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Ricardo Pena
Penthouse #3703

2023

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Total:

$4,904

$6,586

$6,630

$6,839

$4,421

$4,124

$3,068

$6,674

$2,857

$4,315

$2,271

$3,361

$56,262

2024 Receipts

July

August

September

October

November

December

2023 Receipts

 

Dec 10, 2021

Merry Christmas to you and your family Ricardo!

Megan is in Cancun now, she has been for about 10 days.  She leaves tomorrow, then I come down Monday Dec 13.  Megan hired a structural engineer to ensure the terraces are capable of handling the weight of the jacuzzi.  Juan had denied Jorge (owner of 2703) a hot tub citing that the terraces could not support the weight.  This concerned me as safety is priority 1.  Megan and Abdiel then hired a structural engineer.  He came out yesterday and gave the thumbs up saying the terraces were more than strong enough to support the weight.  He only wants to see blue prints first before signing off to guarantee this in writing.  So this is good to know as we embark on a new hot tub for our place.  If you have not read your owner page in a while, please reference last months post for a far better understanding.

Just to let you know a bit about what is happening in the industry, Mexico has been working with the big operators for some time now to get taxes directly from major players.  For example, they have new tax deals with vrbo, airbnb and others.  This has already gone into effect for vrbo earlier this year, and it starts Jan 1 for airbnb.  Simply stated, we must increase prices on these platforms by a 20% margin because they will be taking out 20% for Mexican taxes.  Or, the other option is to start a Mexican company in which case we are actually paying more than 20% of net income.  We explored the Mexican corporation with attorney's in Mexico two years ago.  We almost pulled the trigger on that.  But ultimately we decided the smartest approach was to keep the company US, and increase the prices.  We can "fly under the radar" on our own sites and keep prices the same, we are too small for them to worry about us, at least for the foreseeable future.  And for the other sites, we will simply be priced quite a bit higher.  But the good news is, so will everyone else.  No one can absorb that kind of hit, they have to pass it on to the consumer of course.

Have a truly awesome Christmas with your family Ricardo.  I mean that most sincerely.

Tim

Nov 17, 2021

Hi Ricardo,

It's been a strange year, October was pretty decent, early November was crap, despite me lowering numbers for early November in an effort to get get some last minute activity.  Early November is normally a bit stronger than October.  I'm always keeping a close eye on pricing.  I'll get December filled in but I don't want to "give away the farm" so to speak until the dates are a bit closer because we are already competitive.

I'll also get Christmas filled in.  I was just about to lower those numbers when I received a call this morning from a gal that seemed ready to go for Christmas week and I was selling your place for that week.  This potential guest just had their Christmas week cancelled on them so I think we may still get this one.  If not, I'll do what I always do in such cases which is to lower prices a bit at a time over the coming days to be sure we get it sold.  Normally that week is sold out by now for all the units, but this year I have 3 more to go inclusive of your own place.

You'll see on your statement that I replaced the bathroom fixtures in the lower level bathroom.  They are excellent quality, which is what we want for the penthouse units.  I also noticed I had made an error a few statements back in your favor.  Two months in a row, going back to May or June, each said payment 6 of 10.  So I corrected that.  

Last, but not least, is that it has become painfully apparent that we need to get a new hot tub.  You can see over the year that the existing unit is costing far too much to maintain.  It makes no sense at this point, it's like throwing good money after bad.  I will be in Cancun again next month to look at options and propose them to you, including a crane operator.  If you have your own ideas feel free to share those with me.  I am ok with paying the upfront cost for this huge upgrade and then taking it out over the course of 10-12 payments so your cash flow can remain good.

Nov 18 update:

Ricardo the Christmas booking came through early this morning, so we have that taken care of now.

Rich blessings to you and yours,

Tim

Oct 13,

Hi Ricardo,

Things have been improving quite a bit lately.  It seems like we get a lot more last minute bookings than years past.  I can only assume this is from people being paranoid to book well in advance.  But whatever the reason, it's great news.  Also, you have probably heard that Mexico travel has gotten back to pre-covid levels in September, which is also great news.

The resort is also getting nicer.  I see more and more staff members out there cleaning.  It looks so much better than it did a year ago at this time.  They have replanted a lot of the palm trees on the beach, have a new floor in the lobby, and improved AC in the lobby, it's good to see they are working to make things better.  

Mexico is at 38% for those fully vaccinated and 52% have at least one shot.  These are good numbers and getting better so I'm very hopeful for a strong 2022.

Blessings,

Tim

Sept 22, 2021

Hello Ricardo,

Despite everything going on in the world, I feel this sense of optimism moving through the fall and into next year.  Barring something crazy happening, I think we will finish the year strong and next year could be really good.  I think there is a LOT of pent up demand because of covid being a factor for so long now and scaring people away from traveling.

In the US, our president brought back the mask mandate.  We were finally able to go to the stores without these things, now it starts all over again.  It is very frustrating.  The policy makes no sense to me.  Consider this, if you are vaccinated and you get covid, it doesn't matter much, you will not get very sick, if at all.  If you are not vaccinated, that is the choice of the individual, so why make it complicated?  The government messes everything up, it seems.  Anyway, this new deal sparked some more hesitation in US travelers.  But we continue to get little dribbles and drabs here in slow season.  Christmas and New Years will be selling later than normal, I'm sure, speaking of all the units as a whole.  I'm sure, barring something crazy, things should start picking up a lot in the next month as we move into October and then November.

Every year, after early August things slow down a lot as you know.  However this year, at about this time the US media was proclaiming the dangers of the new Delta variant.  Apparently this variant has sent many children to the hospital and has a much higher mortality rate for children than the regular covid 19.  It scared the heck out of a lot of people and I was fending off cancellations over it.  Meanwhile, as you know Mexico's vaccinations numbers continue to go up, which is great for the country and for business.

Rich blessings to you and your family Ricardo.

Tim

August 12, 2021

Hi Ricardo, I hope you and your family are doing well.

I was at Oleo with family from July 27-Aug 5.  I did notice they planted some palm trees on the beach where several had died, that was nice to see.  They are also replacing the floor in the lobby with a better material, I did not get to see what it looked like, but I did speak with Mr. Rizutti about it.   He said they are also getting upgraded AC in the lobby so that it always stays nice and cold, since that area is always hot with the doors opening and closing so much.  I also noticed they have made some modest improvements around the resort in general, with more plants and other smaller details.  This was great to see.

Moving on to our "wonderful press".  Ugh, the press is so negative and they never report all the facts, only the parts that fullfill their agenda of selling fear.  My goodness.  I understand corona virus cases are close to the highest ever reported in Mexico.  On the other hand, more people are being tested than ever before so of course that makes a difference.  But what about mentioning how the death tolls have gone way down.  And more people have been vaccinated then ever before.  As of this writing, Mexico is sitting at 21.7% fully vaccinated and 40.3% with at least one dose.  I think by the time I write your next message next month, Mexico will be around 30-40% fully vaccinated.  That is very strong, since about 1/2 of each population does not want to get the vaccine, or is too lazy to go.  

We have had the new glass on order for quite some time now.  However my understanding is that the plants are overwhelmed because of being backed up from the orders from the hurricane.   We will get it installed as soon as it arrives and we have no guests.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

July 14, 2021

Hi Ricardo, 

In June, the US finally moved the travel status from the US to Mexico from level 4 (dangerous, do not travel unless essential) to level 3 (travel if vaccinated).  This helped get things going a bit.  As long as we don't keep getting this bad luck (hurricanes, pandemics, etc.) I foresee us having a strong finish to 2021 and a very good 2022.

 

You might know that we test all our guests for covid before they leave.  It's an in house service, the technicians come right to the condo to give the tests.  I bring this up because I wanted to share with you something interesting.  We have tested well in excess of 500 guests by now, and we have not received a single negative result.  Unreal.  I know covid is real, but I sincerely question many things about this pandemic that make no sense.

 

Ricardo, another thing.  I had Abdiel put your new outdoor set outside.  But this set is not well made, it is very light weight.  Abdiel was so concerned that a chair would go flying that he put the set in our storage unit.  I don't know what you would like to do with the set.  But it will not work with potential high winds on the terrace.

