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loanrngr

TUG Member

Posts: 28
From: Sacramento,CA Own @ Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-04-2005 12:14     Click Here to See the Profile for loanrngr   Click Here to Email loanrngr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Newbie Here !!! But I am learning alot on this site...I have found a Starwood resale and I understand that I give up the "Starpoints". But what about the "Star Option Points" As a owner of a resale, will I be able to trade within the Starwood resorts using the option points ??? Thanks for the help and any suggestions.

Ron

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deniselew1

TUG Member

Posts: 587
From: San Jose, CA USA Own at Westin Ka'anapali
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 02-04-2005 12:42     Click Here to See the Profile for deniselew1   Click Here to Email deniselew1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Hi Ron, Welcome to TUG. Hopefully you have read the excellent Advice section on Starwood, http://tinyurl.com/4fqzm. You'll find that if you buy resale at a mandatory SVN resort, you will have StarOptions to exchange within Starwood. If you purchase at a non-mandatory resort, you are buying a week at that resort. In either case, you may trade via II or a private exchange company (with permission) for a fee.

[This message has been edited by deniselew1 (edited 02-04-2005).]

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loanrngr

TUG Member

Posts: 28
From: Sacramento,CA Own @ Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-04-2005 15:02     Click Here to See the Profile for loanrngr   Click Here to Email loanrngr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Thank You Denise, Yes I have found the information very helpful and have even enjoyed some of the "exchange" Ready to close on a WKOV EOY and looking for options at another resort. The key is to read all of the threads !!!! Look forward to future information from all of the experienced people online and hope to be able to share my information in the future...

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dbmMayer

TUG Member

Posts: 1955
From: Northern CA Owner: Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-04-2005 21:02     Click Here to See the Profile for dbmMayer   Click Here to Email dbmMayer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Some resorts are eligible for Star Options with a resale, and some are not. They are listed in Chris's TUG article: http://www.tug2.net/advice/Starwood_Vacation_Network.htm

From Chris's article:


Resorts that are “SVN mandatory”

SVN membership mandatory for developer buyers; optional for resale buyers:
* Harborside Resort
* Vistana Villages
* Westin St. John
* Westin Ka'anapali
* Westin Kierland Villas

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Denise

[This message has been edited by dbmMayer (edited 02-04-2005).]

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arlene22

TUG Member

Posts: 485
From: N.J., Owner: Harborside @ Atlantis
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 02-05-2005 07:39     Click Here to See the Profile for arlene22   Click Here to Email arlene22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
This brings up another question I've been wondering about: if SVN is "optional" for resale buyers, is there something special you have to do when purchasing to make sure you get into SVN with options?

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~Arlene

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dbmMayer

TUG Member

Posts: 1955
From: Northern CA Owner: Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-05-2005 09:01     Click Here to See the Profile for dbmMayer   Click Here to Email dbmMayer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
quote:
Originally posted by arlene22:
This brings up another question I've been wondering about: if SVN is "optional" for resale buyers, is there something special you have to do when purchasing to make sure you get into SVN with options?


Their wording is really misleading - the bottom line is that you have to buy at one of the mandatory resorts to exchange a resale, within SVN. I believe it is automatically transferred with purchase. I own a Non-mandatory SVO property, that I bought resale, and Starwood sent me a welcome letter and info. about how to make a Resv. after my ownership was registered with them. I imagine, that if you buy at a "mandatory" resort, they would send you the same welcome letter, along with info. on how to exchange within SVN.

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Denise

[This message has been edited by dbmMayer (edited 02-05-2005).]

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loanrngr

TUG Member

Posts: 28
From: Sacramento,CA Own @ Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-05-2005 14:15     Click Here to See the Profile for loanrngr   Click Here to Email loanrngr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Ok Denise,

I see that you also have WKOV, as will I hopefully in 30 days. I am also looking at Desert Oasis as a resale. I guess the question now would be is there any benifit other then maybe using your AMEX card at the Sheraton (starwood) for points. I would love to be able to use the Desert Oasis for options as well, but that seems to be out of the question for resale.

