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10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2013 8:42 AM by n_turn RSS

Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?

tjcnewyork Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab222/TJCNEWYORKINSIDERS/MVC-PerfectStorm.jpg

Above:  Eye of Hurricane Ophelia travelling west towards North America and the southeastern coast of the United States as seen from space by NASA and posted on YouTube (1)

 

The Andrea Gail, a fishing vessel from the picturesque New England village of Gloucester, Massachusetts set out to catch swordfish, but encountered the eye of a no-name tropical storm in 1991 and never returned to port.  This true story became fodder for Sebastian Unger's creative non-fiction book, The Perfect Storm published in 1997 and later adapted for the film by the same name by Wolfgang Peterson released three years later starring George Clooney.

 

Unlike it's sibling brands that shine and provide luster to the Marriott portfolio, Marriott Vacation Club, a separate division of Marriott International set out like a rogue storm in June 2010 towards a new destination with Destination Points. Without any prior warning, executives at Marriott Vacation Club headquartered in Orlando, Florida announced,  "With the introduction of the new points-based ownership and exchange programs, as a general rule Marriott will discontinue selling weeks-based ownership at its Marriott Vacation Club resorts throughout North America and the Caribbean." (2) Given the number of resorts in North America and Caribbean shown in Tags and Hotels listed to the right of this post (6), the discontinuance of weeks-based ownership has elevated concern about the stability and value of vacation ownership with Marriott, and fueled discussion about competing factors that will handicap legacy owners if they do not opt to convert to Marriott's new point system.

 

As a form of real estate, timeshare is a highly regulated industry in the U.S. that is subject to federal, state and local statutes.  According to ConsumerAffairs.com, "Timeshare resale complaints have recently surpassed mortgage-related complaints as the most commonly reported consumer complaint received by the office's Consumer Hotline." (3) Late last week, e-mails started arriving urging owners to write to the Office of the State Attorney General in Tallahassee, Florida, the state where Marriott Vacation Club is headquartered. (4)

 

As illustrated by a torrent of dissatisfied Marriott Vacation Club owners communicating directly with Bill Marriott at Marriott on the Move (5), several questions emerge, Who at Marriott will be accountable for responding to Marriott Vacation Club owners?  Who at Marriott will take ownership for engaging MVC owners directly about Marriott's ongoing committments?  Perhaps the larger question that merits asking,  "Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?"

 

1 YouTube Hurricane Ophelia

2 Timeshare Users Group

3 ConsumerAffairs.com

4 Office of the Attorney General

5 Marriott on the Move, Providing Our Timeshare Owners with More Flexibility

6 Marriott Vacation Club properties in North America | Caribbean

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    countryjim Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC and all -

     

    The new optional Destinations point system is simple economic fairness and results in full disclosure:

     

    1.  Level Playing Field:  For the first time when you use or trade your MVCI ownership week(s), you will get what you paid for:  If you paid more (adjusting of course for inflation over the years), you will get more.  Conversely, if you paid less, you will now get less.  Even my college Econ professor's economic "rule-of-thumb" was, "You get what you pay for".

     

     

    2.  Full Disclosure:  We have all been REPEATEDLY told that II places a higher "trade value"  on those properties that have presumed plusses (eg, more desirable season, better view, etc), but II's scoring criteria and resulting relative values were never disclosed and consequently in never-never land.  Now - for the first time - relative value is fully disclosed.

     

     

    No longer will folks who bought on the cheap be able to upgrade at the expense of everyone else.  So, I am scoring one for Destinations.  Folks, this is the reality of all recreational real estate:  Some is worth more than others depending mainly upon location, local amenities and weather.  "Destinations" may have its defects, but we should at least give Marriott credit for an attempt to at fairness by recognizing relative values.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
      n_turn Silver 4 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I didn't buy on the "cheap".  I bought two platinum weeks at Marriott's Grande Ocean.  I did however, sit through numerous timeshare presentations where the Marriott representatives prepped the buyers on buying on the cheap and working the system.  Sadly, now people who didn't buy on the cheap, but bought into the the weeks timeshare system are being penalized by the new "points" system regarding swaps. 

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    vpplayer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "The new optional Destinations point system is simple economic fairness and results in full disclosure..."

     

    I have no argument about your two numbered statements but they do not address many additional concerns that have already been raised by owners, and certainly MVC has been much less than forthcoming as well.

     

    If MVC is providing full disclosure, then why won't they respond to the myriad of questions raised on this forum?  Why won't they tell us how inventory will be allotted for competition for weeks?  Between deeded owners and points owners?

