Beachwoods Resort Stay

I recently stayed onsite at the Beachwoods Resort in Kitty Hawk.  I was on the Outer Banks for a few days specifically to handle timeshare business and to enjoy a quick beach vacation before the end of the year.  The weather was fantastic throughout my stay.

Number one on my list was to see for myself what had taken place at Beachwoods Resort since my last visit in early July.   An inexpensive Extra Vacation through RCI allowed for cheap accommodations so that I could do my reconnaissance unfettered.  I find it useful to meet with staff and leave tokens of appreciation on occasion.  I own several weeks at this resort, as well as others.  I complete dozens of rentals during the Summer at these resorts.   It has served me well over the years to acknowledge front desk staff and others.

As I approached the curve driving down the lane into the resort, the new BEACHWOODS sign was a nice sight  and was an improvement since my last Beachwoods visit.  Beyond the sign, was Cypress Lake with a fountain, and beyond, were the new buildings surrounding the lake.  As I drove up to the Welcome Center, I was quite thrilled with what I saw before me.  It was finally becoming a reality.

As I entered the Lobby, I was greeted with smiles and attentiveness.  The interior  was better than I imagined it would be.  There were eight check-in/check-out stations , a concierge desk, a sitting area, a staircase up to the second floor offices, and then you entered a common area that overlooked Cypress Lake.  It had a fireplace, sofas, chairs, and sitting areas with tables.  It’s always a nice thing when things turn out better than you expected.

Next door to the Welcome Center, construction was in full swing, with chain-link fencing, construction materials and heavy equipment.  The amenities were very limited during my stay.  The Woodland Oasis Pool had just closed for the season, and most other amenities were still in the construction phase.  The North Glen Recreation Park contained a tennis court, sand volleyball area, and playground equipment.   They anticipate the Fitness Center will be completed in November and the Lakeside Lodge and Waterpark to be completed by mid-December.  As with previous schedules of completion, I believe these may also miss the mark and could be overly optimistic.

I have previously posted about my accommodations in Unit 1203B.  For the most part, I was very happy with the unit.  However, I do hope that the “punch-list items” that the Owner Relations Manager spoke of during my visit will include items that I feel don’t quite live up to the hype.

Hopefully, lots more information will be forthcoming at the November 7 Beachwoods Owners Update.   The notification indicates the update will offer more information on the Gold Key/Diamond Sale and Gold Key/Diamond’s continued involvement in Beachwoods.  There will be opportunities to tour the new units and amenities, and meet Diamond/Gold Key executives.  Live entertainment and a Barbecue will also be provided.



Beachwoods Lodging, Unit 1203B

Last week, I had the opportunity to stay onsite at Beachwoods for part of a week that I acquired through RCI, my timeshare exchange company.  I secured the “B” side of a two bedroom lock-out for less than $250 for the week.  I needed to be on the Outer Banks in order to attend a couple of HOA meetings, and I also wanted to personally check on the status of the unit renovations and new amenities  at Beachwoods.

The unit that I received through RCI was a top floor unit.  The assigned building was located near the amenities.  Current mobility issues impeded my ability to stay in the assigned unit.   I requested a unit on the first level.  There were still 10 stairs to ascend to my Beachwoods lodging; however, it was doable.  I felt fortunate that the “A” side was not occupied during my stay.   During past stays, I have found that sound and dialogue can be heard between the lock-out units when both sides are occupied.

The weather was very nice and  I enjoyed a quiet stay  in my unit when I wasn’t out and about.  The wooded areas around the buildings at Beachwoods provide privacy, as well as a natural setting.  I hope that some added landscaping around the units, to spruce things up, is part of the “Plan.”

My Beachwoods lodging was located in the 1200 Building in Sweet Gum Place, which also included buildings 1100, 1300 and 1400.  The 1200 Building was directly across from one of the entrances to the on-site hiking trails.  There is plenty of parking located around the units.

Upon entering the unit, I was happy to see new furniture installed and pictures hanging on the walls.  During two past stays this  year, I stayed in units that were only partially renovated.  They lacked new furniture, decorative items, pictures, linens, bedding, and more.

Unit 1203B lacked some of the details seen in the “B” unit that we toured last November.  We attended the Gold Key Resorts presentation shortly after their acquisition of Barrier Island Station Kitty Hawk.  I realize the models were “staged” for the tours, which made them more “inviting”.  Unit 1203B lacked some of the “wow” that the “staged” units elicited.

In the kitchen, an island has been added.  The model unit did not have this piece of furniture.  The island  provides additional work space and storage.  For those that cook most of their meals in, this could be beneficial.  It impedes some movement in this area and it makes this area look crowded.

Starter supplies are provided (two coffee packs, sponge, dish detergent, dishwasher detergent and trash bags).  I like that the “B” side of these units have fully-equipped kitchens.    All appliances are included and they are full size.

On two previous stays this year, the beds were on frames only and there were no new linens.  This time, the bed did have a headboard and the mattress was new with lots of pillows and new linens.  The bed did not have a dust ruffle and the box springs was exposed.   Three pieces of the “old” furniture were being utilized.  While the furniture was in very good condition, it gave a mismatched look to the room since the “old” and the “new” furniture are two completely different styles.  They do not compliment one another.  I was disappointed that they installed queen size beds versus king size.