I think that is all for now.  I think it would be good if we could get together one time when I am in town and also include your wife to be able to walk your unit together.  This way we can share ideas about your place and be on the same page.  I think most areas are fine, but for example, the shower base in the master is a tub, and I hear often that people do not like this, having to step over a ledge to get into the shower.  Of course, I do not advertise it being a jacuzzi, I show no photos of this online anywhere.  I also think the lower level bathroom sink could use a new look, some tiles have fallen off and broken around this sink and we cannot find tiles to replace them.  On the other hand, I remain open to the input of you and your wife.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

 

 

June 3, 2021,

Hi Ricardo,

Since I had just updated a couple of weeks ago, there is no additional news to add, I will do another update next statement.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

May 17, 2021,

Hi Ricardo,

We are getting there, even though it has taken a long time.  As you know we went from yellow back to orange which slowed things down a bit.  Now that the vaccine is being distributed in Mexico to hospital staff and people 65 and older I do not see it being much longer before we are back to yellow in Cancun.  If it is anything like the US we spent about 2 months at this phase, then another 2 months vaccinating policeman, fireman and teachers and age 55 and older.  Now we are vaccinating everyone as you probably know.  I'm thinking the vaccine distribution has been ramped up so much that Mexico will probably be vaccinating the general public by sometime late summer.

You have a lot of expenses in Feb, March and April.  I don't yet have April but I know it was high.  I'm trying to help you out the best I can.  We are all going through this hard time together.  I waived several expenses in February and March if you take a look.  I also paid extra towards May so you have some cash flow to pay association dues.

Kind regards Ricardo,

Tim

April 1, 2021,

Hello Ricardo!

 

What a bizarre year.  We are off to a great start this year when the news broke on Jan 22 that our country would not allow people to return without first being covid tested.  That was a bad break.  Other than when covid first hit, you know we rarely see much time vacant in high season.  But this year we had several units go 2 weeks or so without a booking in the middle of high season.  Plus I had the prices much lower than normal and still it was very slow.

The good news is that May and beyond appear to be solid for all the units.  Prices are lower than normal of course, but not way below normal.  April is finally picking up steam as well.  You probably heard that in the U.S. a couple of states including Texas have gone completely back to normal including no more mask mandate.  What is strange is that European countries and others including Canada have recently made travel even more difficult with covid restrictions.  We may not see normal again until 2022 to be honest, but it is great to see it getting better.

About the internet, just so you know, the reason we are encouraging owners to go with the highest speed is also so that we can phase out SKY.  Ultimately we would like to see all the T.V.s be smart T.V's as this is the way everything is going.  This way guests can stream just about anything and we can eliminate the SKY bills for all owners.  The final result is an overall lower monthly expense for each owner.  Plus in high winds SKY has consistently cost each owner even more money to repair the equipment that cannot hold up in high winds. Being able to advertise the highest speed internet is just an added bonus that some potential guests really like.

 

But things are slow now so maybe, if you would like, we can talk more about it down the road.

I hope you and your family are doing really well Ricardo.

Un Abrazo,

Tim

 

 

 

Feb 4, 2021:

Hello Ricardo!

Well, 2020 is a year we will never forget.  Moving into 2021 I had very high hopes, and I still do.  We have had set backs again, but at this point, we are used to those.  We were starting to gain some nice momentum moving into high season.  Yes, prices were lower but things were filling up fairly considering the covid issue is still in play.  Then in January we heard the new announcement that you had to get tested for covid before coming back to the US.  And if you were positive, you could not return for 2 weeks.  That sent all our customers into a panic.  We saved more than 80% of our bookings, but we did see several cancel or reschedule.  We were moving quickly after hearing this news.  We knew we had to get answers for guests on where to get tested, how much it would be, where would they stay if they tested positive, etc.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and now we provide all the tests "in house" meaning they do not have to go anywhere.  The tests are done at a very reasonable cost of $70, and results are in 20 minutes and documentation to get back on the plane.  Megan and your brother Daniel put everything together.  Now guests can book their covid tests online on the timsoceancondos.com site.  So we have things under control.  But a lot still remain apprehensive to travel over seas.  It slowed things down a lot.  I did another round of lowering prices, this time through May 19.  

Then two days ago Canada announced another travel ban to Mexico.  This resulted in a couple more cancellations, very frustrating.  I honestly think much of this is political.  If the media would talk about the positive things going on things would be a lot different.  They could talk about how many vaccines have been issued so far, how the percentage for death is far less, how wind and sunshine in Cancun is very healthy instead of staying inside all winter.  But instead they keep selling their fear.  Considering that hundreds of thousands of people are being vaccinated world wide every single day, I'm hopeful there is some good times coming on the horizon.  Yes, we need to see that number move up to several million per day to have a decent world wide impact but my understanding is the distribution of the vaccine is ramping up substantially over the coming months.  This has to make a positive difference.

In the short run, high season is definitely way off, as you can see.  It is encouraging to see a fairly steady flow of new bookings for this summer.  Not a ton, but slow and steady summer is starting to fill in.  

The latest news on the new tempered glass coming in is sometime later this month or in March.  When it does come in, we will schedule it around whatever bookings we have of course.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

 

 

 

 

Dec 16, 2020:

Merry Christmas Ricardo!

I'm awaiting a lot of expenses but I still wanted to get the income and expenses caught up on your owner page and be able to give you a pay out before Christmas.  It was a "no brainer" to do the temporary glass to keep the rental income moving.  It was a good investment while we wait on the permanent tempered glass.  I am told that having a handle on the top of the glass makes them much stronger.  For this reason, I gave Abdiel approval to have that done.  This way we have a fair chance of having no glass breach if we have another cat 1 or cat 2 hurricane.  And we also are storing the temporary glass and marking it with "3703".  This way if we lose some glass, we can immediately bring in at least some glass panels, and most likely enough to fix the glass temporarily in the event of another hurricane where glass is blown away.  We have enough to replace as many pieces as were missing during the last two storms, which is a lot.  

I do not yet have the expenses from Abdiel for Sept, Oct and November, but still wanted to get you as much information as I do have so far.  I will add these to future statements.

It is still slow, fortunately we were still able to get Christmas and New Years booked, even though at less than normal.  We have had covid spikes globally over the last 6 weeks which has hurt business.  It has resulted in a reschedule nightmare.  I already had your place cancel for New Years, but fortunately, I was able to get it rebooked again. 

 

I will be keeping an eye on January and February and get what we can for weeks that are still open as the dates get closer.  Hopefully by this summer, things will be moving somewhat back to normal.  If we can even get to 80% of normal that would be great.

Please say hello for me to Rey, Daniel and your family.

Merry Christmas!

Tim

Aug 25, 2020,

Hi Ricardo!  I hope you and your family are doing ok through this hard time.  I am leaving a few hours from now and heading to Cancun.  I am going to get updated photos of your place.  Of course we want to have great weather, so I'm going to stay for more than 2 weeks to make sure that happens.  My understanding is that the weather has not been great the last few days, we just had the tropical storm sweep by.

It's been a slow time for your place.  The smaller units are doing ok, along with 3701 and 2701.  But the others are struggling other than 2704 had a decent August.  Pricing remains attractive but I will soon be lowering the prices a little bit on your place and the others that are struggling.  We will get things turned around again.  I felt bad about you not receiving a wire in a long time.  So with this last wire of $3,000 it pays through July and gives another $2,000 towards August which is a week month this year.  When rentals are zero, referencing the second half of March, all of April, all of May and almost all of June, and the expenses are heavier than normal with the projects we had gotten done, it's hard to make progress with cash flow.

Meanwhile it has been frustrating when you need a new passport and you cannot get one.  Finally I talked to my congressman here in the states and told him I had to have a new passport.  Thankfully he pulled through for me.  I had not had one all through the covid mess and you could not get one because of covid unless a family member died.  Actually you still cannot get a passport here in the states, but fortunately I found a way through our congressman.  

