The Berkley Group - Corporate Background

The Berkley Group, Inc. manages the development, sales, and operations of timeshare resorts.

Latest Updates:

Lawrence v The Berkley Group

October 29, 2013

TimeshareLeaks has posted the first in a series summaries of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits. The Berkley Group and its affiliates were sued by employees for not paying overtime wages.

CLICK HERE

Quorum’s
    Timeshare Debtors

October 1, 2013

More than half of the value of these timeshare loans had gone to two companies: Diamond Resorts and Bluegreen Corporation.

CLICK HERE

Grandview
     Las Vegas Charges 17.9% Interest on Timeshare Financing

September 18, 2013

According to three examples uncovered by TimeshareLeaks, Eldorado can charge nearly 18% interest rates.

CLICK HERE

THE BERKLEY GROUP: CORPORATE BACKGROUND

The Berkley Group, Inc. manages the development, sales, and operations of timeshare resorts. The Berkley Group was formerly known as D.E.L. Management Corporation. The Berkley Group, Inc. was incorporated in 1982 and is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It wholly or jointly owns more than 50 properties in Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia, and Tennessee.

The company was founded by James E. Lambert, now deceased. Lambert was active in the time share industry from 1969 until his death in 2008, and is considered one of its pioneers. He founded the Berkley Group in 1982 after purchasing all the assets of DEL Marketing the previous year. The company is now run by the executive team of Rebecca A. Foster, Marc J. Landau, Bruce J. Polansky and Larry Hierholzer.

The Berkley Group has scores of active corporate entities, DBAs and affiliates through common ownership or directors and executives. Below is a listing of companies linked to the Berkley Group.

Always Travel With US, Inc. Hollywood Resorts Company Royal Grande Resorts, Inc.
Aspen 835, LLC International Data Networkers, L.L.C Shoreline Resorts, Inc.
B.L. Registered Agents, Inc. Key Resort Group, Inc. South Coast Resorts Corporation
B.L. Vacation Ownership, Inc. Lando Realty, Inc. Surfsider Owners Association, Inc. 
Berkley Aviation, Inc. Lando Resorts Corporation The Berkley Group, Inc.
Berkley Vacation Resorts, Inc. Lighthouse Cove Resort Management, Inc.  Tower Resorts Realty, Inc.
BGI Registered Agents, Inc. Massanutten Ski and Country Club, Inc. Tricom Management, Inc. 
Centurion Resorts Corp Mizner Place at Weston Town Center Owners Association, Inc. Tricom Realty Services, Inc. 
Daily Management, Inc.  ML Investment Properties II, LLC TSR Payables, LLC
Driftwood Beach Club, Inc. Noble Resorts Corporation Unique Resorts Corporation
East Ocean Development Corporation Overlook Resorts Corporation  Unique Resorts Realty, Inc.
Edgewater Resorts, Inc. Palm Beach Resort Development Group, L.L.C. Vacation Village 
Eldorado Resorts Corp. Palm Beach Resort Holdings, Inc. Vacation Village at Bonaventure Master Owners Association, Inc.
Enchanted Isle Resort Condominium Assn Palm Beach Shores Resort and Vacation Villas Association, Inc. Vacation Village at Bonaventure Owners Assn, Inc.
Grande Resorts Corporation Paramount Grande LLC Vacation Village at Parkway Owners Assn, Inc.
Great Eastern Purveyor’s, Inc. Patriot Resorts Corporation Vacation Village at Weston Owners Assn, Inc.
Great Eastern Resort Corporation  Patriot Suites, Inc. VVV Rental, LLC
Great Eastern Resort Management, Inc  Platinum Interchange Westview Resorts Corporation
Gulf Breeze Resorts Realty, Inc. PPM Brokerage Services, Inc. Wilderness Resort Association, Inc. 
Gulf Breeze Resorts, Inc. Racquet Club Resorts, Inc.  Williamsburg Plantation, Inc.
Harborview Corporation Recreational Resorts, LLC WXBP Marketing, Inc.
Hollywood Isle Development, Inc.  Resorts Companies, Inc.  XBP Marketing Corp.

