now leads the resort’s largest department as its Executive Housekeeper. An ultimate example of leadership by example, Ingrid has been a part of the Playa Linda’s housekeeping staff for 30 years. Ingrid continues to meet expectations with the most recent housekeeping scores reaching an impressive 9.6 out of 10. Air Travel Tiara Air After a lengthy inspection and certification process, Aruba-based Tiara Air has acquired permits to begin operating the Boeing 737330 jet they brought to the island last February. With this 150-seat jet, they plan to establish regular service to Medellin, Colombia; Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as of September. This is the first of two jets that Tiara Air is scheduled to obtain and have certified for long distance destinations as part of the agreement made with the Ministry of Transport and Tourism in 2011. The second jet will be used to service a route between Aruba and Boston as well as other other US gateways. WestJet adds service to Aruba WestJet will add an extra weekly flight during the winter 2012-13 season, for a total of two weekly WestJet flights out of Toronto. During high season, Aruba will have seven weekly flights arriving from Canada (two times weekly by Air Canada, three times weekly by Sunwing and two times weekly by Westjet), with 6 flights flying out of Toronto and 1 flying out of Montreal. Playa Linda Beach Resort was presented the 2012 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. The Certificate of Excellence is displayed at Yvette’s desk in the concierge’s office. To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. The Articles of Association and By-Laws require the election of one (1) new Board member each year at the Annual Meeting of the Membership, based on the “staggered terms” rule. However, this year two (2) Board members’ terms will expire: Joe Caggiano and Jack Masser. Both Joe Cagiano and Jack Masser have completed two consecutive five year terms, which is the maximum allowed by the bylaws. Therefore, the 2013 election will require the election of two (2) new members. To keep in line with the by-laws, one of the two new members will be elected for the full five (5) years and the other for one (1) year. The choice of who will receive the five year term and the one year term will be based on the most, and second most, number of votes. In 2014, barring any unusual circumstances, the person elected for the one year term may run again for a full five year term. Any members that wish to run for the Board of Directors of Playa Linda must submit their resume, or CV (Curriculum Vitae), on or before January 31, 2013. In the past the Board and Management have found many inconsistencies in the standard accepted format for résumés and/or CVs. To keep the process orderly and to make it fair and equitable for all who wish to be considered for election to the Board only résumés or CV’s presented with the universally accepted standard format and content will be considered. Your resume or CV must be one page only and contain only the following information: 1. Recent photo 2. Objective (your vision for Playa Linda) 3. Education 4. Experience 5. Activities& Honors 6. Skills 7. Certificates NOTE: Resumes or CVs of more than one page will not be accepted. Before submitting your resume or CV (Curriculum Vitae), you should know the following: The Board meets three to four times a year for at least two days. The Board communicates almost on a daily basis by email, telephone conference calls and/or video conferencing when necessary. It is imperative that the Board work TOGETHER as a TEAM, with Management, and with one and only one goal and objective in mind – the betterment of Playa Linda for all of its members. There is no room on the PLBRCA Board for “private agendas”. Therefore, it is essential that one has the necessary time to devote to Board matters, be a TEAM player, willing to express their views in a respectful manner and willing to compromise and support the final decision of the majority of the Board. If you meet the outlined criteria, we welcome your participation as a nominee in the election of a new Board member. Playa Linda maintains a ‘Green’ view of Aruba Picturesque white sand beaches open up to ‘Green’ views at the Playa Linda Beach Resort, where environmental efforts continue to have positive affects. For more than a decade, the popular timeshare resort has taken the lead in its commitment to going Green, holding the distinction of being the first resort on Palm Beach certified by both Green Globe as well as ISO 14001. Ongoing improvements at the resort were cited during the 2012 visit by ISO 14001 Lead Auditor Peter Hackett. Playa Linda maintains an active and dedicated “Green Team”, led by Nigaima Ascencion, second from left. “It is a pleasure to see so many initiatives taking place at the Playa Linda, and to experience the spirit of the standard being so highly held. The Playa Linda has demonstrated it has gone above and beyond in its Green goals,” comments Hackett. Over the years, Playa Linda has undergone diverse changes, from utilizing environmentally-sound, phosphate-free cleaning products to installing solar-powered exterior lights. Ever-increasing improvements are attributed to a highly active Green Team. The group efforts, led by the resort’s Green Team Champion Nigaima Ascencion, has resulted in projects that protect the environment and increase safety, as well as provide several cost-effective benefits. In committing to ISO 14001 standards, in particular, Playa Linda not only ensures it accomplishes measurable results, but also that quality processes are in place at the resort. ISO 14001 criteria also assess organizational and communication efforts throughout each department, with each employee involved and responsible in contributing to solutions. “A fully engaged and interactive workforce is necessary in not only finding better ways to work, but also in establishing a culture whereby everyone works better together,” remarks Hackett. The Spa Lanai Suite is now our suite # 214 The Spa Lanai suite was approved at the General Members Meeting with the condition that $500,000 would be sold before any construction would take place. Twenty seven weeks were sold through the auction, and with that the promise to deliver the suite in November. The initial construction started in June and took longer than forecasted as consideration was given to spa operations and its clients. But by Thanksgiving 2012, we inaugurated the new suite. We wish the new owners plenty of family fun! Amy Sturm and family were the first to enjoy the brand-new Spa Lanai Suite. Please Watch Your Calendar Next Year! Take note of this year’s Week 53 Week 1, which started January 1st in 2012, will start January 6th in 2013. Your usual week 10 in 2012, which started March 4, 2012, will start March 10 in 2013. Playa Linda does send our timeshare calendar on several occasions – e.g., with the maintenance fee billing – and the calendar is also posted on our website www.playalinda.com Please note that it is not the responsibility of the Playa Linda to ascertain that a member has his/her correct week. Arriving in the wrong week will necessitate renting an additional week at the Playa Linda. Fiscal reform results in environmental levy The current government, as part of its policy, is undertaking many projects to enhance the experience of our visitors. These projects include the Linear Park, the streetcar to improve the movement downtown, the renovation of Oranjestad, the renovation of all the "barrios" (neighborhoods) in Aruba, projects to improve cleanliness of the island and much more. In total there are over 50 different projects aimed at raising the quality of life for our guests and residents alike. In 2010, the government abolished half of the Turn Over Tax (from 3% to 1 ½ %) to improve the buying power of both visitors and residents. However, to be able to finance and implement projects to protect the environment, the government has reached a new fiscal reform in agreement with the business community and the unions. Parts of the reform will impact the tourism community as well. For the hotel and time share sector, the government will introduce an environmental levy as per March 1, 2013, with a fixed fee as follows: • • • $10 per studio $15 per one bedroom $25 per two (or more) bedrooms For timeshare customers, this levy is a one-time fee for continuous usage during your owned interval. As such, if you own four consecutive weeks, you would be charged only once during your visit. If you own four non-consecutive weeks, you will be charged for each stay. Similarly, owners transferring from one resort to another will be charged for a new stay. Hotel or transient guests are charged $3 per day. Timeshare customers renting additional days before or after their interval stay will be subjected to the daily fee in addition to their fixed fee. This Law, which still has to pass through Parliament before it goes into effect, does have a positive impact for the timeshare sector. The Government has provided the concession to timeshares that it will not tax the reserves slated for resort renovation. By the end of next year, all current, ongoing government projects are expected to be finalized.
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