I think its important that we fill the calendar for you even if it means accepting prices that I normally would not.  Because when people see a calendar that has a lot of red, it has a psychological effect, they want something that has limited availability.  I have seen this happen many times in past years with various units.  Then we can raise the prices up again once we are really rolling.  So if you soon see some uncommonly lower prices please know the strategy behind this.  I did just recently lower Christmas and New Years again.  Normally by now those weeks are about 75% sold out by now so we want to get those weeks booked.  This time I lowered them quite substantially, roughly 35% less than the already lower prices.  They were sitting at about 15% off the norm before this last cut.  Meanwhile January is priced very attractively, and it steps up Feb 9 and again on March 10.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

July 21, 2020,

Hi Ricardo,

It has been a long time.  So much has happened I don't know where to begin.  As you might remember back in February and early March we were on pace for another great year.  Then suddenly on March 14 everything stopped.  It seemed like we were all living in a dream.  Here are some updates for you.

I sent a wire on July 10 in the amount of $5,000US.  There were so many changes going on at the time with bookings I wanted the information on your owner page to be at least a bit more solid before posting it.  I thought we would get through the biggest part of this by the end of June.  But not so much.  In July I would see a new booking one day and two days later the same booking would cancel.  Or other times a booking for July would be coming up and suddenly the guests would email me to say their airline cancelled their flights.  Sometimes it was for the 2nd or 3rd time.  So I have learned to remember God is in control and I have to take things one day at a time amidst so many changes going on.  It seems like it is finally starting to stabilize.  I have not had a cancellation in over a week.  It is still very slow at a time we should be super busy.  The 2br units are doing better, because these are not large groups.  Many people remain fearful of traveling in groups bigger than their immediate family.  I'm seeing very little from the US, most of the business is from Mexico right now.  

You might know in that here in the states we are having some major issues.  This is not helping business at all.  It is an election year yes, but our country has never been so divided.  The press sells fear, fear, fear all day long on 95% of the networks regarding covid19.  I do not know why people listen to those channels but millions do every day, and they have our citizens scared.  Yes, the number of cases is sky high, but no one reports that our death rate has hit historical lows and it continues to go down.  The death rate is 10 fold less than it was at one time.  But as you likely know, on top of this our country is in turmoil after the death of the African American by a police officer.  Since then there have been riots in the streets for 8 weeks straight now, even police departments are being over run because the leaders of these cities are telling the police to more or less stand down.  It's a total disgrace.  I'm embarrassed to say I am an American right now.  It's unreal.  

A little more on that in a moment, just to keep you informed.  I'm not sure how much this news is reported in Mexico, so I thought I would keep you informed about it.

Back in late February we painted your unit.  Normally I always let you know when we are doing something that involves a larger expense.  I apologize.  Your unit really did need it.  We used a high grade paint so that we can wipe off scuffs instead of always having to use touch up paint between bookings.  I am taking out this expense over the course of 5 statements so that it has less effect on your cash flow.  I will not include the expense on any months that had no income due to covid19.

I am starting to finally see more and more bookings for the 4br units, but it has been a slow increase.  I have the prices through the end of the year lower than normal.  Soon I will again cut Christmas and New Years.  I was trying to see if we could get about 75%-80% of normal pricing for those weeks but it does not appear likely and we want to get those weeks booked.  January 2021 is a little lower than normal and Feb 10 we go back to normal as far as how things are priced so far.  As a side note, I used to shoot for about $3,600 for the highest weeks in March but I noticed 2 years ago people were not willing to go quite that much anymore so those peak March weeks are about $500 less, which was started last year.

Going back to the situation here in the states, which is where the bulk of our business comes from;  I think after Nov 3 we will start to see things moving rapidly back to normal.  Because then the election will be over.  If Trump wins we will almost surely see more riots.  The press hates him. He does good things for our country but as I'm sure you know, he says very foolish things many times which makes people that like his policies cringe.  

One day at a time we will get back on track.

I hope you and your family are doing ok through this most difficult time.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

Feb 21, 2020,

Good morning Ricardo!  I have had the flu since Monday.  Wow, it was really bad.  So glad to be feeling better!

It was great to hear the news that Raul was able to get breakfast for our guests.  Understandably, its temporary.  But hopefully they will not stop after March 5.  If they do not this is a great step.  If they allow it to continue I think the best strategy is to not move forward with any other requests for a few months.  Only because I feel like if nothing is said the system will become well entrenched and a way of life for the resort.  And once that happens for a few months I think it will be that much easier for them to at least consider the same idea for lunch and dinner.  They can also see after a few months that this has little or no bearing on all-inclusive sales.

Megan will be in Cancun Feb 22-27.  We have the information showing about the new bedding arrangement.  Megan will get photos of the kids room with a wide angle lens when she is there.  

On your statement you will see a charge for $111.  That was to get the mattresses up and get the old things dismantled and taken down stairs.  I asked Francis about this because I thought it sounded high for Telebodega.  Then Francis reminded me that Telebodega does not deliver on Saturday so we took delivery from them on Friday.  Then when the guest left Saturday, we had the beds brought up by a company.  

As soon as I returned home from my last trip the guest arriving Feb 5 emailed to ask if the new beds came in.  You might remember this is the guest where I was able to close the deal if I could tell her we would have new queen beds instead of the double beds.  So it has already yielded a return on investment and I'm sure it will continue to over time.

Abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

Jan 15, 2020,

Happy New Year Ricardo!  There is not much to report this time that you are not already aware of.  I blocked Jan 25 and 26 this month to make sure we have time to receive the new beds and have everything looking nice for the new guests arriving Jan 27.  Megan and I will be sending you a what's app most likely on Friday Jan 24 morning regarding the bed prices and photos.  We almost always purchase beds from Telebodega.  The prices are good and they can almost always deliver the next day.

See you soon!

Tim

Dec 23, 2019,

Merry CHRISTmas Ricardo!!!  I hope you and your family are doing really well. 

 

Megan and I plan to be in Cancun next month.  We need to get the new beds for the guest coming Feb 5.  She is the one we promised we would have queens for in bedroom 3.  And of course we will get the new queen for bedroom 4 as well.  I think this is going to have a nice positive impact on rentals Ricardo.

Thankfully all the work for the water proofing for tower C is complete, this is great news!  It was a long project, I was not expecting almost 2 months.  But now it is behind us.

As you will see on shown on your statement, please know we have brought in quite a few things from the US to save money.  We are always going to be bringing in new linens from the US and new towels each year as they are far less than in Cancun.  Each year it will be a new sheets set for each bed, and 30 new bath towels and 6-12 new hand towels.  The reason the number 30 for bath towels is we give 5 towels per bathroom with shower which is 15 and we always have 2 sets.  There are other miscellaneous things brought down as well, including some items for decorative Christmas decor to make things look festive.  We plan to purchase plastic storage bins for these items and use them year after year for Christmas time.  Just letting you know to expect to see these items partly on November and partly on December or January statements.

2020 is shaping up nicely, I think you will have a great 2020 for your place Ricardo.

Un abrazo,

Tim

 

 

Nov 14, 2019

Hi Ricardo!  

We have had work crews up on top of tower C for the last month.  They are doing water proofing on the roof.  Part of the process is to remove the old concrete in some areas.  They have had jack-hammers up there making a lot of noise, and also constant pounding.  I have issued refunds to guests for the other units, but fortunately, so far we have not had to issue any for your place.  This will be a welcome improvement as we have experienced severe leaks in 3701 and 3702 and I think 3703 would soon be following if not for the work being done now.

I'm sure you heard about the recent tragedy of the 9 Americans in Cancun.  Its very sad and my heart goes out to those families as I'm sure yours does also. 

 

It has had a negative effect on business as you might imagine.  I am confident it will soon pick back up.  Hopefully there will be no further set backs from violence for a long time.  We both know Cancun is safe, we would not hesitate for a moment to bring our children there.  But the press loves selling fear because it sells very well and they know it.  I have had people that already have reservations asking if they should cancel and new reservations have been sparse since the tragedy.  But again, I'm confident things will soon turn around.

Blessings Ricardo!

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 15, 2019

Hi Ricardo,

I hope you and your family are doing well!  

To wrap of this year, we have all remaining availability very aggressively priced, especially last minute availability.  We have done pretty well with last minute bookings, although pricing for those isn't great, but we always want to try to fill those in.

Next year high season we are also more aggressive than last year, nothing crazy, but we want to see all of high season fill in.  High season is a little trickier because last minute deals are not very effective after airfare has gone sky high so I keep an eye on flight costs from a few major cities which is a good barometer.  When they start going up suddenly we make our moves.

