Ok, so now you've seen the place and maybe you're interested in buying at Orange Lake. As I said in previous sections of this journal, I now own two units here, so there are obviously many pros, but there are also some cons.
I have certainly shopped around at other timeshare locations and I believe the maintenance fees at Orange Lake to be competitive with the rest of the market. I have owned here for 12 years now and the although the fees have increased slightly each year they are still among the most reasonable in the industry. My unit costs around $450/year with an additional $80 in taxes. This may seem high to some, but I can tell you that these are the most well-managed and administered fees in the business. Each unit is refurbished on a scheduled basis. I believe that carpets are replaced every five years, furniture is replaced every seven or ten years, and the major appliances (stoves, refrigerators, etc) are all replaced in a reasonable manner.
If anything is broken when you arrive, they will replace it immediately. I have never had a problem in this area. At my last check-in, one of the TVs and a telephone were not working properly. Both were replaced on the day that I reported the problems.
You'll have to check with the sales department for current prices; but I can tell you I am very satisfied with the prices paid for my units. I can also tell you that the prices have increased dramatically for the newer units, but you may get lucky and be buying when one of the older units becomes available for resale.
I can't say that I have too many things to complain about at Orange Lake. I guess my biggest complaint would be the lack of an express check-in procedure for owner who have been coming there regularly for a number of years. It simply doesn't seem to be the best customer service model when owners, whose records and payment histories are available from past visits, have to stand in lines at the standard 4pm check-in time to get into units that they own. I can see where additional information would be required for those individuals trading units, but I would think they could come up with something better for owners.
I have also seen a slight decline in services in the past twelve years. When I first started going to Orange Lake, they hired a significant number of college students who served as lifeguards and ran a myriad of activities for the younger children. Although they still provide activities for at the children, I sense that the number and quality of those activities are decreasing - and the lifeguards have long since vanished.
The discounts available for the local attractions at the ticket desk are easily matched and frequently beaten if you keep your eyes and hears open. I seldom buy tickets at the desk because I can generally beat the prices via other sources.
There are obviously more pros than cons; otherwise, I would have gotten rid of my unit years ago and certainly would not have purchased a second unit. Compared to the many units that I have traded into, Orange Lake is, by far, the best. No other place has yet been able to come near providing the amenities offered at Orange Lake.