     

    As a deeded owner, the is no way in hell that I should be competing with points owners for weeks at my home resort.  Owners should get at least a week head start on reservations over points owners.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab222/TJCNEWYORKINSIDERS/MVC-PerfectStorm.jpg

    Above:  Eye of Hurricane Ophelia travelling west towards North America and the southeastern coast of the United States as seen from space by NASA and posted on YouTube (1)

     

    Countryjim:

     

    Thanks for being candid and expressing what appears to be a minority view.   For several reasons, the thinking behind, "No longer will folks who bought on the cheap be able to upgrade at the expense of everyone else" is quiet flawed.

     

    • Firstly, the statement strikes me as a disparaging backstab to the Marriott brand.  Is Marriott a marketer and seller of poor quality (aka "cheap") vacation experiences?   Marriott did not position deeded weeks some 10, 15, 20 or 25 years as 'cheap', did they?  Multiple factors including location, layout, supply, demand, brand quality and exclusivity drive values in real estate, don't they?  Marriott had the corner on the market with a simple sales solution that integrated an award-winning brand loyalty program (aka Marriott Rewards) and vacation ownership.

     

    • Secondly, the statement incorrectly implies that cut-rate discount pricing compelled folks to become MVC owners.  As already stated, there are multiple reasons that compel a buy decision.  One of them, choice of usage option offered with the 'legacy' product make that very evident.  For sure, there are owners who bought on the secondary market at distressed prices minus the usage option to trade for Marriott Rewards points, but those owners are in the minority.  This segues to the next point.

     

    • Thirdly, and most importantly, 'on the cheap' contradicts the time-honored Marriott value proposition, a 'home away from home' and the brand promise, 'memorable vacation experiences' that hundreds of thousands of owners bought into.

     

    • Lastly, your comments ignore the central question, "Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott? " Is Marriott Vacation Club the Andrea Gail that never returns to port?  The screen version of the true story depicted a fishing boat fully loaded with swordfish.  How many of swordfish actually made it to the Gloucester pier?  Zero.  Based upon your own statements, it appears that Marriott Sales managed to persuade at least one buyer.

     

    While the adage, 'You get what you pay for' seems apropos in the Destination Points world, the laws of "supply and demand" continue to stand the test of time.  Since Marriott's bold proclamation, "Marriott will discontinue selling weeks-based ownership at its Marriott Vacation Club resorts throughout North America and the Caribbean," legacy weeks became scarce.  In the supply and demand world, 'scarcity' drives demand and value.

     

    Supply and demand will be especially important to legacy week owners in states where Marriott is not registered to sell Destination points.  As of the launch date in June, only 39 of 50 states are shown in Marriott's State and Legal Disclosures.  Although New York is listed among them for example, Marriott is not registered to sell Destination Points in New York.  W/o that registration, Marriott is prohibited from actively soliciting or making Destination Points offers.

     

    As a NYS resident, I found out about the Destination Program from owners residing in New Jersey and Virginia.  As an active business traveller and charter member of Marriott Marquis aka Marriott Rewards, points and the ability to earn them as well as redeem them for free nights is very important to me.  Since Marriott cannot legally make me offers, I have no clue whether or not purchasing into Destination Points is eligible for trade for Marriott Rewards points.  If you pay your mortgage and MF fees and use Destination points for an Alaskan cruise, a Marriott-branded African Safari or touring the Great Wall of China will that earn Elite Qualifying Nights?  When I pay top dollar to Marriott Vacation Club, my expectation is that I get what I pay for, a home away from home, a memorable vacation experience, Platinum Elite Arrival Points and Elite Qualifying Nights.  Did Marriott Sales cover these aspects in detail?

     

    The point is that statutes prevail and MVC is handicapped. Only a fraction of legacy owners are likely to be aware of the new usage option thereby brewing confusion, distrust and loss of confidence.  Cancelling out the "plus", Marriott has several "minuses" to overcome.  And to your point, overcoming them is unlikely to be "cheap".

     

    Posting this message under "Ask and Answer" may have elicited an answer from A&A maven, Pingreeman.  Since he's not an MVC owner, he might shoehorn Marriott into the Andrea Gail for a very different, but perfectly valid reason - as he is most apt to do. (ducking)

     

    But, what do you think, countryjim?  Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?

     

    1 YouTube Hurricane Ophelia

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "As a deeded owner, the is no way in hell that I should be competing with points owners for weeks at my home resort.  Owners should get at least a week head start on reservations over points owners."

     

    Ditto, VPPlayer

     

    According to the MVC's State and Legal Disclosure (1), there are 11 unnamed resorts that comprise the so-called 'land trust'.  What if your resort (or mine) is among them?  If MVC disclosed the 11 resorts, and forthrightly stated the priorities for reserving and assigning villas, doing so would set owner expectations and provide legacy owners with reassurance.