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dbmMayer

TUG Member

Posts: 1955
From: Northern CA Owner: Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-05-2005 23:19     Click Here to See the Profile for dbmMayer   Click Here to Email dbmMayer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Actually, we didn't buy at Desert Oasis for Starwood benefits, we bought there because we are Giants fans and we wanted to have a timeshare to go to spring training. SDO comes up fairly often on ebay and that is where we bought our unit. We got a larger EOY 1 bdm. (they have two sizes) for about $2K. Haven't used it yet - first usage year is 2006.

As far as getting options for your non-mandatory SDO unit, I think you need to buy it first, and then get it grand-fathered in when you purchase a WKORV unit from the developer. I did the reverse, and when I contacted Starwood about getting my SDO unit into the SVN, they weren't the least interested.

But - you can make some nice trades with SFX (San Francisco Exchange Company) with a SDO unit. They offer 3-for-1 several times a year.

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Denise

[This message has been edited by dbmMayer (edited 02-05-2005).]

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theunitrep

TUG Member

Posts: 89
From: Vista, CA Own at: Westin Ka`anapali, Sheraton Mountain Vista and Parkway International
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 02-06-2005 08:02     Click Here to See the Profile for theunitrep   Click Here to Email theunitrep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
We received a "Welcome Letter" from Starwood after we purchased a resale unit at WKORV. I don't have the letter in front of me right now, so I can't give you the exact wording about SVN membership. I do know the 2006 maintenance fees included $103.30 for SVN membership dues.

I just got off the telephone with Starwood and the rep said that if you purchase at a mandatory resort, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF SVN. When I told her that I didn't think that was correct, she said that her got the information from her supervisor while I waited on hold.

I was always under the impression that if you purchased at a MANDATORY resort (either resale or developer)the owner had the option of remaining a member of SVN.

What happens if an owner simply wants to go to WKORV or Harborside (or any other Mandatory resort) every year? Under the explanation I received from Starwood today, the owner would have to pay an additional $100 just to go to their own resort.

My question:

Can an owner "opt out" of the SVN portion of the program? Is there a difference if you purchased from the developer (Mandatory or Voluntary resort) or if you purchased a mandatory resort on the resale market regarding this?

Thanks,

Jerry

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dbmMayer

TUG Member

Posts: 1955
From: Northern CA Owner: Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-06-2005 09:28     Click Here to See the Profile for dbmMayer   Click Here to Email dbmMayer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
quote:
Originally posted by theunitrep:
We received a "Welcome Letter" from Starwood after we purchased a resale unit at WKORV.

Jerry - do you mind telling us how much you paid for it? (Sorry if I missed this before, or just forgot.)

quote:

Can an owner "opt out" of the SVN portion of the program? Is there a difference if you purchased from the developer (Mandatory or Voluntary resort) or if you purchased a mandatory resort on the resale market regarding this?


We bought from the developer and the SVN fee is also mandatory for us and included in our MF. Question - do YOU really want to opt-out or is this more of a retorical question?

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Denise

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theunitrep

TUG Member

Posts: 89
From: Vista, CA Own at: Westin Ka`anapali, Sheraton Mountain Vista and Parkway International
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 02-06-2005 18:04     Click Here to See the Profile for theunitrep   Click Here to Email theunitrep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Denise --

I do not CURRENTLY have any intention of opting out of the Star Options portion of SVN.

I just wanted everyone to understand just what we can and can't do as owners of resales at mandatory resorts.

I understand how you were mandated to join by the developer when you purchased from them, but what about resales.

I think I'll pose the question to Fred Messreni at Timeshare Gallery.

Reference your other question:

I'll contact you via email.

Take Care,

Jerry

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Art

TUG Member

Posts: 988
From: Grand Island, NY
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 02-06-2005 19:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Art   Click Here to Email Art     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Ron

As a pre-Starwood Desert Oasis owner, about once a year I get an offer from Starwood of a limited time opportunity to join SVN for a $299 initiation fee.

What has rankled me, and why I haven't taken them up on the offer, is that the points I would get (around 80,000) correspond to the off-season weeks currently being sold. Developer prime season 2 BR every year weeks get 149,000 points. Since my week is good for all 52 weeks of the year, it seems like it should also get 149,000 points.

The lower number of points means that my possible SVN trades were into an equal aize unit in Orlando or a 1 BR or studio in the higher end Starwood resorts.