Have a terrific day!

Tim

 

 

Sept 23, 2019

Hi Ricardo,

I wanted to tell you that my wife's sister and her husband have decided to move to Mexico.  They bought a place in Tulum.  My understanding is that they will be moving there sometime in the next 6 months or so.  Our first relatives to move to Mexico, its pretty exciting!    Megan will be in town Nov 4 to work with Francis and Abdiel on the operational end of things.

We have decided to make a few positive changes to help with repeat business.  For example when guests arrive we will always have for them margaritas, water, and chips and salsa.  We are also now going to include salt, pepper, and cooking oil for all guests.  We already do special things for birthdays, anniversaries, and honeymoons however Megan and I want to have standard packages for guests for celebrations such as these and she will be working on those details also while she is in town.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

Aug 22, 2019

Hi Ricardo,

I have little to report this time.  I am trying to put together a vigilance meeting for later this year so that we have at least one before the one prior to the owner meeting.  I have some ideas I would like to share.  I will give as much notice as possible, several weeks at least, and also an outline of the ideas and how they can condo owners and Oleo owners as well to make more income. 

 

There are some other improvements we can make also.  One example is the common areas on floor 7 of tower C have no AC.  This does create some troubles in the summer months especially including mold spores, so I have an idea to solve this as well.

My plan is to be in touch with vigilance members about some things in the next couple of months.

Abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

July 20,

Hi Ricardo,

We have had some bad press out there lately regarding the seaweed.  Its unfair the way they report it because they make it look like the worst part is in the Cancun hotel zone and we all know that is not true.  Here is one example: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-15/cancun-seaweed-2019-airport-hotels-beaches-see-fewer-travelers

Despite the negative press, we have still managed to keep the bookings coming for next month by being aggressive with pricing.  I remain confident that we will get stronger as we move into the remainder of the year.  We are well entrenched and all over the web so we'll be fine.  Hopefully some brilliant people will come up with a solution to the sea weed dilemma.  I get asked about this from potential guests a lot.

I agree with you the booking.com will be a strong ally.  One of your bookings in June was from them.  That's one reason I went to Cancun because they cannot pay me for the booking until I get an account in Mexico.  They just work a little differently, no others require this.  I think they are a little paranoid because when they first started in the vacation rental business they got burned.  People were showing up to places that did not exist and they had to give a lot of money back.  Meanwhile the other big names in our space have already known about these troubles for years and have vetted all owners and managers in advance to avoid such troubles.

For now, all else seems fine.  I am going to be emailing you and the others on the vigilance committee about some ideas I have and also about some things I think is important we get accomplished.  I'm hoping to still have our meeting we talked about for October.

Rich blessings to you and your family Ricardo!

Tim

 

 

 

June 5, 2019

Hi Ricardo,

I don't yet have expenses for May, I normally receive those about the 12th of the month after.  However I wanted to get you paid through May anyway so I estimated how much your payout would be for May income.

I have been working hard to get as many last minute bookings as possible where I still see availability with less than a month prior to those dates.  So the strategy has been to lower rates a little bit 8 weeks out for dates not yet booked, then again 5 weeks out and finally 3 weeks out or less.  It has worked pretty well for our units.  At the 3 weeks away point the rates are very aggressive but still, something is better than nohting at that point and it helps to fill in more dates.

I hope to see you at the next vigilance meeting later this month.

Blessings,

Tim

April 4, 2019

Hi Ricardo!

Well, it seems we will have an early meeting later this month with the vigilance committee!  I wasn't expecting that, but it's great to know we will be meeting several times this year.  I think make a lot of progress for the the owner's concerns this year.

Just to give you some web site/marketing updates.  We have recently been added (all the penthouse units) to several additional major sites.  I mentioned this during the last update and that is now complete.  We will also soon be implementing a new more aggressive pricing strategy.  The idea is to make every effort to get 3-4 weeks booked in all the stronger months, and try to approach the same with mid strength months, and work towards 2-3 even in off season months.  The idea with this strategy is more overall rental income by volume based on great value for the money.  Now this strategy was already implemented for January 2020 as a test, and the results have been strong.  We already have 2 bookings for January of 2020 for your place.  So the total rental amount for January 2020 is already almost exactly the same as 2019 and we have 9 months to go.  Meanwhile, market saturation in the vacation rental industry space continues to grow at a very fast pace so we need to stay a head of this curve.  The more we show "booked" on all web calendars the better as stronger bookings actually effect SEO, or search engine ranks.  So more bookings essentially leads to continued more bookings.

Progress of course continues on the new web site platform as mentioned in the last update, this will take several months to complete and will be well worth the time investment when finished.  

With your permission, in the next few months I would like to install a reverse osmosis system in the kitchen.  This way you will no longer have the bills for water jugs each month.  It will only be a maintenance and filter change once a year which is nominal cost.  The systems from Home Depot run about $350US.  But the professional units are more like $500US.  

You will see in the expenses that we repaired the pump motor for the jacuzzi.  But I also told Francis to order a new motor because they take a few weeks to come in.  This way when the pump goes out again we can simply replace with the new one without delay or frustration to guests.  The new pump is about $11,000 pesos for the material.  I think this is a good investment rather than waiting to repair it again.  I have pictures of the old one, I don't think it will last very much longer, even with the repair. If you would like to see the photos of the old pump for reference, please let me know and i'm happy to email it to you.

Lastly, thank you for your continued patience as I continue to catch up with all owners after the 2 difficult years of 2016, 2017.  I do believe that by this time next year pay outs will be back on track by about the 15th of each month for the previous months rentals.  

Rich blessings to you and your family Ricardo.

Tim

Feb 13, 2019

Hi Ricardo!

I hope to see you later this month at the vigilance meeting. 

My understanding from Francis is that you plan to do some remodeling, which is terrific.   Since you are already planning on doing this remodeling, one thing I would suggest is a reverse osmosis system for drinking water.  These systems used to cost a lot, but not anymore, they are quite reasonable.  I think at this time they go for about $400US plus installation.  I believe you spend around $20US per month on purified water so the pay back is only 2 years and then your done other than once a year to change the filter.  Francis said she talked to the person in charge of the project and suggested a dishwasher.  That would also be a great improvement as potential guests look for this item.

Just to let you know, in December the dryer was available, but the washing machine was not able to make it before Christmas.  So what we did is put a temporary washer in 3703 until the new one came in.  The temporary one was also new because it just so happened Francis had also just bought a new washer.  So we used hers as temporary.  This is why there is an additional installation charge in January.

Whenever you decide to remove the dining room set, no problem, all I ask is please if you could give us a couple week notice that would be great.

I think it is wonderful that you have decided to replace the kitchen cabinets.  Thank you.  I'm sure they will look great and work much nicer.

In other news, I wanted to share with you some information about our strategy with marketing the penthouse units.  I created the new site originally because resortcondoscancun.com was built on software that is no longer supported.  However on google search, resortcondoscancun.com and cancunvacationrentals1.com have duplicate content which will lower your ranking.  At first I did not want to do anything about this because resortcondoscancun.com was still coming up on page 2 or 3 for most google searches and provided us with a lot of bookings.  I knew this would not last but wanted to get as much time out of it as possible since this gives us a lot of business.  I will be taking down resortcondoscancun.com in the coming weeks for this reason.  resortcondoscancun.com will redirect to the new url: https://www.cancunvacationrentals1.com  once this is finished.

I am also in the process of putting cancunvacationrentals1.com on an entirely new platform.  This platform is very complex and it will take a long time, but it is well worth the money and time in the long run.  So its a huge project, will take a few months.  Nothing will change about the new site in the meantime, so no worries there.  It is a huge project though, but when it is finished we should see much faster loading speeds and google rank will be back on page 2 for most relevant searches, and possibly page 1.  There is much involved to get this done to maximize SEO and fluid and fast photo loads, but it will happen and it will be beautiful and speedy when complete.  In the meantime google searches will still show cancunvacationrentals1.com because of google ads that show everyday.  The most expensive part of our business is the google ads.

Lastly, we are partnering with priceline.com and other major players that are now entering the vacation rental arena.  They are learning that vacation rentals is a big part of the lodging business and they were missing that focusing only on hotel rooms for lodging in past years. 

