Owner Update 9/12/19

Meadow Lake Development Corporation (MLDC) announced a major initiative on behalf of owners with the June article, “Document Refresh” (link below).  Based on a presentation to Home Owner’s Association (HOA) Boards in early June, the article explained an effort to propose governing document changes to provide owners with more flexibility with their ownership as well as more equitable financial management. It’s been a few months, and we’ve been busy!  We have received a lot of feedback from owners who are excited to know more about any proposed changes.  We are committed to being as thorough as possible because we want to do it once, we want to do it right, and this takes time.

MLDC board member Mike Lynch and owner services agent Molly Lynch are leading the effort for MLDC.  The MLDC board of directors has charged them with starting with Saint Andrews Homeowners Association.  Focusing on one association at a time will allow us to be completely thorough and sympathetic to the specific situation of each association.  Here is our progress report:

We began with an in-depth document review.  It was our goal to get our hands on and study as many governing documents from other timeshare resorts as possible in order to learn within what structures other resorts operate.  We placed an emphasis on reviewing Montana resorts, but expanded our survey to as many functional resorts as possible on a national search for best practices. To date we’ve spent countless hours reviewing stacks of governing documents, and we’ve learned a lot!

One happy conclusion from this effort is that Meadow Lake’s governing documents are structurally sound. They allow for a highly functional relationship among interval owners, exterior Home Owner Associations (HOAs) and Meadow Lake Development Corporation (MLDC) as the Managing Agent of the interiors. They delineate clear roles and responsibilities and contain manageable thresholds for amendments. Our initial conclusion is that modest amendments, rather than a complete rewrite, will best serve owner’s interests.

The concerns with the documents remain the same:

  • Accounting that focuses on the Unit rather than the village.
    • This results in inequitable financial requirements.
  • The inability to break up rotational estates.
    • This limits owners’ ability to downsize their ownership obligation.
  • The complexity of the rotational structure.
    • This prevents MLDC from reselling delinquent inventory through the standard channels in the vacation ownership industry. This hurts owners as they have fewer dues paying owners.

See the “Document Refresh” article here: https://meadowlake.com/2019/07/29/document-refresh/

As part of the document review, Mike Lynch sought out and consulted resort managers, real estate and timeshare attorneys, industry consultants, other board members and the president of the leading legacy resort association, Timeshare Board Member Association and publisher of Timesharing Today. The purposes are to determine best practices, learn from other’s mistakes, and adopt their successes.  This has not only been educational, but has also helped us clarify how making a few specific and structural changes to create a better situation for all owners is possible.

So, surely the question burning in your mind is, what is changing and when will it happen?  We cannot tell you exactly what or when the changes will be proposed or when they will be finalized because we will need your engagement and approval first.

Here is what we believe will benefit owners:

  1. Replacing the unit level accounting mandate with a village level mandate. This will allow for more equitable financial management of owner vacation experience.
  2. Allowing rotational estates to be reduced in magnitude or separated. For example, a five-week rotation could be reduced to one, two or three weeks.  This will offer flexibility for owners to right-size their vacation commitment.
  3. Clarifying that voting rights attached to intervals of owners in default on dues who can’t be located are granted to MLDC or any other entity that controls it by paying the dues.

We are now ready to tackle the complex issue of exploring a modification of the rotational structure of some ownerships.  We do not currently have a plan or an answer for what will be best, but we do understand that your feedback regarding your rotational ownership will be essential. We believe that owners want more flexibility, as well as some certainty in knowing which weeks they will vacation each year.

We are going to attack this issue via two avenues.  First, we will survey owners on their goals, concerns and desires.  Be on the lookout for an owner survey where you will get to voice your wishes and concerns regarding your ideal ownership situation.  Second, Mike and Molly will continue to work with industry sources to determine what structures will accomplish your goals and meet owner needs.

As we identify the key changes that we believe will benefit all owners at Meadow Lake, we have become increasingly more confident that the documents already enforce a sound structure for the exterior HOA boards as well as their relationships with the Master Association.  We do not believe that changes to this structure are needed.  This is positive because the fewer changes necessary, the more focused and efficient this process can be.

As always, we are committed to managing your resort in a first-class manner while following a straight path forward guided by the current legal documents, Montana law, and timeshare law.  We welcome constructive feedback, and we look forward to providing a survey and to hearing back from you.