(Of course, the Starwood rep told me if I came up with another 10 or $12000, my week would now magically be worth 149,000 points. That sounded like a maximum level of developer greed )

I also never got a satisfactory answer as to whether there would now be constraints on the weeks I could use at SDO. Likewise, there was never an answer on whether if once I was in SVM, those rights would pass to someone if I sold the week.

The end result is that I have accepted the fact that SDO is a very nice resort that is great to use and that trades pretty well and been happy owning it on that basis. As Denise mentioned, trading includes 3 for 1 trades thru SFX or 2 for 1 (lock-off route) exchanges thru RCI or II.

Art

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fredm

TUG Member

Posts: 171
From: Palm Desert, Ca. USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-07-2005 09:00     Click Here to See the Profile for fredm   Click Here to Email fredm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Arlene, Denise.

The bottom line concerning SVN membership is this:

-- If ownership is purchased from the developer, SVN membership is necessary, and dues must be paid. Participlation in SVN is not mandatory, but membership is.

-- Resale purchase of a mandatory resort SVN membership is automatic, without possibility to opt out. Again, dues must be paid. Participation not required.

SVN membership is automatic at mandatory resorts because an actual condition of ownership at a mandatory resort is SVN membership. They cannot be separated. Hence, at resale the new owner is automatically a SVN member. No application or separate agreement to sign. When the ownership interest is purchased from whatever source, the requirement is accepted.

At voluntary resorts it is not automatic , even for the original owner. The orignal owner becomes a SVN member by executing a member affiliation agreement. The owner has no choice in the matter, but it is not automatic. Because it is a stand alone agreenmet the terms of membership can be defined differently. SVN chooses to grant a non-transferrable membership right to the original owner. When ownership is transferred, the original owner's membership automatically ends, and is non-transferrable.

-- Resale purchase at a voluntary resort SVN membership is not offered.

it is actually more convoluted than this, but it is the bottom line, and why it appears as if happening automatically in some case and not in others.

Hope that helps.

Fredm.

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dlpearson

TUG Member

Posts: 998
From: Marriott BeachPlace Towers, Marriott Monarch, 7 Mile Beach Club, Vistana Villages
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 02-07-2005 21:09     Click Here to See the Profile for dlpearson   Click Here to Email dlpearson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Does anyone know Starwood's logic in determining which resorts are mandatory and which are not? For example, why is Westin Kierland mandatory, but Westin Mission Hills is not. I don't think it has to do with "newness" of properties, as Sheraton's Vistana Villages was built around the same time as Westin Mission Hills, yet the Villages is mandatory.....

Just curious if anyone's figured out the Starwood inner-sanctum logic on this topic!

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sfbenning

TUG Member

Posts: 106
From: San Francisco, CA USA. Own : Westin Ka'anapali, Sea Ranch CA
Registered: May 2003

posted 02-08-2005 14:41     Click Here to See the Profile for sfbenning     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Hi there,

I've been reading TUG actively since mid-2003, and the short answer to your question, is no. We don't have any real info on why resorts are mandatory and non-mandatory. (If anyone has any new insight, please feel free to let me know!)

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Shelley

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Go2curves

TUG Member

Posts: 122
From: Stockton, CA, USA
Registered: Apr 2004

posted 02-08-2005 14:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Go2curves   Click Here to Email Go2curves     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
I've wondered about that too. I kind of think it has something to do with purchase incentive. Potentially makes it easier to sell certain properties, whether from a location standpoint (i.e. Kierland in Scottsdale may not be as popular a destination) or from a high cost standpoint (i.e. makes it benefit of paying big $$ to own at one of the most expensive properties). Maybe Vistana's included because it would be a perk in an otherwise saturated market. JMHO, though.
Christy

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theunitrep

TUG Member

Posts: 89
From: Vista, CA Own at: Westin Ka`anapali, Sheraton Mountain Vista and Parkway International
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 02-08-2005 18:51     Click Here to See the Profile for theunitrep   Click Here to Email theunitrep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
I remember someone telling me once that the "voluntary/mandatory" distinction is primarily (if not completely) driven by the laws of the state in which the resort is located.

When the real estate laws governing that state require that
Starwood give resale owners access to SVN then the resort is classified as "mandatory."

In states that don't make Starwood give resale owners access to SVN, the resorts are classified as "voluntary."

If Starwood had their druthers, ALL resorts would be voluntary. That way Starwood would be able to neutralize the lower prices available on the resale market.

