Bass Pro terminates agreement with Bluegreen Vacations

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Bass Pro Shops terminated its marketing agreement with a timeshare partner, Bluegreen Vacations Corp., according to the South Florida Business Journal. Bass Pro Shops made the announcement May 23, saying the company would no longer be able to sell timeshares in its stores after May 24.

Bluegreen had marketed and sold slots for timeshare resorts through the Bass Pro Big Cedar Vacations affiliate near Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Until last week’s termination of the agreement, Bluegreen owned 51 percent of the venture and Bass Pro Shops 49 percent.

Bass Pro last month filed a lawsuit against Bluegreen in federal court in Missouri, seeking $10 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges Bluegreen refused to pay Bass Pro for timeshare commissions in the partnership. Bluegreen said in April that it would file a countersuit for $300 million if Bass Pro terminated the agreement.

“Bass Pro does not tolerate high-pressure or offensive salesmanship in its stores,” the company said in a statement. “One of our partners, Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, has not lived up to its contractual obligations on this important point. Due to this issue and other defaults, Bass Pro has terminated its marketing relationship with Bluegreen in accordance with the parties’ contract.”

Bluegreen denied the allegations. The company said that leads generated from Bass Pro stores account for 14 percent of its total timeshare sales, or 29 percent of timeshare sales to new customers. The loss of the marketing deal with Bass Pro should cost Bluegreen no more than $20 million, it added.

“Bluegreen intends to pursue all legal and equitable remedies available to it, including the filing of a counterclaim in the pending litigation, for wrongful termination by Bass Pro of the parties’ marketing agreement,” Bluegreen said following last week’s announcement.

“Because this matter relates to pending litigation, Bass Pro will have no further comment at this time,” said the Bass Pro statement.