 

The Grandview Las Vegas is The Berkley Group’s largest timeshare property. According to (corporate affiliate) Daily Management’s website (click HERE), the Grandview Resort in Las Vegas has 1,516 rooms with a new “phase” set to open in 2014 adding 400 additional rooms. The Grandview is operated under the Berkley Group-owned brand “Vacation Village.” Daily Management – the management company for Berkley Group timeshares – lists 17 resorts under its charge. The Vacation Village website (click HERE) also lists a table of timeshare resorts overlapping with Daily Management’s roster. After the Grandview, the next two biggest sites are in Florida: Vacation Village at Weston and Vacation Village at Parkway. Below is a listing of Berkley Group timeshare properties.

Grandview at Las Vegas

  • 9940 Las Vegas Blvd., South Las Vegas, NV

Vacation Village at Weston

  • 16461 Racquet Club Road, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Vacation Village at Bonaventure

  • 401 Racquet Club Road, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Vacation Village at Parkway

  • 2949 Arabian Nights Bvld, Kissimmee, FL

Vacation Village in the Berkshires

  • 276 Brodie Mountain Road, Hancock, MA

Williamsburg Plantation

  • 4870 Longhill Road, Williamsburg, VA

Minzer Place at Weston Town Center

  • 1775 Bonaventure Boulevard, Weston, FL

Palm Beach Shores Resort

  • 181 S Ocean Avenue, Palm Beach Shores, FL

Cliffs at Peace Canyon

  • 4550 S. Grand Canyon Drive, Las Vegas, NV

The Maverick

  • 485 S Atlantic Avenue, Ormond Beach, FL

Villas at Fortune Place

  • 1201 Simpson Road, Kissimmee, FL

Canada House Beach Club

  • 1704 N Ocean Blvd, Pompano Beach, FL

Grand Lake Resort

  • 7770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL

Silver Seas Beach Resort

  • 101 N Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Lifetime of Vacations Resort

  • 7770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL

Surfsider Resort

  • 1443 S Ocean Boulevard, Pompano Beach, FL

The Colonies at Williamsburg

  • 5380 Olde Towne Rd, Williamsburg, VA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Berkley Group has several key affiliates. These firms are property owners and resort developers for Berkley’s leading timeshares throughout the country. The affiliates are as follows: Eldorado Resorts (Las Vegas), Lando Resorts (Florida), Williamsburg Plantation (Virginia), Patriot Resorts (Massachusetts), and Berkley Vacation Resorts (Florida).