I'm not certain this is true, but it was what I was once told.

I'd welcome someone being able to confirm this or provide the real reason for the distinction.

Jerry

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loanrngr

TUG Member

Posts: 28
From: Sacramento,CA Own @ Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-08-2005 21:07     Click Here to See the Profile for loanrngr   Click Here to Email loanrngr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Jerry,

The Westin Kierland Villas in Scottsdale is considered mandatory, at least according to earlier posts in this thread !!!! Maybe it's on Indian land and they can do what they want like the casinos in California LOL

[This message has been edited by loanrngr (edited 02-08-2005).]

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fredm

TUG Member

Posts: 171
From: Palm Desert, Ca. USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-09-2005 02:46     Click Here to See the Profile for fredm   Click Here to Email fredm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Whew! Sorry for the long post folks. I don't post often, so I guess I make up for it when I do.
Fredm

Jerry, what you say makes a lot of sense. All the branded developers restrict some components of use at resale. And all do it for the same reason; to create a distinction between the product that they sell, and that which the owner they sold to sells. Marriott does it by omitting reward points. So does Starwood with Preferred Guest, accross the board. Starwood takes it a giant step further though. At most properties, a resale buyer cannot become an SVN member. In my view of the program, the ability to transact Staroptions for occupancy at internal resorts a day at a time in various seasons and villa sizes is an important dimension to the ownership structure. And , unlike Points, Options are unique within Starwood to the vacation ownership program, so there are not any preceeding uses they are applicable to.
well,I can therefore easily see where some would consider Options an integral component of the ownership itself. Because the product is based in a real estate purchase, some could argue that because of their integral nature to the real estate's functionality in the stystem, that the ability to sell that functionality is protected in the real estate's "bundle of rights" which automatically passes with title.
Of course, starwood has its own response to that argument. The problem is that the response is a manufactured one specifically constructed to support the argument.It does not naturally follow as the simple bundle of rights argument does. If that much trouble was undertaken to support the exclusion of a feature it sells, and thereby prohibit its own customers from selling what they bought, it makes complete sense to me that it is permitted only where there is no choice in the matter. The only venue which has the authoruity to impose that kind of requirement, against the preference of the developer is the law. Different states can have have different definitions. In any case rulings are made by people who can interpret them differently. It also is the only reason I have heard which is entirely consistent with the reality of the matter in every way I have been able to identify. Right on down to how SVN membership is entitled to mandatory resort owners compared to voluntary resort owners.

dpearson and Denise,
it cant be age of the resort or anyhing that is event or circumstantially based, because you must remember that voluntary resort owners are SVN members also. It is only the resale buyers of voluntary resorts that are excluded. Interestingly, the way an original owner of a voluntary resort is made an SVN member is telling of the origin of the resale exclusion. Owners of Mandatory resorts are automatically menbers. No forms, no signatures, no nothing. It is automatic, not only for the original owner, but for a resale buyer also. In fact, legal ownership of the real estate and SVN membership cannot be separated. The very ability to purchase the title is literally conditioned by SVN membership. It is therefore so intergral to the deed that it is presumed to the point of not having to sign anything agreeing to its terms and conditions. Even for a resale buyer. On the other hand, the original owner of a voluntary resort must be mechanically enrolled in SVn. A Purchase from the developer does not bestow membership, SVN must enroll the original owner, and when they do so, the terms of membership are different than the terms for the mandatory owner. SVN grants the original voluntary resort oener a membership that is non transferralble and ceases upon sale . There is no question whatsoever that the source of the distinction is based on the entitlements to the real estate. Those entitlements can only be distinguished by real estate law., where they are not uniform. To the extent that Starwood is able to restrict functionality uopn the sale by an owner it has thus far chosen to do so. Accross the board with respect to StarPoints, because it could. Only in the majority of juristictions, where the matter is grey enough to require a ruling does Starwood restrict it, and then only to the resale buyer. They , of course, want to inclde Options for the owner who purchases from them directly. So much so, that even though the menbership is not automatic, it is legally required, and the structure is such that refusal to become a member puts the original owner in vilolation of the resort documents, which in turn, void the purchase. To accomplish that little piece of work takes quite a bit of convoluted legal enginnering. Yet, that is the effort intentionally crafted to make it happen the way it does.
All of which simply goes to say . of course its a legal determination .and when the derermination permits it Starwood is pleased to construct the mechanism to prevent an owner from selling what they were sold.
Now, I admitedly have not been physically present when these processes took place. But I have been around the timeshare industry and its workings long enough to say that this is absolutely consistent, and not the least surprising. Nor do I fault Starwood for doing it. It's their program and their money at risk.
My problem with it is that as a reseller I am the one the program is meant to obstruct. In the process however, values purchased become deminished, and I get to be the bearer of that news to some unhappy owners who find themselves with a need to sell, who claim they were never told that the only way to take full advantage of all the Starwood system is capable of deivering is to buy it directly from Starwood. It also means that the one being restricted is the owner if they want to sell. Most I speak with never take the statement to its logical conclusion. I simply get frustrated when that concept does not compute. oftentimes, not Even with the buyer.

