I'm an unhappy Bluegreen owner of 4 years. While the resorts can be very very nice to look at, once you actually have to start dealing with all the "gotchas" and learning to play their game, you wish you hadn't done this.
It starts with lies and deception at the very pressured sales time. We were promised we could using something called bonus time to buy rooms for $59 per night, any time, any where. Well, the price has gone to $89/night, and good luck finding available rooms to meet your schedule.
I was astonished at the $1,000 annual tax, disappointed I have to pay a $159/year additional maintenance fee, and need to have a "Traveler's Plus" membership for $49/year to make use of much.
Maintenance and cleaning are always an issue, though the Wilderness Club in Branson was pretty good. When we stayed at MountainLoft in Aug. 2010, the place was so bad they called in a cleaning crew that spent three hours cleaning before the chalet was acceptable.
Other problems include towel and toilet-paper racks that fall off the wall, doorknobs that come right off in your hand, no hot water in the kitchen sink, filthy carpets, broken light fixtures, and so many others. I wish I'd kept a list. This should not be in what appears to be a group of upscale resorts.
At the Fountains in Orlando we put our 2-yr-old into the big whirlpool tub (don't worry - he was safe and all that), turned on the jets and watched as green/black slime came out of the jets.
These stories go on and on.
Then in July 2011 at the Fountains, we suffered through 4 nights of a grand party below us by the same group every night. It included a tremendous stereo system booming in the room next to us. While everyone should be free to have a good time, this went into all hours (past the 11 pm curfew) and was just obnoxious. We and others called security multiple times, who seemed to have only short-term results. It got so bad that security finally decided to ask the county sheriff to help intervene. An hour later, you it was all back to loud and obnoxious. Bluegreen couldn't even keep control of that building and its environs, so every other person in that building had their vacation spoiled.
In response, the Fountains offered me 4,000 points though I had payed with cash for bonus time so I said I preferred my cash back instead. Finally I agreed, and now I discover that the points are restricted to blue and white seasons.
Understanding Bluegreen's point seasons is critical here -- blue and white are the most undesirable times, and some resorts - especially in the warmer climates - don't even have blue and white seasons. I've spent two days trying to get someone at the Fountains or Bluegreen Owner Services to change these to unrestricted points, but no one's really very interested in helping me, telling me "that's the way it is."
They'll show you one thing, promise you lots of nice stuff, but for the money I've spent, I could have used it elsewhere for so many other nice things and not gone through this aggravation. I suppose its more aggravating because I'm an "owner" who pays my mortgage, maintenance fees and taxes.
The idea, the basic premise, is good, and the initial impression of the resorts is terrific. But the irritations, surprises, games to learn and gotcha's along the way are just too much.
If you're seriously considering buying, take some time and strike up some conversations with a few Bluegreen Owners sitting around one of the pools. I talk to other owners a lot, and you'll be amazed that everyone has these stories.
Product or Service Mentioned: Bluegreen Resorts Vacation Ownership.
Monetary Loss: $15.