I am also lowering prices for January 2020 for all units to make sure we get most all those January weeks booked in 2020. Right now we are going to go in $400 per week less which is aggressive, but smart.  The idea is to see them booking up quickly and in advance.  Because if we have to give last minute discounts the price is much lower.  This was the case in one rental in Jan 2019 for your place.

Blessings Ricardo!

Tim

Dec 12, 2018

Hi Ricardo,

It was really nice to hear your voice a few days ago.  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

So this wire, although small, takes us through November.  You might remember we had a huge expense in October, it was for $7,473 for material and labor to hook up AC to the resort chillers.  So instead of receiving this in money, it was an expense taken from rental income in October and it carried over into November income.  But now this is behind us and it is a nice benefit because we will no longer have the AC expenses so high like before with purchasing new AC's frequently, and a lot for maintenance.

Next month you will have some additional expenses, however for these you can see the results in your place right away.  We have the new dinging room table and 8 chairs.  I will let you know the moment I have the photos uploaded on the site, will be by the end of next month as I am taking pictures next month.  Then we have the new washer/dryer and lastly the new tile below the cabinets.  I also brought new bath towels and face towels from the US along with a few other items because they are much cheaper to buy these particular items in the states and bring them in.

I want to take your place to a new level this year Ricardo.  I will show you photos of the other things and discuss them with you before proceeding with these other things I have in mind.

Blessings,

 

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 5, 2018

Hi Ricardo,

I hope you and your family are doing well.

Yesterday the wire was for $8,000 US.  This takes you through July and leaves you with a small credit balance in August of $1,266US.  The cost for the new AC equipment and hook up to the resort chillers is $9,479US (based on an exchange rate of 18.5).  

This work for your unit will begin Oct 15 unless we end up with a last minute booking.  It will take approximately a week to complete the work.  

I don't yet have receipts for September, so I can't post that statement for about another week.  I normally get all the receipts from Rafaela (our bookkeeper) by about the 12 of each month for the month prior.  But for sure going into October you will have a high negative balance because of the cost of the AC work being done.  So the good news is that I am more than caught up now, thankfully.  It has been a long process after all the hard times of the construction, but less than a year after final completion of the resort.  We are very, very blessed.  Praise God.  Just 3 years ago how different things were.  

Blessings,

 

Tim

Sept 27, 2018

Hi Ricardo,

As mentioned in my email, I was having trouble with the pdf maker.  I have that fixed thankfully.  The last wire went out on August 17, 2018 for $11,800.  You'll see the details for the income and expenses in the statements.

You asked how business has been.  Its been very up and down, almost strange.  For example, last January was weak.  This year after November I plan to lower prices for any dates still available in January.  I want to make sure we get more bookings that month than we did last year.  This was not only for your unit, it was across the board.  Then June last year was great, our strongest ever, way better than normal.  Then this year Christmas and New Years were not selling so I kept lowering the price, very strange again.   Finally it is now mostly sold out, your place is booked for both holidays and Christmas/New Years is 85% sold out for all units.  But it happened a lot slower this year, in fact Christmas just sold yesterday for your place. 

 

Now in general I think business has been solid, especially considering the bad press I am still hearing from our guests about the violence.  Its really freaking people out.  For example, I spoke to a guest yesterday who is coming for Christmas in another unit and before they would consider making another payment they wanted to know if Cancun was safe or not.  And I always tell them I live near Chicago, more homicides there than any city in the world.  But I would not hesitate to take my kids to Chicago to see a sports game, or Navy Pier, museums, parks, shopping, etc. because the violence is isolated to certain bad areas.  I tell them it is the same with Cancun.  But still often times people believe the negative and untruthful press more than me.  I have seen news paper articles online that show our beach as a backdrop to violence that has happened elsewhere, its very unfair coverage.  I have had several cancellations over the last few weeks just because of the violence and how the press reports this.  Of course we also have the US travel alert warning regarding traveling to this region of Mexico.  I think it is not fair that they include Cancun in this travel alert.  Overall, Cancun is very safe for tourists as you well know.

But when you consider all this negative press, I think business has remained quite strong overall in spite of all this reporting on the violence.  September was decent, October is not great so far, nor November but we may see last minute bookings for these months.

As mentioned in your email I will get another wire out for you by the end of next week.  Please keep in mind that I have to put out approximately $7,000US next month also for switching your AC over to the resort chillers.  So the next one may not be as big as normal since we have this expense also.

Have a great day Ricardo,

Tim

June 15, 2018

Hi Ricardo,

I hope you and your family are doing great!  Things have been improving steadily now since the very bad press regarding Cancun violence back in April.  Again, we all know its safe in Cancun, but fear sells and the media loves to sell their fear.  Fortunately we seam to have largely moved past this finally.  I still have people ask about it, but not nearly as much as before.  New bookings are starting to pick up again.  

As you know, I had a pro photographer out to get photos of the new resort and any of the units that were open while he was in town.  We also have new and improved interior video for some units.  We should have at least some new and improved video of your place.  Your place was booked when everyone was here but we tried to get them in during the cleaning cycles between bookings.  You should see that showing before your next owner update.  They are starting to release photos/video as we speak for some of the areas.

Also new and coming soon will be an easier to understand booking system where the calendars themselves will show the daily and weekly rates.  Also in the works is to integrate a blog into the site.  In this way we hope to be able to give common sense feedback to issues that may be facing Cancun at any given time such as most recently the alleged violence.

Blessings to you and your family Ricardo,

Tim

April 20, 2018

Hi Ricardo,

This is the first owner update where I can officially say, "THE RESORT IS FINISHED!!!"  Boy it feels great to say that!  I am heading down to Cancun this Monday April 23 to get photos of everything.  I was able to get a few at the owners meeting but the weather was not great so I want to get photos with lots of sunshine in the back ground.

Also, currently I have the drone company there in Cancun getting video footage of our new resort.  You will be able to see the new video in the next month or so.  I also have a pro photographer from the states going down the 2nd week in May to get even better photos.  Great photos are vital in our business so even though I will be getting more next week we always want to be improving in this area.  I am filled with excitement about the times of old being behind us. 

I do have some negative news, I am sure you have heard about the alleged "14 murders in Cancun in the last 36 hours".  This article broke on April 4  and has been recirculated numerous times.  That, along with a US travel alert for the region have combined to really hurt business in recent weeks.  The travel alert in and of itself is not that bad because it encompasses a large area and most people think Cancun is relatively safe.  But combine that with "14 murdered in 36 hours in Cancun" and we have some trouble.  I have been working more in recent weeks to keep the bookings we have from canceling then being able to get new bookings.  We are still seeing new bookings, but they are very sparse right now.  The more time that goes by without any new news, the better of course.  I know you are a believer in God, please do pray about this.  Thank you.

I would like to finish on a positive note.  Since best day has taken over, our resort reviews have gone from a rank of 124 in Cancun down to 60.  That is truly amazing.  And the vast majority of this improvement was during phase II of the construction.  

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

Feb 20, 2018: Hi Ricardo!  We are on the VERGE OF TOTAL COMPLETION!!!! YEAH!!!!

What a ride it has been.  I don't ever want to forget what God rescued us from.  Only 3 short years ago things were completely up side down compared to now.  There was no money, crumbling concrete, no elevators, dirt and disgust everywhere, and evil had a firm grip around our neck.  As I am sure your family has, we have all been praying for years for God to overcome and to set us free and keep our integrity intact at the same time.  Boy did God put His might exclamation point on answering our prayers!  Praise God in the highest!!!

I just returned from Cancun 3 weeks ago, I didn't want to wait any longer to get new photos of the spa and gym.  It looks like the new lobby is going to be done by March 10 owner's meeting.  What a statement piece the new lobby will be, its just awesome!!!  The last of the 3 restaurants is looks great, I love the outside effect that they did over there, looks terrific!  I also see our resort reviews have gone from 124 out of 178 Cancun resorts to #65.  Just imagine how much better when we are not under construction.

So now I have professionals coming out in April to take more drone video, I will be re-making all the drone videos to include all the new resort.  I also have a professional photographer coming out in April to take all new pictures of the new resort as well.  These people are excellent at what they do so this should be a really nice improvement to all the web sites and I'm sure the results in time will be very strong.