One new feature that I did find very positive was the replacement of the entry door locks.  Gone are the brass keys.  Now electronic key cards provide access.

Unit 1203B had a nice private deck area.  There were two metal chairs on the deck; however, there was no table.  I would hope that a table will be added.  There is nowhere to set anything should you decide to enjoy beverages or light meals outdoors.

The shared foyer has a closet with a full size washer and dryer.  The new bi-fold doors had been removed from their tracks and placed in the water heater closet.

The Owner Relations Manager indicated that the crews will be going through the units and completing punch-list items in the coming weeks.



October Beachwoods Visit Gives Me Renewed Optimism

I am happy to report that things have progressed at the resort.  My October Beachwoods visit included accommodations in a one bedroom “B” side unit.  I obtained this stay as an “Extra Vacation” through RCI, my timeshare exchange company.  I also had the opportunity to look around the resort.  I met with the Resort Manager and the Owner Relations Manager.  I discussed with them the new timelines and Diamond Resorts International’s acquisition of the Gold Key Resorts timeshares.

I was last at the resort in July for a brief stay prior to the July 4th holiday.  It was quite upsetting to see how far behind things were on the unit renovations and amenity construction.  Though I had accommodations through the holiday, I chose to leave early.   At the November 2014 presentation by Gold Key Resorts, Bruce Thompson, CEO, was questioned when owners could expect the completion of the units and amenities.  An overly optimistic answer was given to the large group of owners, which was included in the videotape of the presentation.  This video presentation can be found on their owners’ website.  Bruce Thompson’s answer; May, 2015.  Except for the indoor pool and waterpark, all other amenities and unit upgrades would be completed.

On my July visit, the Woodlands Pool was scheduled to open the following day on July 4th.  I had the opportunity to walk around the pool area, and it was quite beautiful.  That was the only available amenity.  There was construction going on everywhere. Owner Relations and the resort check-in were located in two trailers.  The unit that I stayed in was partially renovated, but was a long way from being completed.  I was told, at that time, that the new furniture was arriving and being installed.  I decided to go home and enjoy my July 4th holiday, away from the construction and parking lots littered with old appliances, mattresses and debris.

I own several Summer weeks at Beachwoods and found it necessary to deposit most of my weeks with my timeshare exchange company. My weeks had become mostly impossible to rent due to the construction and lack of available amenities.   I chose to refund one of my renters a third of their rental payment since I rented the week to her in February based on the information provided at November’s meeting.  The renter became quite upset in June.  She rented with the expectation of the promised amenities being available and staying in a fully renovated unit.  I offered to find her other accommodations, which was difficult since she wanted to stay on the Outer Banks for a specific week.  She decided to stay at Beachwoods and appreciated the partial refund of the rent.  However, this renter will most likely forego renting in the future since she did not receive the vacation that she had anticipated.

My October Beachwoods visit gives me renewed hope for a resort that will be like no other on the Northern Outer Banks.

Visiting the Outer Banks

I have been visiting the Outer Banks since I was a young child. Today, I utilized an opportunity to visit  during the Fall.   Really, there’s no bad time to visit the Outer Banks.    I love this little drive from my home in Chesapeake, Virginia.  I can be to the Wright Memorial Bridge, going at an easy pace, within about 90 nights.  To me, it is a beautiful country drive through North Carolina areas that I have loved to drive through for many years on my way to the coast. Driving by long-time, familiar sights never gets old.  It’s especially enjoyable when there’s no traffic.  Today, I was able to drive leisurely along, enjoying the sunny day without the in-season crush of traffic that one will experience on the weekends during the Summer months.

Today was in the upper 60’s with non-stop sunshine.  I secured a “extra vacation” through my timeshare exchange company, RCI, at Beachwoods.  I own several timeshare weeks at this resort, which is the former Barrier Island Station Kitty Hawk.  Many changes have been going on at the resort over the last 15 months.

In 2014, Gold Key Resorts, based in Virginia Beach, purchased the resort.  Since that purchase, many changes have taken place at the resort.  The resort was renamed Beachwoods, a great influx of cash has been infused by GKR and through special assessments to the owners, all units have been renovated and upgraded, and planned new amenities not seen anywhere on the Outer Banks are being completed.  It was announced in August that Gold Key Resorts was selling off its timeshare division to Diamond Resorts International (DRI).  The acquisition was finalized last week.

Visiting the Outer Banks this week was to check out the progress at Beachwoods and to meet with the Resort Manager, David Rauch, and Jennifer Walker, Owner Relations.  I hope to gather more information on timelines for completing the onsite amenities were intially expected to be completed in May.    Additionally, I plan to attend the annual HOA meetings for two timeshare resorts where I own in Duck.

Tomorrow should shape up to be a fantastic day on the Outer Banks. The weather will be sunny with calm winds and temperatures around 76 degrees.  I plan to sit out on the beach and enjoy some of the final days of Indian summer.

I highly recommend visiting the Outer Banks during the Fall for a slower and quieter time.