Bass Pro Shops entered a multimillion-dollar settlement with Boca Raton, Florida-based timeshare seller Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited Inc.
According to a news release, Bluegreen Vacations agreed to pay the Springfield-based outdoor retailer more than $40 million to settle allegations of “high pressure salesmanship” inside Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores, contract violations and missed commission payments.
The settlement allows Bluegreen Vacations to again sell timeshare interests at kiosks in Bass Pro stores. Bass Pro last month booted Bluegreen Vacations’ employees out of locations amid the escalating lawsuit, filed in April by Bass Pro and sister company Big Cedar LLC.
The suit indicated Bass Pro was seeking at least $10 million in damages, while Bluegreen Vacations officials expected any payouts to be less than $20 million, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.
The settlement is more than double Bluegreen Vacations’ prediction.
The settlement includes $20 million scheduled to be paid within about two weeks, another $20 million in five installments beginning annually next year and a clause allowing Bass Pro to keep the remaining $1.5 million prepaid to them earlier this year for its marketing and promotions agreement with Bluegreen Vacations, according to the release.
Under the settlement, Bluegreen Vacations also will:
• pay Bass Pro an annual fee of $70,000 for each store the kiosks operate in, as well as $32 per net vacation package sold, in lieu of the companies’ existing commission agreement;
• donate a minimum of $700,000 annually to the Wonders of Wildlife Foundation; and
• put a complaint resolution process in place, as well as enhance its customer service practices.
“Bluegreen shares our commitment to providing our customers and its owners and guests a memorable vacation in the great outdoors,” Bass Pro founder and CEO Johnny Morris said in the release. “We look forward to this next chapter of our long-running relationship.”
Bass Pro was represented in the suit by Spencer Fane LLP and King & Spalding, with Bluegreen Vacations represented by Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson PA and Scharnhorst Ast Kennard Griffin PC, according to court records.
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