Megan and I will be in Cancun in March for the meeting of course.  We hope to see you there Ricardo.  I am also trying to get down there again in the 3rd or 4th week of April because I want to get updated photos of all the condos.  This may take a few trips because i don't want to block off dates because the more bookings for owner's the better of course.  Now that the resort looks so good, I want to elevate our game to a higher level with the inside of the condos also, so I want to re-evaluate each one and come up with good ideas for making them look especially nice.  I will be in touch on that over time.

Un abrazo Ricardo,

Tim

Dec 27: Hi Ricardo!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

The great news is that the new spa officially opened yesterday and the new gym opened today!  It is finally getting really close.  Only the new lobby and last restaurant to go!  Now Francis can also take the guests directly to tower C without having to walk all the way around by the pool.  The new spa looks just like the original rendition as does the lobby so that is good to see also.

Meanwhile the elevator continues to be an area of difficulty in tower C.  The elevator has to be reset nearly every time someone goes up.  If no people are on the elevator, no problem, it will work fine.  But with more than 4 people it stops after one run.  I am referring to the old elevator we are using now because the new one is broken and Rey says approximately 3 weeks to fix it.  Francis and I have made every effort to keep guests satisfied under the difficult circumstances.

Hopefully in another few months the elevators will be working and the resort will be completely finished.

Glad to see the numbers for your unit last year, outstanding.  

Blessings Ricardo,

Tim Miller

Oct 3: Hi Ricardo.  Finally a decent size wire went out.  The amount was $10,365.  This covered June and July.  2017 has turned into your best year as a rental.  Congratulations!  

Over time I will continue to move over to this site older information that is on the old site.

I have not been able to get answers to questions about the resort timeline or I would share with you what I know. I can tell you that they continue to work on tower A and the main lobby, the last restaurant and the spa.  Work has been going very slow on the spa lately, probably because the focus needs to be tower A and the new lobby for soon to be high season.  As you probably know, we have one of 6 elevators installed now.   This is in tower B.  They have been working to install the new one in tower C but have not been able to complete this yet.  I was told by Abdiel from the technicians that it would be 4-6 weeks.  This is going back about 6 weeks ago now.  So hopefully we will have a working elevator in tower C sometimes soon.  We have had a lot of reviews of the condos lately talking about the elevator not working.  This could really hurt business.  If we can say "the new elevator is now installed" as a rebuttal to these reviews that will help very much.  There have been no vigilance committee meetings this year or I would be giving you more specific information.  Meanwhile, I trust that the construction will be over hopefully by December and before high season since guests are much less tolerant of imperfection when they are paying much more money.

Once the construction is done, I think our best years are yet to come.

Un abrazo Ricardo, and thank you for your continued patience as I work to catch up from all the difficult years past.

Tim

June 27:  Hi Ricardo.  Not much new news to report.  The word from the elevator technicians for the new elevators is that they will have the first new elevators completed by approximately mid July.  That is probably not likely, but nice to know they are at least being worked on.  My understanding is that tower A is being worked on along with the 3rd restaurant and the spa.  The resort looks so much better, just amazing! Hopefully everything will be complete by this Christmas.  Once its all done it will be fantastic!  This last wire paid for April.  This is the time of year when I am not able to catch up. But I am confident this fall we will get completely caught up, and for good.  We have had success in getting higher prices after the resort improvements finished last December.  This has been a record year for #3730 if you look at the bookings for #3730 for 2017..  And I think next year will be even better!  Un abrazo Ricardo.  Tim

May 25: Hi Ricardo. I am creating an additional web site for all of the units.  It used to be that “duplicate content” was very bad if you had more than one site with the same content, that is regarding google rankings.  Now we are on so many sites with “duplicate content” that I cannot see how this could hurt our rankings on google.  The new site is superior in several ways.  One, it focuses more on our core strengths regarding reasons to book with us over the competition and these positives are very easy to find.  Second, the online booking system is integrated into the availability calendar, meaning they are one in the same, availability and booking.  The new booking system will allow me to give special promo codes when needed.  For example, I’m talking with a potential customer and they negotiate a better deal.  I give them a promo code that they must use when they book online to get the discount.  Or I can insert it over the phone.  The new booking system will allow so many settings its crazy.  For example, let’s say we have a 5 night minimum stay in high season.  But there are 3 nights open between bookings.  It will allow bookings for those 3 nights the way it is configured.  Lastly, most everything has been simplified.  There will also be drone footage video of each unit!  This is super cool, its only done so far for #2000.  This is not there yet for the other units but will be within the next month. And it will not cost us a penny.  I did this deal in trade.  I offered them one week in “whatever unit we have open in the second half of August”.  The second half of August always has openings.  The new site is: www.cancunvacationrenals1.com 
Blessings,
Tim

May 8, 2017: Hi Ricardo.  The last wire went out April 21 and paid February with a substantial carry over going into March.  I will make another payment within the next 2 weeks to continue catching up.  Best regards, Tim Miller.

March 15, 2017:  Hi Ricardo.  Above under the 2017 statements I left all of them from 2016 in there for now because 2016 kind of flows into 2017 this time with December of 2016 and January 2017 all part of this last pay out.  It cannot tell you how refreshing it has been since the construction stopped.  I know the worst of it is behind us.  What is done so far looks great! I’m looking forward to getting new photos, Megan and I will be there from March 16-March 21, we are coming in primarily for the meeting.  I have some new pictures, but I’m very picky about photos so looking forward to getting some really good ones. Wanted to let you know that the internet connection has become a major problem in tower c.  I am open to suggestions on this.  Atelier cut the optic fibers to tower C during construction.  We have had limited success in a work-around.  As you know, internet is vital these days, we will lose a lot of deals if we don’t have it.  So far, we have managed to avoid major trouble with guests, but just the other day my understanding is tower C internet was out.  

The elevators have been better than ever!  I had given the owner of Servver a large amount of money to make repairs to the existing elevators and have full time staff at the resort for 2 months.  Right after that ended we had troubles immediately and they kept happening day after day.  So I asked the owner to extend the deal for another 60 days.  Hopefully this will fix the trouble again while we wait for the new ones to come in.  

I was able to get higher prices on some weeks already then previous years because of the confidence I now have in meeting or exceeding guests overall expectations because of the resort improvements.  It has come after many years of prayer my brother in Christ Jesus!!!  I know you and your family were praying for many years as was our family.  And God did deliver, that is for sure.  It’s also terrific that God used you to be a part of making that happen.  Getting back to the prices for a minute, the bookings were continuing pretty strong with the new numbers through high season.  But I may have increased them a bit too much for beyond high season.  We will see, I may end up lowering them down some for the rest of the year because I had bumped them up quite a bit.  I keep a close eye on what is going on and will adjust accordingly.  If you are around the resort in the next few days let me know.  Its been a long time, would like to at least say hi personally sometime. Rey and I almost always get together for lunch during each visit.  If you want, check in with Rey and join us.  Un abrazo Ricardo.  Tim.

Feb 3, 2017:  Hi Ricardo.  The wire on Feb 2 yesterday paid August, September, October, November and part of December 2016.  The amount of the wire was $7,500.  When you look under the “Returns” link the first credit you will see is from October for $1,000.  Every booking I had for Thanksgiving I was giving $1,000 credit to try to keep the deal since we found out there would be no pool.  The guest agreed.  However they still ended up getting all their money back because the resort conditions were essentially intolerable in November.  The ladies name is Christine Pauling. You will see the remaining two refunds were later because they came in November.   In October amazingly a couple of bookings did stay with heavy refunds.  Another one stayed with a refund plus giving #2000 with private pool in addition to #3730.  Anyway, we are all very HAPPY to be past that very heard time and look forward to much better times a head.  Un abrazo Ricardo.  Tim