  • Daily Management, Inc. is a full-service property management company founded in 1981 “to provide professional management of day-to-day operations at resorts developed and/or owned by The Berkley Group” (source HERE). With more than 800 employees, it manages 17 resorts, 10 of which are Vacation Village resorts. Vacation Village is a service mark name owned by The Berkley Group. And 6 of the remaining 7 resorts are listed as Berkley Group “affiliated resorts”. Daily Management’s corporate headquarters is located at the Vacation Village at Weston, a resort owned by Berkley Vacation Resorts. Furthermore, Daily Management shares two corporate executives with the Berkley Group, Inc.: Rebecca Foster and J.P. Ottino. James R. Lambert, the son of The Berkley Group founder, is also on the Daily Management board. The president of Daily Management, Janice Feirstein, serves on numerous timeshare homeowner associations, including at many Vacation Village resorts.
  • Eldorado Resorts Corp is the developer and property owner behind the Grandview at Las Vegas, one of Berkley’s largest affiliated timeshares. The Grandview’s day-to-day operations are in turn run by the property manager Daily Management, Inc. Eldorado also owns the much smaller Cliffs at Peace Canyon, also located in Las Vegas. Eldorado’s reported mailing address is 2626 E. Oakland Park Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale, one of two primary addresses used by Berkley’s executive board. Two of its three officers are Berkley Group executives.
  • Lando Resorts Corporation is the developer and property owner behind many Berkley-affiliated Florida timeshares, including Vacation Village at Parkway. Lando’s reported principal address is 2626 E. Oakland Park Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale. Its two officers are Berkley Group executives.
  • Williamsburg Plantation, Inc. is the property owner of the Williamsburg Plantation resort and The Colonies at Williamsburg, adjacent properties located in Virginia. Williamsburg Plantation’s reported mailing address is 2626 E. Oakland Park Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale. Its two officers are Berkley Group executives.
  • Patriot Resorts Corp owns two resorts in Massachusetts: Vacation Village in the Berkshires and the Patriot Suites. Patriot Resorts Corp’s reported principal address is 2626 E. Oakland Park Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale. Its two officers are Berkley Group executives.
  • Berkley Vacation Resorts is the property owner behind one of Berkley’s largest timeshares, Vacation Village at Weston (Florida). It is the surviving entity after a merger with the Berkley-affiliated firm Cocowalk Development, Inc. Berkley Vacation Resorts’ reported principal address is 2626 E. Oakland Park Blvd in Ft. Lauderdale. Its two officers are Berkley Group executives.

 

According to James E. Lambert’s obituary (the founder and former CEO of The Berkley Group) he created an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1994 rather than sell The Berkley Group to another company. The ESOP is called Thirty Fifteen ESOP, apparently referring to the address of The Berkley Group’s main office, 3015 N. Ocean Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Simply, an ESOP allows employees to obtain stock through a profit-sharing plan, often with executive management receiving much larger stakes and greater control of the company. ESOPs are commonly used to provide a market for the shares of a departing owner of a profitable, closely held company.

As an investment category, an ESOP's assets, beyond small amounts in cash on hand, are held in a one investment class—company stock. The ESOP's 2011 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 5500 filing states:

“The plan invests in the company’s stock. Due to the level of risk associated with this investment, it is reasonably possible that changes in the value of the stock will occur in the near term and that such changes could materially affect the amounts reported in the statement of net assets available for benefits…”

In the case of this ESOP plan, net assets declined by 50% from 2006 to 2008 during the collapse of the housing bubble. The revival of property markets has benefited company stock. However, many employees participating in the ESOP should know that their source of potential retirement funds tracks a cyclical sector of the economy.

Chart One: Net Assets in Millions

 

ESOPs typically have long vesting periods before employees can lay claim to the benefits. ESOP documents state that a participant is 100% vested only after 7 years. As a result, because the company has high turnover most employees will leave with either small account balances, or no balances at all. Chart Two below shows some relevant numbers from DOL 5500 filings.

Chart Two: Termination Rates

Plan Year †

Total Participants
(beginning of year)

Number Terminated
(less than 100% vested)

Number Terminated
(with vested benefits)

2006

2,609

3,257

139

2007

2,726

3,622

194

2008

3,010

4,441

221

2009

4,441

889

No longer disclosed

2010

3,378

605

No longer disclosed

2011

3,202

1,579

No longer disclosed

† Click on the Plan Year to view a copy of the related 5500 filing.

Because The Berkley Group, Inc. is a private company, the exact current ownership breakdown of the firm is unclear to outsiders. We do know according to 5500s filed with the DOL that the 1,320,500 shares of The Berkley Group to be bought by the ESOP originally cost $100,818,612 in 1994. At the end of 2011, the ESOP had not yet completed the purchase of this stock, still owing $36 million for the acquisition. There were 1,150,183 shares allocated and 170,317 unallocated at the end of 2011, for a total of 1,320,500 shares. This means that the ESOP owns 85.2% of the shares in The Berkley Group, leaving 14.8% unaccounted for.