Hurricane Sally Update:
Recently, the COA board had a meeting to get an update on the progress of our Hurricane Sally claim. In attendance were the board members, our consulting group, and our insurance agent. Although this claim could have been settled months ago, the board chose the path to maximize the Caribe Owners’ benefit for both known damage and latent damage caused by the storm. Our insurance policy is very comprehensive, but it requires concrete evidence of damages and potential damages. This team of consultants has led a series of forensic inspections of all areas of the resort to include but not limited to : mechanical equipment, hardscape and landscape, tennis courts and recreational areas, lazy river deck, roof systems, exterior building walls, (railings, glass, glazing, caulk joints, plaster, balcony ceiling coatings), interior unit damage, HVAC systems (not only for the association but for unit owners), electronic systems (property wide audio systems, key card system, guard gate system, TV and internet systems) boat docks, along with several other areas of concern.
The consultants have been in constant negotiations on many of these areas to identify latent damage for future problems that could happen due to the impact from Hurricane Sally. We have been assured we are in good shape for a favorable settlement based on the diligence of the planning and work done prior to full submission of the claim. We hope to settle this claim by close of the 2021 calendar year. This may seem like a long time, but let us remind you that no owner has been assessed for the ongoing repairs to their personal property or to the Resort property. Per our consultants and the NOAA data, Caribe Resort suffered from 122 mph sustained winds. Based on certain areas of the Resort, we have already settled some uncontested damage and have received some payments with the insurance company retaining deductibles, and depreciation of some affected areas.
Property-wide recovery continues to progress. Our mission in response to the hurricane was to get the units functional and safe as quickly as possible. All 600 units incurred damage due to power being off, resulting in melted frozen goods, spoiled food and beverage, and heightened humidity levels. There were approximately 250 units with interior damage to flooring, walls, and other miscellaneous areas. We organized necessary remediation to get all units habitable, but at this time over 50 units have pending minor repairs. This work needing completion did not prevent the units from being occupied. To expedite the recovery stage, Caribe Inc. purchased vinyl plank, baseboard, carpet, and supplies to use as quick options for unit repairs approved by the owners. Caribe Inc. made these repairs and subcontracted some of this work.
We are currently in the bid stages for major repairs and accumulating mechanical equipment such as HVAC units for the roof and other hardware. Strategic planning has taken place so that once the claim is settled we will be prepared to execute the various areas of the Resort to return it back to top condition. Please understand we are all anxious to see the past year’s efforts come to fruition.
Labor and Materials:
As you may know the labor market has been very dismal across the nation. Caribe Resort was not excluded from this crippling shortage as we have experienced extreme decline in accessible products, such as building supplies, appliances, and other needed inventory. We commend the employees who not only pulled the Resort through the busiest year on record, but have done so with enthusiasm to serve our owners and guests. Wages and benefits have certainly risen to meet demand, but the shear shortage of employees has resulted in short staffing across all departments.
We are anxiously awaiting the completion of the boat dock repairs. A lot is involved in this construction process and requires approval by the City of Orange Beach, Fire Marshall, and certain protocols must be followed. Again, material and labor crews continue to be a factor in timeliness. As of date we have no residential docks open. If you need to dock your boat please contact the Caribe Marina at 251-980-8410 for accommodations and availability. The dock repair has been an ongoing project and as soon as we have any information regarding the date of opening we will be sure to update our owners.
Currently we are initiating steps to begin the East overflow parking completion. This project will allow for adequate lighting, parking spaces, and landscaping. In the coming weeks you will begin to see crews to begin this work.
In recent weeks we had our annual fire alarm inspection. During the inspection we had multiple alarms sounding off. The majority of the alarms sounded due to the test, but some of these alarms were triggered by outside variables. All sensors have been checked to ensure they are in proper working condition. We are taking a comprehensive review of all elements of the fire safety system and will make any and all repairs necessary. We are in full compliance with the Orange Beach Fire Department and State Authorities.
Rental Season and Values:
If you or your neighbor has a rental unit, you have witnessed a record-breaking year in revenues. This trend has significantly impacted our entire coastal area and we intend to retain this flow of tourism. Values of real estate have sky rocketed over the last year with property prices exceeding 30%+ increase in value for some units. As we transition into Fall we are seeing a slowdown of activity but potential buyers continue to view properties for sale. Like any healthy market, prices cannot continue to increase at these levels so this cooling off is expected.
We welcome you to join our official Caribe Resort Owner Facebook page if you have not already. https://www.facebook.com/groups/669892920422652/ . This page was created as an added outlet for information amongst our owner community and managed by our Caribe Realty staff. We understand that some owners may have complaints, opinions, or concerns. To properly address these issues we recommend you directly contact your owner relations representative: Jill Alford for C tower ([email protected]) and Whitney Harris for B and D towers ([email protected]). The social announcement of unsatisfactory issues is not productive and devalues your own property. When you have questions or concerns we do want to address these professionally. We want to know your concerns; the staff at Caribe Resort is not perfect, but we are all on the same side to improve an already awesome property!