Jan 18, 2017:  The good news is, things will begin to get MUCH better now.  Thanks to God and Jesus for getting us through to this point.  I arrived to Cancun on Dec 11.  The resort was not ready as you know.  I was hopeful we would have the pool before guests started arriving Dec 16 to #3730.  That was the most stressful week I think I have ever lived.  The pool was open by Dec 14.  But as you know, the trouble was that the entrance to tower C was really bad, basically nothing was open except the pool with workers and materials, power tools, etc. everywhere.  We made it as far as the elevator before the lady started to cry and the husband demanded I get them another place to stay immediately.  God helped me.  I dialed the only number I knew for another person that might have something big in Cancun.  Incredibly it was open.  So these guests canceled at that point in front of the elevator.  I took the husband to the other place to take a look and he decided to take it.  
Meanwhile the elevators continued to be a problem.  It was down in both tower B and C while I was there.  In tower B there was a rain storm on Dec 9 and level 4 was wide open with no glass due to an owner that had decided late to get into the Atelier rental pool.  Water came in heavily and stopped the elevator from working for days.  I had guests coming the next day to #2701 for 7 nights.  I called them and they could no longer except the rental because of this so I had to give them all their money back.  That was kind of the theme of 2016.  Meanwhile in tower C the elevator went down as we brought in our guests that arrived in 372 two days later.  Francis and I were freaking out.  It was a Sunday and our elevator was down in the middle of a check in.  That trouble cost us a lot.  Another guest in 371 ended up leaving over this, because it was just too much even though this guest knew about the construction.  Meanwhile the guests in 372 remained, but were given a huge $3,000 discount because the elevator went out multiple times.  When they did go to the pool there were no bathrooms and they had to take the stairs to go to the penthouse to use the bathroom.  It was a nightmare week Ricardo.

When I arrived on Dec 11, I immediately asked Mr. Ducoing the status of the new elevators as I had heard they were going to begin installation on Dec 15.  It turned out that the elevator company, KCG was lying.  The elevators had not left Spain.  We found out, thank God, from the manufacturer that the elevators were paid for.  In any event, they would not be here until sometimes in February to begin the installation process.  This was not acceptable.  The elevator story goes way back, I will only give you some minimal insight.  Back in July we were ready to give Kone $5,000US to bring work on the elevators so that they would be somewhat reliable.  Kone then stopped all work with us because they felt the conditions with the constructions were too dangerous.  We then hired a new company called Server.  We DID give KCG a chance when they first took over.  But it became obvious very early that this company was unprofessional and incompetent.  We were told back in July to expect the new elevators in September.  So we did not give the $5,000 to kone because they stopped working with us and because now it was August and the new elevators were coming in September.  Then KCG continued to postpone the date month after month.  So when I found out about that no elevators were coming for months I had to take action.  High season was coming and we could not afford even more massive refunds.  So I met with the owner of Server in December.  We agreed to improving the elevators in all 3 towers to get them to a point of being reliable.  The cost was $10,155US.  I wired them part of this money last month, the remainder is be wired this week.  The agreement included having a technician on the premises of the resort 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 2 straight months beginning Dec 21.  Since that time the elevators have gone down, but they have been fixed promptly.  This is the key.  Now the elevators have all been improved, and will continue to be improved for the next month.  Hopefully sometime next month they will begin installing the new ones.  I have my doubts about this but remain hopeful.

You can anticipate August rentals getting paid within the next 2-3 weeks, possibly sooner.  I will give you another owner page update at that time.  Warmest regards, Tim.


Aug 2:  I will NEVER forget June of 2016.  It was certainly among the most stressful times of my life.  Moving forward, please be aware that most of the bookings in September and October will either be substantially reduced or canceled.  My understanding from Rey and Mr. Ducoing is that we will have no pool and be under much construction for September and October.  I am told that the pool will be out of service for 2 months.  They are waiting for permits for much of the work.  I do not know if the work will start in early September or mid September.  So I am not sure who to call at this point and what to tell them.  I was in Cancun July 11-July 18.  After gaining a better understanding of the time line, all new bookings from July 18 on for mid Sept to mid Nov already know about potentially having no pool.  You will notice one very low booking already for Sept 16-23, that is why it is so low.  It is hard to book with no pool without giving steep discounts.

Aug 2:  On the brighter side, once the resort is finished and I am able to take photos, there is no doubt that all rates will go up substantially and owner incomes will increase a great deal.  2017 should be the best year yet, and moving into 2018 should be even better.

Regarding the June 17 post:  There are 2 modifications to the June 17 previous post below.  The first is that these guests also squeezed into #2000 for one night, the second night, because the Grandfather could not go up stairs.  I had forgotten to include that in this post, and therefore have modified the post below to include this along with deducting the cleaning fee before splitting what was left of this rental.  But that required another cleaning fee which made what little was left of this rental even less.

June 17:  Update, the guest arriving June 10/departing June 15 left to go elsewhere on June 13, that morning.  This is referencing the elevator being out for this guest, further information is below.  The guest that arrived June 10 ended up leaving June 13.  This guest was scheduled to stay in #3730 arriving June 10/departing June 14, then move to #3000 for the last night arriving June 14/departing June 15.  You can see by the June 14 post why this refund was so substantial, they had an elderly person staying with them that could not do stairs.  To come up with a refund amount, I first took the total amount of $2,835 including cleaning/laundering processing fee, then divide by 5 to arrive at daily rate, then times this number by 3 to arrive at the prorated amount for the time stayed here which is $1,701.  Then I took ½ off of that amount which is $850. Therefore the amount they should pay is $850 out of $2,835.  The difference for the credit amount is $1,985.  Therefore I rounded it to $2,000 even.  This was the amount of the credit.  I am taking this amount and deducting the raw cost cleaning fee for #2701, and #2000 and then dividing the income evenly.  After deducting the 3 cleaning fees, only $550 remains divided by 5 which is $110 per night.  The guest stayed in #2701 for the first night because we had a vacancy there for one night WITH a working elevator.  One night to #2000 (they all squeezed in there one night).  Then one night is going to #3000 as they were part of the booking and 2 to #3730.  

June 14:  Atelier has started work on the units inside the North tower, starting on the 6th floor.  The demolition work was supposed to be especially loud because of pounding out the tile to remove the old tile.  I suggested to Rey that they use a product combination mortar called Kerabond Keralastic which would save them much time and money and save us much of the noise problem.  This special mortar will allow the new tile to be installed directly over the old tile.  Fortunately, Atelier agreed.  I am sure this saved our guests much aggravation and probably saved us some consideration for excessive noises. No units are being rented in the South tower.  None are rented in the North tower except the penthouse units.

Work has not yet begun on the building exteriors which are in dire need of attention.  My understanding is that the exteriors will be addressed this year.  Apparently the strategy of Atelier is to get the units done first so revenue comes in to help keep the project moving forward.  The elevator was down in the North tower for several days while guests were staying in #3730. Unfortunately, this family included an older grandfather who has much difficulty moving, let alone climbing stairs.  He is dying, he has cancer and he has been through Kemo therapy.  This trip was essentially ruined for them because of the elevator situation.  It was down when they arrived, and I was not able to reach them in advance to let them know about it. The elevator was working on and off when Megan was in town June 2-June 9.  So when it was not working June 7 we thought they would be out to fix it again, because they were fixing it almost daily at that time.  In fact the guests before these had gotten stuck 5 times in the elevator.  The lady called her husband to come and rescue her and pry the door open.  We gave them a refund of $250 and they did not even ask for one.  We felt they deserved it, they are such nice people and I was shocked I did not hear from them about it.  Although Megan was there and asking them if we could prepare an authentic Mexican meal for them on us.  They declined.  But back to the guests that were so effected by the elevator situation most recently.  We have not yet agreed on an amount.  But this refund will be a big one when we do.  I had all I could do to talk them into not leaving and getting a full refund.  I honestly thought they would not stay after we were not able to make the fix on Saturday night.  I talked to them over an hour on Sunday morning after church.  They have been so upset.  People tend to over look how bad the resort looks until they have trouble like this.  But people do have a reason to be upset with what the resort looks like.  The improvements to the exterior can not come fast enough.  I hear about this all the time and give courtesy credits for it often.  It takes skill to avoid bad reviews under such circumstances.  Please expect a major refund on next months statement.  Tim.


March 11:  Megan and I were in Cancun in late February, and Megan was there again in March for the meeting. The long term future looks promising.  But for the short term we have much to do.  

