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Preferred Reservations not related to PRI, owner says

Preferred Resorts Reservations has not yet made any money and is in limbo, says its owner and registered agent Alan Flake.

The company was formed by Flake and Richard Pack in mid-August, 2009. It has a state license and a website at http://www.preferred-reservations.com .

Flake spoke with The Park Record on Monday to address speculation that his company is somehow tied to Premier Resorts International (PRI) based on the fact that he is a former employee of the company.

According to Flake, former legal counsel for PRI, he established Preferred Reservations in an attempt to try and create jobs for himself and some of his co-workers who, like himself, were suddenly losing their jobs and livelihoods following the involuntary bankruptcy of Deer Valley Lodging and the subsequent failure of its parent company, PRI. He also hoped to provide Internet exposure for condominium resort properties that were losing PRI as their marketing agent going into a difficult winter season.

"My idea of Preferred Reservations was to provide a needed service, but the owners of PRI have never had any interest whatsoever in Preferred Reservations," he said.

Flake admitted that when PRI started selling assets to third parties his company purchased a small, select number of URL’s from PRI, and admitted that he has used the services of Richard Pack, the spouse of PRI founder Barbara Zimonja.

He explained, however, that Pack’s former business was website optimization an area in which Flake had no expertise.

"I think Richard saw that I was trying to do a good thing and offered to help me, but he has never been paid anything and has also never owned any interest in Preferred Reservations."

The company has another website: http://www.preferredresortsreservations.com/home. That website was created by Pack and last edited Sept. 15, 2009. It performs no service. Instead, with the help of another former PRI employee and Pack, the company created its new site, http://www.preferred-reservations.com.

While Flake and others were attempting to develop a viable reservations company, many of their former colleagues were able to find jobs. As a result, Flake approached VacationRoost.com and asked if Preferred Reservations could become an affiliate, he said. Flake insists VacationRoost.com also has no involvement or affiliation with PRI.

Maile Keone, vice president of marketing at VacationRoost.com, said her company takes phone calls and fulfills bookings for affiliates.

If the site is retrieved by a search engine and attracts a traveler to book a unit through it, he theoretically will make a commission. That is its purpose.

Preferred-reservations.com lists its address as a post office box in La Jolla, California. Flake explained that, assuming VacationRoost.com completes certain technology developments and the new company becomes operational, he hopes to base it in California, which may make it easier for the company to also focus on beach properties and in hindsight may further distance it from PRI, he said.

The website’s current "Terms of Use" page says the company’s offices are in Utah, but it has no Park City or Summit County address. The address given to the state is his home, which was done for convenience last summer, he said.

Two properties formerly associated with Zimonja are listed for rent through the website. Flake said that is because the owner or owners of those properties contracted with VacationRoost.com to list them like any other owner might do. However, he said, Zimonja has no contractual or other ties to Preferred Reservations.

Starting a reservations company in Park City has taken longer and been more difficult than Flake said he imagined. The company has yet to pay anything to him or anyone else.

"Given the fact that much of the motivation for creating the company is no longer present, and given the company’s recent negative association with PRI, (I’m) not sure it is still worth (my) time," he said in an email.

He said he would also like to remind people that, "like hundreds of other former PRI employees in Utah, he had no visibility, responsibility, or control over the finances of Deer Valley Lodging or PRI."

"PRI laid off a lot of great people and neither those former employees nor Preferred Reservations deserve the negative stigma associated with that failed company," he said.

Premier Resorts International Park City affiliate Deer Valley Lodging (the community’s largest property and nightly-rental manager) reported to condominium owners in March 2009 that it could not pay them their quarterly contract rental revenues. That announcement began a series of financial troubles that resulted in Deer Valley Lodging declaring bankruptcy last fall and a steady loss of clientele for PRI.


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