Get Out of Your Westgate Timeshare

You may be familiar with Westgate Resorts, owners of one of the world’s largest timeshare resort hotels, Westgate Vacation Villas in Florida. While it may be a nice property, Westgate has exploited its employees and customers in the name of profits over and over. This has led people to look to get of their Westgate timeshares.

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In fact, they have gone to court several times to settle these matters. Westgate sales reps have also been known to deliberately mislead customers, which often puts them in bad financial situations. While Westgate certainly does not want you to cancel your timeshare, it is not impossible. Keep reading to learn why Westgate does not deserve your money and what you can do to get out of your contract.

This video is from YouTube and is the opinion of a third party. *Warning – foul language and other timeshare speak*

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Westgate: A Short History

David Siegel founded Westgate’s parent company, Central Florida Investments, in 1982. It is the largest privately-owned company in central Florida, and operates in many industries including insurance, real estate, destination spas, and Internet services.

Immediately after learning of the timeshare concept, Siegel saw opportunity and leapt into action. He was so excited he began selling vacation ownerships from a trailer on the unfinished Westgate Vacation Villas construction site.

Westgate saw great success over the next few years. Consequently, Siegel turned his attention toward expansion. Westgate’s network of resorts grew steadily, rolling out more successful properties:

  • Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort in Miami, FL
  • Lakes Resort & Spa in Orlando, FL
  • Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa in Gatlinburg, TN
  • Town Center in Orlando, FL
  • Park City in Park City, UT
  • Flamingo Bay in Las Vegas, NV

Siegel continued to develop resort properties all over Florida, as well as in VA, MO, and SC. He also founded the Westgate Resorts Foundation. It is a charity that helps add families to the workforce in the face of homelessness, abuse, lack of education, and unemployment. Siegel’s wife, Jacqueline, sits on its Board of Directors. The couple also starred in The Queen of Versailles, a documentary following their construction of an 85,000-foot private home, which they call “the largest house in America.”

David Siegel Fails to Pay Employee Wages

However, Westgate stumbled in the late 2000s when hundreds of former employees from Myrtle Beach sued Siegel. The plaintiffs claimed that he withheld their salary and commission checks. Investigators later discovered over $800,000 in unpaid wages, owed to over 1,000 workers. Siegel lost the case, but only paid a tiny fraction of the money. The former Westgate reps took him back to court, and reluctantly settled for less than half of the unpaid amount. The issue went on for six years; one of the plaintiffs died before the settlement and never saw his earnings. Siegel, a man who “[built] the largest house in America on the backs of people he didn’t pay” (Myrtle Beach Online), could not be bothered to compensate his employees fairly or timely.

One would hope that Westgate would learn from this, but a similar lawsuit took place in 2019. This time, the issue was overtime wages they had not paid. The case is still in progress.

Westgate Acts No Better Toward its Loyal Customers

Unfortunately, Westgate does not seem to have any more respect toward the people who pay good money to use their resorts. Multiple lawsuits against Westgate allege that the ownerships they sell are not all the company claims they are. In 2018, one suit claimed Westgate did not allow buyers to see all the terms of their contracts. Owners also could not vacation like the sales reps led them to expect. Patricia and Nathan Overton, who led the suit, claimed that Westgate lied to them about how much they could use the resorts and the privileges they would have as owners.

They won the case; the court found that Westgate “engaged in deceptive practices” and “intentionally refused to rescind the contract,” even though there was ”overwhelming evidence that rescission was justified.” The judgment awarded them $600,000 in damages, though Westgate appealed the decision and got the amount reduced. It seems that Siegel and his company are, above all, committed to doing whatever is necessary to hold on to their cash.

As recently as 2020, Westgate again faced claims that they deceived owners to make sales. Led by John and Veronica Hambacker, the complaint states that Westgate “encourages [sales agents] to lie to customers in the context of high-pressure sales pitches” (classaction.org). Further, it says that Westgate reps hide written disclosures, including rescission rights, in a “secret pocket” inside a closing folio during signing.

Our Experience with Westgate Customers Only Confirms Their Lack of Ethics

Unfortunately, we have heard of many similar issues from Westgate owners looking to get rid of their timeshares. Staff would often pressure people into buying, while convincing them that they were making a wise decision. What’s more, they overstated the quality and value of the properties. Other cases we have seen include issues like:

  • QA officers —people responsible for making sure Westgate follows the rules—failing to give owners their contracts.**
  • Statements that discourage owners from reading their contracts. Reps have said to them, “You can skip reading because it’s so late and my underwrite has already left for the day.”**
  • Sales agents “smooth talking” to appeal to buyers’ sense of legacy by telling them they could pass on their timeshares to their children. Then, they intimidated buyers to make them feel like they had no other choice but to upgrade.*
  • Lax maintenance and safety standards properties: “I cut my toe on a piece of glass. The dryer didn’t work. After three room cleanings, we still managed to come across a child’s boot and an old water bottle under our bed. How disgusting is that?”*
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What To Do Now?

Experiences like this are cause for concern—even more so if you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars. However, not all owners are able to hire lawyers and sue a powerful timeshare company. If this sounds like you, don’t lose hope. Westgate has demonstrated time and time again that they do not care about breaking the law. However, that does not mean that you deserve to be a victim. Reach out to us today to see what steps you can take to get out of your vacation ownership.

Call 1-800-604-3989 or fill out the quiz at the top of this page.

Other pages you may find useful are how to cancel my Wyndham timeshare or the timeshare sales process.