My understanding is that construction work will begin on the North tower in April and go for 2 months.  This work will be on the building exterior, the building foundation, and common areas.  We were assured by Rey Pena that our guests would have access to the penthouses during this time, regardless of how challenging the construction situation becomes.  The middle tower will be worked on in the same way in approximately June and July.  And the tower to the South is scheduled to be done in August and September. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT LETTING POTENTIAL GUESTS KNOW ABOUT THIS IN ADVANCE IS GOING TO HURT SALES FOR THIS YEAR.  We must be honest with future guests coming in.  My understanding from Mr. Pena is that it should not be terribly loud. However once the project begins we will know more.  During this time we will also be waiting anxiously for the new elevators which are supposed to be ordered or on order already.  My understanding is that we will be receiving one new elevator in each tower by the end of the year.  The following year the other elevators are to be replaced.

The all inclusive went up from $45 per person per day to $75 per person per day starting April 1.  This is an increase of 67%. Guests already on the books are grandfathered in at the old rate thankfully. My hope is that the all inclusive is MUCH better than it used to be after the price increase.  Megan tried the all inclusive when she was last there and she did not think it was good.  In late February Megan and I stayed at Bel Air next door.  Their all inclusive was was very good (food wise, we did not try the drinks).  Hopefully this increase can result in a better guests experience.  Bad reviews about our food have hurt us over the years.

PROFESSIONAL WINDOW WASHING & other receipts: I am still waiting on the tickets for the window washing that was completed along with some other receipts.  I did not want to hold up your funds so I sent them out without these tickets showing.

Since it does not appear likely that the Sports Bar is going to reopen any time soon, I have removed this feature from the web site.  I have also removed the tennis court after getting this last email from a guest that I will share with you. Please note regarding this email letter from a guest the following:
1.  Nowhere on the site do I show or say that we have a gym.  However, we are on a lot of web sites, and this guest may have seen an old picture from somewhere.  I will continue to search to be ensure all our sites are as updated as possible.
2.  This is a letter is typical of the feedback that I get from guests.  

As you might imagine, it has not been easy working with guests over the last few years.  Please know that I am always trying my best for each owner that has entrusted me with their place.

(This guest stayed in #3730, it is the feedback regarding the resort that is typical and I wanted to share with owners).


Hi Tim,

I hope everything is well with you.

it’s been 5 days since we got here, and there are a few issues I would like to share with you regrading the apartment and the “resort” we are staying in.

For most parts the apartment is great, however their are several major issues with our accommodations. 

One major issue we have experienced is that the hot tub does not heat up. Hot tubs usually get to 105 degrees and our hot tub barely reached 90 degrees all week.  

But that one minor issue is not why I felt the need to write you this email.

The “resort” we are staying in is nothing like what is described on your website and nothing like what your website represents in its photos.

We were looking forward to coming here and enjoying the resort facilities, the tennis court, the beach and the all inclusive.

First, the tennis court is not in working order and it seems like it has been this way for a very long time. There is no net and the court is run down and not even functional- please see attached photo.
Second, on your website there is a photo of a "gym". When we asked at the front desk they said their gym is not available to use anymore and is close down.

Third, the elevator in the resort is not working most of the time. There are 2 elevators and only one of them is “working.” Even the working one is not working most of the day, leaving us with no choice but to go up and down 7 stories, leaving our overall experience unsatisfying- we have a video in case you need a proof (to big to attach to the email).

Fourth, In your website you show a beautiful sport bar with pool tables and more.. all of this dose not excites anymore and the bar is completely closed.

Fifth, as I mentioned we were looking forward to using the all inclusive option of the “resort”. 

We bought the pass for $45 each ($225) total a day. After going to the first meal (1 hour after purchasing the pass) we found the food to be not edible and asked to get our money back. The front desk told us they don’t care if we use the all inclusive or not and they wouldn’t return anything to us.

After trying to eat some of the food, two out of five people got sick and couldn’t leave the apartment for a full day and night.

After complaining to the manager, we got a very simple answer… “we don’t care”.

Sixth, the beach is beautiful, but it is very hard to enjoy when their are almost no chairs or umbrellas for use from the “resort”.

While every other resort has many sun chairs and umbrellas, we had to lay on the send because the 10-15 chairs the resort has to offer are always taken.

In addition, the resort itself is in very bad shape and looks like it is out of business. For example: the walls and celling are falling a part; the sign in the front of the resort is missing and broken; the bars are closed; and the entire place is disgustingly dirty.- please see attached photos.

We all really feel like we were fooled by the photos and the descriptions on your website- please see the attached photos to see the big difference between what is on your website and what is the reality.

We are a very good group of people and normally will not complain, however we feel like our trip was completely ruined by what was presented to us from your website, and what we encountered during our stay. 

Since you were so accommodating to me, when planning our stay, I would feel bad to tarnish your apartment’s reputation on trip advisor and other social media platforms, however I feel I have no choice. 

Please let me know if there is anything you could do to accommodate us, or else I will be obligated to express my true feelings about our unsatisfying stay. I am sorry that I had to send this email, but the overall experience has been inexcusable. 

Looking forward to hear back from you.

Feb 9:  Resort eviction/status/consideration given in January:  Hi Ricardo.  As I am sure you already know, Blue Bay Resorts was officially evicted on Jan 15. This time the eviction held up. It was an extremely stressful time for guests who were with us at the time.  Federales stormed the building armed with automatic weapons.  Our guests were completely freaked out.  We had no warning whatsoever.  Within a few hours, the entire hotel was essentially empty, with the exception of our guests and a few security guards.  
We had guests in #3730 at the time of the eviction (Jan 14-Jan 21).  We had to give financial consideration to some of the guests.  For the guests of #3730, fortunately consideration was minimal.  We did service the guests with snacks and drinks for our guests arriving Jan 27/departing Feb 6.  At the time our guests arrived, the resort did not have the all inclusive option available, which is of course a disappointment to most.
My understanding regarding the latest news is that the resort has limited all inclusive offerings, but it is now open from morning until later at night.  The resort is in dire need of restoration after many years of neglect.  We look forward to more positive times moving forward.  It will take a long time to get it back to where it was.  But at least we can begin moving forward finally.  
Megan will be at the annual meeting on March 5.  Both Megan and I were originally told the meeting would be Feb 20 so we will both be there that week.  We plan on working on #3730 between Feb 20-Feb 25.

Jan 12:  Hi Ricardo, below is the letter I received from our guest that arrived Dec 20/departing Dec 27.  I ended up giving them consideration in the amount of $500 to avoid issues.  One was for $200 on one card, one for $300 another card, I show the returns on the link provided for returns of course.  Also, there are a couple of bills from Nov on this statement for January.  Francis was overwhelmed with what was going on that month having no elevators in the North tower, so I am giving her some slack on the bills not being in promptly.  These Nov bills are from tips to security to bring bags up and down because of no elevators and for meals given as consideration for having no elevator.


Hey Tim,
Just getting back in to the swing of things and wanted to pass along a couple of pieces of feedback on the property, Francis, etc.
Francis was amazing, very attentive, did a wonderful job with all of the food and most of the requests we asked for. She is very friendly and a great representative considering she had so many units to manage. We also truly appreciated her flexibility to cook for us on the 24th and 25th (we made sure to take great care of her tips on those days in particular).
The property itself was a bit of a letdown. The wind (which I know you don’t control) was a factor every night. The windows rattle like crazy all night long in every bedroom making sleep impossible. There were even washcloths stuffed in the frames from someone before us to cut down on the noise (it didn’t help). The hot tub on the patio malfunctioned almost the entire time we were there going from 90 degrees to 100 (but it never felt actually warm, much less hot). The TV’s worked the first two days and then on the morning of day 3 they went out. I reported to Francis immediately and she said she’d take care of it but they never came back on, which was disappointing because we wanted to watch some of the NFL games that were on throughout the week. There were also little bugs everywhere, especially in the kitchen before we arrived, I assume that is part of being in Cancun on the beach but it would have been nice if there was some kind of spray or traps out to limit them. Finally, there were only 2 sets of keys initially, on day 4 we finally got the 3rd set we asked for on day one but coordinating coming and going between the adults was challenging most of the time.
We paid $5,000 for the property over Christmas week, which I understand has a premium price, but I don’t feel that we got the value we paid at all. I am in the midst of writing a review to post online, before I do, I wanted to share some of the feedback with you and see if you have any feedback, questions or a thought on refunding a portion of the rental cost.
Thanks,
Justin
 

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