Marriott announced today that it is spinning off the MVC timeshare division. So much for brand integration! I guess they realized that they blundered the launch of the new points program and no longer want to taint the image of the parent company.
I don't know about others, but I invested in my timeshares because Marriott was behind them. This appears to be a big mistake!!!!!!
Very disconcerting news. Is there some media source they made the announcement to? Are there any particulars that were announced as part of the transaction?
I also bought my timeshares because of the Marriott name and certainly would not have done so had here been any indication that this might happen.
I will say the way the maintenance fees have gone (in my units) shows a lack of understanding for what the business really is. When it is cheaper to pay and stay a week in a resort location than it is to pay a maintenance fee, the idea that timeshare was supposed to be about has been defeated. The past few years have been that way.
Of course, the new points program fiasco certainly also served, as you say, to further taint the program.
Marriott also announced the news via their corporate site
and by email to those registered to receive their corporate news
Whether this will have negative (or positive?) impact only time will tell.
However, I too am very concerned about the uncertainty this decision introduces, especially after all the issues surrounding the introduction of the Destination Club Points Program
Although they say
"Marriott Vacation Club owners and guests and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club members should see no change in the branding or quality of their properties, services, usage options, use of Marriott Rewards points, or access to Marriott International's hotels"
"Stephen P. Weisz, president of Marriott's timeshare business since 1997 and a 39-year Marriott veteran, will become chief executive officer of the new company. William J. Shaw, who recently announced his retirement as vice chairman of the company at Marriott International and also resigned from its board, will become chairman of the board of the new timeshare company and Deborah Marriott Harrison, senior vice president of government affairs for Marriott International, will serve as a board member"
"the Marriott family is expected to hold approximately 21 percent of the outstanding common stock of each company"
Thanks for the reference articles. Now, I am even more concerned. Having spent my working career re-vitalizing poorly run organizations, I am aware of the synergies that come with the ability to have management cross function with responsibility.
By splitting the divisions (hotels/timeshares) a lot of that synergy will disappear. Spelled: Higher costs. In addition, the increased cost of paying a "fee" for use of the Marriott branding name will be another added expense.
An example: the activities at one of my resorts used to be co-mingled with the full service hotel next door. The ease of use that came from that synergy is now gone as the relationship has ended. The Activities function is now done in house by the timeshare group. The cost increase in just the activities area of my maintenance fee for just the last two years has been over 57%!
Here's another thought for the timeshare owners that has been an unanswered thorn in my side for a couple of years now: As timeshare units have gone unused or returned to Marriott thru non-payment, these units have been marketed and booked through the hotel division. The revenue from these bookings also goes to the hotel division. Since the timeshare owners pay the fees for maintenance, housekeeping, etc, etc, I have asked and continue to ask how the timeshare owners are re-imbursed by the hotel division for the costs incurred by the bookings (housekeeping, etc.). I am told there is a 'formula', but yet I have been unable to determine or find that line item re-imbursement in anything I have looked at......and I have looked at a lot. A concern? You bet!
When our maintenance fees are increasing as dramatically as they have in the past years, I think these are questions that need to be answered.....but yet the management company doesn't respond and the Board members don't have the answer either. Instead, our maintenance fees just keep escalating far more than they should be.
We do not own a timeshare, and never have, but have taken the opportunity to stay in them, both Marriott and others, as paying guests. I never understood the business model, which involves a number of third party investors, and obviously requires a continuing stream of interval buyers to keep properties afloat.
Marriott's Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert CA is one that we frequent. A second section opened a few years back, but the units are smaller than the first section. A third section is not even laid out, and the stakes are there but nothing else. I should have guessed that times were harder in the Interval Business than elsewhere, as the Journal article points out.
I wonder what we'll be seeing a year from now when the whole thing plays out?
We have received some questions from a few members asking whether or not this MVCI sale would impact your Marriott Rewards membership, points, etc. for those of you who are owners. Please be reassured that while Marriott is spinning off MVCI to become its own publically traded company, it will maintain the Marriott name and offer the same memorable service and accommodations you've come to expect. As an owner, you will continue to have access to all of the Marriott properties worldwide and can expect your relationship with Marriott Rewards to remain constant as well.
Please let us know if you any additional questions or concerns.