Loanmgr.

I don't get it. What does Keirland have to do with this? Not comparing to Desert Oasis are you?

Fredm

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stevens397

TUG Member

Posts: 237
From: Randolph, NJ, Owner: Westin Kierland Villas, Marriott Fairway Villas
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 02-09-2005 06:14     Click Here to See the Profile for stevens397   Click Here to Email stevens397     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Fred's answer is as thorough and thoughtful as most of us expected it would be. My only question is that if it's a matter of state law, how do you explain the difference between the two Vistana properties in Florida - why is one mandatory and the other voluntary?

I think the only real solution for us is to buy it and keep it forever. Forget about reselling it! And to look into the Direct Trade board that Jerry set up as an alternative to trade within the Starwood system without SVN.

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grgs

TUG Member

Posts: 19
From: Oceanside, CA Owner: Westin Kierland
Registered: Dec 2004

posted 02-09-2005 06:49     Click Here to See the Profile for grgs   Click Here to Email grgs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
quote:
Originally posted by stevens397:
Fred's answer is as thorough and thoughtful as most of us expected it would be. My only question is that if it's a matter of state law, how do you explain the difference between the two Vistana properties in Florida - why is one mandatory and the other voluntary?

Was the Vistana property (non-Villages) a Starwood acquisition rather than developed by them? That would be one thing that might account for the difference. This would also explain the difference between Kierland and Desert Oasis as well.

Glorian

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theunitrep

TUG Member

Posts: 89
From: Vista, CA Own at: Westin Ka`anapali, Sheraton Mountain Vista and Parkway International
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 02-09-2005 07:57     Click Here to See the Profile for theunitrep   Click Here to Email theunitrep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
quote:
Originally posted by grgs:
Was the Vistana property (non-Villages) a Starwood acquisition rather than developed by them? That would be one thing that might account for the difference. This would also explain the difference between Kierland and Desert Oasis as well.

Glorian


Glorian --

Vistana was a property Starwood acquired, not one they developed. I know this since I used to own at Vistana a long, long, long time ago.

Jerry

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loanrngr

TUG Member

Posts: 28
From: Sacramento,CA Own @ Westin Ka'anapali & Sheraton Desert Oasis
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-09-2005 08:42     Click Here to See the Profile for loanrngr   Click Here to Email loanrngr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
Fred,

My response was related to Jerry's comments regarding State Law and why some resorts in Starwood are mandatory or not...I was just pointing out that both (Kierland & SDO) are in the State of Arizona, the balance of the comment was my satire on the "Joke of Law" regarding Indian Gaming Land !!! And thank you for your very intelligent and thoughtful response to the issue at hand, this is why TUG is so invaluable.

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planningzone

Non Member

Posts: 5
From: Irvine, Ca, usa
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-11-2005 11:31     Click Here to See the Profile for planningzone   Click Here to Email planningzone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote Post A Reply
I am looking to buy and are you saying that If I buy a resale platinum SDO then buy a gold season from the developer at the westin mission hills, they would get my SDO unit into the Staroption system?

Is this even advantageous? I was thinking that this would get me 229 staroptions which would get me more total weeks in the unit (between 4-7 weeks based on the season) rather than a fixed 4 weeks for exchange if I did not have Staroptions.

Is this possible? Is my logic completely flawed? Is it best to just buy a bunch of resale weeks and trade them?

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