Please allow me some space in your newspaper to address the wonderful people of St. Maarten.
My wife and I purchased March timeshares at Caravanserai in 2003. It was a wonderful place. A few years later it was levelled for reconstruction. We patiently waited quite a few years for its completion, and in the meantime purchased an additional two weeks in December, so our sons and their families could join us, as they are teachers and their off-time is limited.
When we were finally able to use our new March unit, it didn’t take long to realize that Mr. Manek knew nothing about hiring, personnel management or business in general. When we learned that Scotia Bank agreed to lend this him $16,000,000, we suspected that the bank did not do their homework and may have their own personnel problems. Next time, maybe they will poll the timeshare owners to get some first-hand input on a borrower’s ability and integrity.
As is known, Manek disappeared and so did a bunch of the timeshare owners’ dreams, timeshare purchase cash, as well as maintenance fees for 2014. Following bankruptcy, the resort was sold to Ray Sidhom, a rich American. He preceded to null and void the contracts of more than 2,200 timeshare owners, some of whom (like us) will have a hard time dealing with the loss. While, so far, his ruthless action has the approval of the island government, it is nevertheless a criminal act. We’re ashamed to know he is from our country.
What is most disappointing up to this point is that the St. Maarten government has allowed this to happen. We fell in love with the island and its residents 15 years ago, and still believe it’s inhabited with the friendliest people we have ever known.
Our hope is that one or more of your leaders will have the courage and integrity to do the right thing. Unlike our leaders, we hope they realize that if they are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem. Please stand up and tell this pathetic coward and his body guards that he cannot infect your great island with his heartless greed.
Ron and Susan Leidner