     

    Since statutes prevail and alerting owners who reside in states where MVC is not yet registered to offer Destination Points potentially risks legal exposure, MVC is in a very challenging position.   Who is to be accountable for owner relations at the 11 resorts?  Who will take ownership of the change management required for owners at the balance of resorts?


    1 State and Legal Disclosure

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    countryjim Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC--- 

     

    I have no disagreement with most all of your thorough explanation --- thanks!

     

    My slang reference to, "on the cheap" was by no means a reference to MVCI resort quality, which I have found to be traditionally excellent across all five of our ownership weeks.

     

    To clarify, my point was that many folks who purchased low season resort weeks at MVCI resorts (that have seasonal price and usage seasons) have been able to trade week-for-week for high season weeks.  In those cases, the II "trade value" rating was an unknown and an owner could trade their lower-priced low season week for a higher-priced high season week, depending upon availability and regardless of original cost or current cash secondary market value.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
      n_turn Silver 4 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      While I didn't buy that concept either figuratively or literally , it was certainly pitched to me many times by Marriott Timeshare salesmen through the years. I sat through a presentation in Williamsburg where there was one of the many famous "sales" and "promotions" going on, and was told how easy it would be to take a "cheap" bronze week there as my third week and TRADE, TRADE, TRADE, never even staying at that resort again!!!!!   As I stated before, I bought two platinum weeks, and was able to swap my weeks easily.   That was the concept that was the "cornerstone" of the Marriott Timeshare system.  Now, however, I don't have what I was sold.  There are less Marriott weeks involved in the trading process in Interval International, you are not given preference as a Marriott owner in a trade with room selection and timeshares whose weeks should be available to the Marriott owners, such as  those at the Maui Marriott, are having a significant number of units held back for "rental" to showcase the Marriott Destination Points Program as "promos" to get new buyers into the points program.   

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "To clarify, my point was that many folks who purchased low season resort weeks at MVCI resorts (that have seasonal price and usage seasons) have been able to trade week-for-week for high season weeks. In those cases, the II "trade value" rating was an unknown and an owner could trade their lower-priced low season week for a higher-priced high season week, depending upon availability and regardless of original cost or current cash secondary market value."

     

    CountryJim - Like many owners w/multiple weeks we purchased high and low seasons at several resorts and always 3 bedroom villas.  We wanted the flexibility to trade so we could enjoy back-to-back weeks at the same resort whether it was high or low season.  Two weeks at one resort felt like home away from home and worked extremely well until the kids got out of school.  Now we occupy one week and redeem points to explore new areas near whatever resort we pick.  Residence Inns on pointsavers are our favorites because of the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen in tandem with breakfast and dinner.

     

    Although I've tried to get offering information, MVCI has not completed the registration process in my state.  As a result, other owners have been providing information on the economics, pros and cons of the Destination Points program.  Based upon vacation experiences we have grown accustomed to, and what I have learned about Destination Points, the new program will not work for us, and would not be cost-effective.

     

    Because of the size and locations of our villas, we've rarely encountered difficulty trading for what we want in II.  Based upon what I'm reading at Marriott on the Move and hearing other owners relay what they've learned on TUG, there's a lot of fear and uncertainty.   Earlier today I called Interval and asked if the Marriott Desk would continue to be in operation.

     

     

     

     

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    frequentvacati Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well after going through the MVCI Points presentation and then signing up for the minimum 1,000 points to get in to the Land Trust business for almost $10,000, I rescinded that purchase after coming to the realization that a MVCI Point bought can be no different than a point you already have from the properties you have already purchased by getting in to the Points program or continuing to use what you have the way you always have done.

    At least you now have the possibility of going to other Marriott properties through their reservation system without going through Interval International which sometimes does work to your advantage.

    A point is a point is a pont. I am willing to give it a two year trial to see how it actually works. By then either it will work or you have the "apres le deluge" described so far. At which time the weeks based owners will probably get together for a "class action suit" if their points are treated differently.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Is A Perfect Storm Brewing @ Marriott?
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    " I rescinded that purchase after coming to the realization that  continuing to use what you have the way you always have done.



     

    Thanks for sharing that insight.  Marriott is still hamstrung on making Destination Club offers to residents of New York state so we are headed to a sales preview to get the information firsthand in a few weeks.

     

    The good news is that it was relatively painless to get two back-to-back 6 night Shortstay Exchanges through Interval.  This converted one of our weeks from 7 nights to 12 nights - and we are very pleased with the value that our 'legacy weeks' continue to deliver.  The question is, how long will that value in Marriott Vacation ownership continue to persist?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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