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The Wilderness Club at Big Cedar is among properties involved in the lawsuit.
Photo courtesy Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited Inc.
The Wilderness Club at Big Cedar is among properties involved in the lawsuit.

Bass Pro seeks at least $10M in breach of contract suit

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Bass Pro Shops is seeking at least $10 million in a lawsuit filed last week.

Along with sister company Big Cedar LLC, Bass Pro is suing Boca Raton, Florida-based Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited Inc. for alleged breach of contract, according to an April 17 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Bass Pro alleges Bluegreen Vacations failed to pay commissions in an accord with a Dec. 31, 2017, marketing agreement that allowed the latter company to sell timeshare interests at kiosks in certain Bass Pro stores. The timeshares included the Wilderness Club at Big Cedar, and the kiosks were staffed by Bluegreen Vacations officials, according to the court filing.

The suit alleges Bluegreen Vacations did not pay any commissions to Bass Pro on sampler packages — to several resorts, including Big Cedar. Further, the suit alleges Bluegreen Vacations took back commissions following customer defaults or cancellations Bass Pro officials say occurred years after the original sale. Bluegreen Vacations repaid Big Cedar $4.8 million for the period between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 30, 2017, but then allegedly reinstituted the practice afterward, according to the court filing.

The suit also alleges Bluegreen Vacations violated its contract with Bass Pro by charging the Springfield-based outdoor retailer “tour generation” fees to recover expenses, despite agreeing that personnel costs at the kiosks would be paid by Bluegreen.

The suit finally alleges Bluegreen Vacations officials engaged in “high pressure salesmanship,” which officials say is at odds with “Bass Pro’s retail mission … to provide an outstanding customer experience based on transparency and trust,” according to the court document.

Bluegreen Vacations, a subsidiary of Bluegreen Vacations Corp. (NYSE: BXG), this morning posted a statement on its website regarding Bass Pro, the lawsuit and a formal notice the company received from Bass Pro and Big Cedar canceling Bluegreen Vacations’ access to Bass Pro marketing channels.

“To be clear, we don’t agree with any of the defaults you have alleged. We continue to be willing for the parties to engage in third-party binding arbitration or, if it comes to that, rely on litigation to resolve the specific issues at hand,” the statement reads.

Before mentioning the Bass Pro suit, the statement first threatens Bass Pro with litigation in which Bluegreen Vacations would seek more than $300 million for breach of contract, willful misconduct and lack of good faith.

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