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Orange Lake has changed...not necessarily for the better!

Seattle
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37 reviews
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Orange Lake has changed...not necessarily for the better!

We have been owners at this resort since 1992 and currently own 4 weeks, staying for two weeks there every year. We originally purchased a golf villa in the West Village and have been reasonably content until the last year or two. It's not the villa that's the problem, especially since it was completely renovated in early 2009 (very nice). It's that the resort itself has become VERY large and impersonal...the 'family' atmosphere that we loved has disappeared and has been replaced with complacency and mediocrity...from the desk personnel to the restaurant/bar folks (not everyone, of course). No, this is definitely no longer a 'family' experience, hasn't been since Kemmons Wilson (the founder) passed away and left the reins to his sons. For example, if anyone remembers the original Olympic sized pool and outdoor pool bar, and has stayed since they were replaced with a new zero entry pool and indoor restaurant and bar...you'll know what I'm talking about. The folks at the new bar & grill were rude and unfriendly, talk about being invisible! Not to mention the fact that a family once could actually afford to eat and drink...not any longer. I liken it to going to a large sports stadium in many large city's, you know, once you're inside, God help you if you want to purchase food or drink. The new pool (deepest part maybe 4 1/2 feet), although beautiful, is filled shoulder-to-shoulder with folks, many of them unwatched kids doing what unwatched kids do. No, it's not a peaceful setting any longer, with deeper water providing a bit of a refuge. They've cluttered the pool deck with 'private' cabanas that you can rent for something like $150/day. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Anyway, bottom line, it's a beautiful resort that has 'sold out' to 'corporate' greed. It ain't Kansas anymore Dorothy!

pr
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1. Re: Orange Lake has changed...not necessarily for the better!

Totally agree! Excellent post.

Yorkshire Dales...
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1,278 posts
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2. Re: Orange Lake has changed...not necessarily for the better!

We have been owners at Orange Lake also for some time. We used to love going as it was a great family holiday but we have not been since we bought our house in Florida. Our sons though went in January this year and seemed to come back with the some concerns as yourself. It is now a cashless resort and as you say everything is so expensive. You only have to drive past to know how big the resort has become. It appears to have become more commercialised since they started taking bookings from none timeshare owners ie cabanas etc. A great shame!

3. Re: Orange Lake has changed...not necessarily for the better!

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Removed on: 1:20 am, October 29, 2010