State attorney general sues Festiva Vacation Club

Baton Rouge, La. - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has filed suit against Festiva Hospitality Group and its associated businesses and principals for unfair and deceptive practices in connection with Festiva's points-based "vacation club."

Filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, the complaint alleges that Festiva sold Louisiana consumers "points" for membership in a vacation club at high pressure sales presentations and at Festiva's New Orleans sales office. Festiva told consumers that they could use points anytime to take vacations at various Festiva resorts around the country. Consumers discovered, after they signed a 40-year contract with Festiva, that membership in its vacation club was not what they were told it would be.

"Festiva served up broken promises to Louisiana consumers," Attorney General Caldwell said, adding that more than 98 consumers complained to his office about Festiva. Consumers are frustrated that it is impossible to book a vacation because of the lack of accommodations at Festiva's resorts, particularly at peak times and locations."

People who bought the "points" for membership in a vacation club thought they could save them to use for a vacation in another year, but later found out that Festiva would not allow them to carry over points.  They were also surprised to receive bills for higher and higher maintenance fees and special assessments.  Consumers who tried to cancel their memberships were told they had signed a 40-year contract obligating them to pay fees and assessments, even if the purchaser is unable to schedule a vacation at a Festiva resort.

The complaint seeks a court order to cancel consumers' contracts, award civil penalties, award reimbursement to consumers and to enjoin Festiva from engaging in deceptive practices.