ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of owners who represent the majority of the home and property owners at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in The Bahamas ("the Abaco homeowners") has filed a lawsuit against Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation ("Marriott Vacations" or "MVW") (NYSE: VAC), The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. and related entities for, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud for their alleged failure to own and operate the Club at contractually required levels, as well as for their alleged failure to honor an obligation to extend a legitimate right of first offer to Club owners in connection with MVW's plans to sell the property.
The Abaco Club, located on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas, was established and marketed as a luxury resort, leveraging its remote location and promises of casual and barefoot elegance. The Abaco suit alleges that Marriott Vacations and Ritz-Carlton have failed to operate and maintain the Club at the first-class, five-star level, as well as deliver the high-end amenities, including a golf course that would rank among the top 100 in the world.
The suit further alleges that, as part of a corporate strategy to sell its luxury inventory, Marriott Vacations in early 2013 removed the Ritz-Carlton flag and listed the Club for sale on the public market. The Abaco suit further alleges that this was not disclosed to the Abaco owners at the time but was later acknowledged in Marriott Vacation's SEC filings.
Todd E. Soloway of Pryor Cashman LLP, the law firm representing the Abaco homeowners, stated, "After numerous attempts to bring the serious development and maintenance issues to the attention of Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Vacations, our clients felt that legal action was the only course left available. The Abaco ownership group believes that Marriott Vacations and Ritz-Carlton misrepresented their commitment to the Abaco Club and allowed the Club to fall into a state that is not commensurate with this five-star property. These issues have put each homeowner's significant investment at risk."
Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Ritz-Carlton are facing similar allegations in litigation elsewhere.
The legal action was filed in the Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in and for Orange and Osceola Counties, State of Florida in Orlando, where Marriott Vacations Worldwide, which was spun off from Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) in November 2011, is based.
SOURCE Homeowners at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay