June 30, 2020
Dear Fellow Owners,
As you are aware, the resort re-opened on Saturday, June 13th. Under our General Manager's leadership, the staff has done a great job of introducing new cleaning procedures as well as overseeing new pandemic protocols related to use of resort amenities.
Presently, the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is increasing. Recent testing data shows significant spikes in several areas of the state, including Broward County. In fact, for the coming Independence Day weekend, beaches in the county are being ordered closed from July 3rd – July 5th.
In view of this situation, the decision has been made to keep access to CDS resort amenities restricted and no visitors permitted (other than registered owners, owners' guests and RCI/Interval members) on the resort property. We will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the protocols in place and will keep you informed of any changes.
The Board and management are following Federal, State, County, Town and CDS Association guidelines that are being implemented to ensure the safety of our staff and owners. Florida infection numbers are spiking, and the state continues to be under a state of emergency, at least until July 7th, with Broward County in Phase II of its Emergency Management Plan. We carefully monitor the Broward County Emergency Management Division's website.
Thank you for your emails and suggestions. The CDS Board appreciates the support of many owners, and through this update we are responding to some of your recent questions. Please also refer to the previous COVID-19 updates of May 21st and June 6th for background information.
Key points in previous notices remaining in effect are:
All persons are required to wear masks in all enclosed/pubic areas, including the front office, elevators etc.
Everyone must follow CDC guidelines for social distancing – 6 feet of separation (except for members of the same family)
Only registered people in a unit will be permitted on the property – no outside visitors
No access to the following resort amenities: hot tub, barbecue grill, coffee shop & its washrooms
Limit of 8 people in the pool (this represents 50% of the allowable limit)
Pool hours reduced to 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with an attendant monitoring the pool & deck
There is a limited number of pool chairs, and they will be placed to respect social distancing and cleaned when a user leaves the deck.
Are there quarantine orders in effect?
Yes, the Florida Governor’s Executive Order specifically requires that individuals from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Each person from any of these states who is scheduled to visit Costa del Sol receives an email prior to arrival letting them know about the order requiring them to remain in their unit, and this includes not using any of the common spaces at the resort.
Please note that these orders change regularly and it is your responsibility to follow the updates as we provide pertinent and timely information.
What type of cleaning procedures are in place?
The Costa del Sol Association has engaged an external company, Equinox, to provide the sanitization cleaning of units between each occupancy. This is not done weekly, but rather upon checkout. The sanitization process is approved by the CDC, and the disinfection solution they use is a mixture of Sodium Hypochlorite 6% and water (EPA reg. no. 5813-111) verified as a COVID-19 disinfectant. This industrial strength cleaning process is above and beyond the usual cleaning procedures followed after a checkout. Equinox uses a fogger in each unit to give it a complete disinfectant treatment. The process takes approximately 30 minutes per unit.
As for the regular cleaning provided by our housekeeping staff, we have changed a number of processes, such as the products used (CDC approved), plus cleaning of all bedding, including bed covers. We use the "spray and wipe" concept for all high-touch areas. Also, the water used in the buckets is changed between each unit cleaning. Maids wear masks and use gloves which are changed as they move from unit to unit. The unit itself gets a double disinfecting.
As there is no daily maid service, owners may request linens (and change their own beds during the week). Towel exchange and garbage should be dropped off at the bins available on each floor. If garbage pickup is required, please call the front desk and they will send a staff member to pick up from outside your door. We have bags to leave your soiled linens and towels in. Place bags outside your door during regular business hours.
Basic cleaning supplies are provided in each unit for your use during the week. The $75 charge is to cover the professional disinfectant treatment that each unit receives after check-out. This fee is paid one time during your stay whether you are at the resort for one week or more – it is a 1-time fee paid at check-in.
Throughout the resort, we have provided sanitization stations on each floor and by the elevator landings. The housekeeping staff is cleaning the main areas in the resort throughout the day – including stairway railings, elevator, door handles, pool chairs, etc. We have procedures and guidelines for all common areas.
Will there be a rebate for the 2020 maintenance fees, access to association owned weeks or vouchers available?
We are a non-profit association and do not have a stockpile of profit dollars to lean on. We analyze our anticipated expenses annually and factor in any revenue we might receive (rentals and sales of association-owned units) and estimate reserves needed for other large items such as roof, AC chillers, parking lots etc. Each autumn, the annual budget is developed which results in setting the annual maintenance fees.
Maintenance fees constitute approximately 85% of revenues to operate and maintain Costa del Sol. The other 15% comes from rental and sales income. If the association were to return maintenance fees to owners, or defer it to next year, there would be insufficient resources to pay ongoing expenses and ensure operation of the resort - even while closed. The only income to operate comes from the annual maintenance fees paid by owners, plus rental and sales income. There is no other way to access monies.
Vouchers for other weeks are also not possible because they would eliminate association-owned weeks that generate rental income and directly contribute to running the resort. Those unit weeks provide a vital income source. If we were to offer vouchers, we would have fewer units to rent and it would take away rental revenue we need for the 15% annually budgeted, as explained above.
Additionally, each time someone fails to pay their maintenance fees or rents their unit without using the front desk, it negatively impacts our ability to have sufficient income to operate as planned. We are always challenged with how to make this up.
The Board has worked tirelessly to protect our financial position throughout this pandemic period and has implemented protocols for the recent re-opening. This situation could not have been anticipated and therefore not included in our planning. We appreciate the difficult situation that the owners affected by the recent closure have been in; however, it is beyond our control. The Board could not have foreseen or budgeted for a COVID-19 pandemic back in the Fall of 2019 when the budget was created.
We continue to consult with the association's legal counsel and are regularly attending webinars on COVID-19. This remains a very complicated situation. It is the duty of the Board of Directors and the CDS Association to put the best possible plans in place to limit the spread of the virus and the potential liability for the resort. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to you as they become available.
The Board of Directors must take a cautious and thorough approach to operating the resort. This is for your safety and that of our staff. Needless to say, it is a challenging time for everyone.
Some owners are comparing our protocols with neighboring timeshares. Remember that each resort is taking a different approach, and it should be noted that another local timeshare association has introduced a penalty fee for non-compliance with their COVID-19 rules. Costa del Sol is not presently doing that, as we are relying on our owners to do the right thing when visiting their resort.
Please keep in mind that although the resort is open, it is not the experience you are used to – and it will not be for some time as we navigate through the ongoing situation. We will adapt as required in the coming weeks and months.
We're working for you and doing our best.
We appreciate the efforts of our management and staff and the support of many owners to the reality of managing a resort during a pandemic. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Stay safe. Best to all,
YOUR CDS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barbara Turley-McIntyre, President
Dave Cornelison, Vice President
Charles DeJean, Secretary
Doug Rousell, Treasurer
Anthony Silva, Director