duck key

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys
























Discusssions and Issues

Rental management letter to villa owners April 18, 2006


Below is the text of a Rental Management letter from Don Johnson, President of Hawk's Cay, sent to villa owners of Hawk's Cay Village together with some information on meetings and discussions between villa representatives of the Home Owners' Association (HOA) and resort management.

This letter was sent to villa owners as background information for an April 29, 2006 meeting/presentation by Hawk's Cay Rental Management. Part of letter's content might possibly be in reaction to discussions between Resort Management and the Home Owners' Association.


Discussions between Home Owners' Association and Hawk's Cay Management

In discussions it is believed the general message imparted by the HOA was the HOA will take a direct role on behalf of the owners. The expectation of HOA is that Hawk's Cay Management must recognize and deal with villa owners as a group. Resort Management needs to be responsive to villa owners and work cooperatively with the HOA " to develop a clear vision and a critical path to achieve an improved and enhanced property." Maintenance, improvement and upgrading of property and hotel is needed. Owners have concerns about marketing and revenue. Past exchanges have been one sided with the resort not recognizing the collective body of villa owners for discussion.

It is also reported that the HOA has begun the permit application process for the building of pool(s) to be use exclusively by HOA. Selecting a different rental management is also an option of HOA.

Added May 2, 2006 - Several Meetings were held April 29, 2006. Villa owners met with the Board of the HOA on April 29 in the morning to discuss general association matters. This was followed by a discussion and presentation of the direction the association needs to take in the future. Owners voted to fund a study to consider the feasibility of using an "outside" rental management firm instead of Hawk's Cay Rental Management.

Hawk's Cay Resort Management met with unit owners in the afternoon.



Letter from Hawk's Cay Management to Villa owners

April 18, 2006

Dear Villa Owner:

With the Villa Owner's meeting fast approaching, I thought this would be an ideal time to share with you our agenda of topics to be discussed at this year's meeting, scheduled for April 29, at 2:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing those who can join us as we share important details regarding the efforts we have executed and are planning to help increase your revenue and the value of your investment.

If you are unable to attend, this letter will give you a chance to review the information presented at the rental management forum. Please feel free to contact our rental management team at any time if you have questions or need additional information

New Resort Improvements

While the hurricanes of 2005 delayed many of our improvement projects, we have been making progress and more is planned. The renovations to our spa, following last year's fire, are nearly complete and should be finished by the end of this month. This includes a redesign and expansion of our fitness center. In addition, the spa has added new treatments and a new product line. The installation of new pavers in the front driveway and marina area was done last month. In the Duck Key Plaza, the resort added the Pirate's Patch, a new store offering kids clothing, toys and games. In the front lobby, the News Stand opened in February. Newspapers, magazines, books, along with stamps, film and other travel essentials can be purchased here. Our business center has been updated and offers essential services such as online access, faxing and copying.

Rumors of Sale

Recent statements were made that incorrectly identified Hawk's Cay as being purchased by an outside company. The company did purchase other properties in the Keys. At this time, the resort has not been sold. Current market conditions have resulted in the sales of several properties in the Keys, and Hawk's Cay has been approached. Many times through the last two decades, we have been approached by parties interested in purchasing the resort. We have always taken these inquiries seriously and have done due diligence in reviewing any bidder to determine if it would be in the best interest of the resort, villa owners and the community to move forward. When the situation arises and it is beneficial to move forward, we will certainly inform all of our owners and employees and keep you updated through the process.

Benefits of Hawk's Cay Resort Rental Management Program

The Hawk's Cay Resort rental management program continues to be a great resource for our owners looking to get maximum rental revenue. This success is because of the great relationship we have with YOU, our owners. Hawk's Cay is considered a model in the Resort-Condo concept. In fact, many other properties throughout Florida and the nation have looked to Hawk's Cay as an example of how to "do it right."

Unfortunately for some properties, they have not been able to duplicate the successful participation levels in their rental management program. For example, at some resorts, owners have turned to outside parties to rent their units. History shows this leads to a negative situation for all involved, with the guests suffering the most. In order to protect themselves, resorts have gone cashless and established protocols that prohibit guests who rent through unsanctioned programs from using any resort amenities. In some cases, visitors can't even check in at the resort's front desk because the villa owner is not in the official rental management program. In effect, this isolates those guests leaving them with a poor experience, ultimately driving down the revenues owners receive through unsanctioned programs and the value of the units.

Fortunately for us, we do not have those issues. Instead, we are able to focus on the big picture and the future. Our central reservations system, strategic marketing programs, maintenance teams, housekeeping services and amenities help our owners protect their value and revenue streams. In addition, the resort shares in paying fees related to credit cards and travel agents. Furthermore, Hawk's Cay Resort covered some of the costs and provided much of the labor to help villa owners clean up after the hurricanes. This assistance saved owners thousands of dollars in expenses and lost revenue. The efforts of our teamwork led to the resort opening on time after Hurricane Dennis to host a group from Ford Motor Company, generating significant villa revenue

Villa Revenue

As you may have read in our recent owner newsletter, 2005 was another record year for the Hawk's Cay Resort villa rental program. This is despite being closed more than 20 days due to hurricanes. The Sanctuary Villas, our newest product, continues to experience especially impressive returns. We realize that while revenues are increasing, so are expenses. This is true for both you and the resort. We are working hard to implement new strategies that will lead to further revenue increases to help offset these costs.

Villa Owner Communications

Many villa owners have expressed their desire for more communication from the resort. We have listened, and will be implementing several new strategies to open up more frequent dialogue with you. First, we are rolling out a new Web site for owners. Second, we want to know what YOU, our partners, want and expect from the resort in the future. That's why we are inviting you to participate in a survey to share your thoughts on how we can improve the guest experience. Finally, we will begin ongoing discussions with an owners committee. This committee will be able to offer feedback and suggestions to the resort. We are confident that working together as a team, will lead to a bright future for everyone.

Hawk's Cay Resort Marketing

At this month's meeting, we will unveil the resort's new advertising campaign. Our marketing department has developed new collateral pieces and updated our resort video. In addition, we have received positive news coverage in key media outlets.

We look forward to sharing this information with you, and more, at the upcoming meeting. We know you have questions and topics you are interested in addressing. We are excited about answering those questions and sharing a bright future together.


Donald H. Johnson, President