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MVC Owner Update for Sheraton Owner

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by teddyo333, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Fasttr

    Fasttr TUG Member

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    MVC Trust Points
    bazzap likes this.
  2. Fasttr

    Fasttr TUG Member

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    What... you don't want to use enrollable retro legacy flexoption homeoption staroption vacation club DC points as your trading currency?
     
  3. LeslieDet

    LeslieDet TUG Member

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    I am not trying to push speculation and BS. I was simply trying to explain the pitches that were being made based upon a Vistana road show sales pitch, and what is logical vs what is so darn speculative it is really a stretch to even say with a straight face. Please don't misstate what I said. There was never a comment about purchasing "phantom" options. No one ever said anything about buying phantom options to my knowledge, that is something you just said. I don't know where you get that idea. I really hate to reiterate it all. It also seems silly that in a continuous discussion board that a disclaimer must be placed on each and every response; in normal conversation the disclaimers (that this is what was communicated to me in a sales pitch, and that combined with my existing knowledge from the MVCI side, I'm simply trying to understand what potential options will be out there and what is logical vis-a-vis how to make owners of these now sister brands happy) are known and I would assume that they would be respected.

    I'm not making this up - when I attended the sales pitch the program was identified as a Vistana update and the first slide said welcome to the "Westin Flexible Connection." The sales staff (who was from the Rancho Mirage Westin resort) used the terms "Vistana FlexOptions" "Westin Home Options" "Westin Flex Home Options" "Westin Flex HomeResorts" and just plain old "FlexOptions" - this was both verbally and in the printed information on the screen. I told the sales folks that the different terms were confusing and in fact, my first question was what the heck is going on with the terminology and what happened to the term "StarOptions". The answer was "Vistana is no longer selling deeded weeks, and is only selling points known as the Westin Flexible Connection program, represented by a deed recorded in FL."

    My discussion about the phantom options was simply to identify the approach Vistana is taking for MVCI owners (both weeks and DPs) to give some recognition to that ownership. It is not for sale, the concept is that Vistana will recognize my MVCI ownership and count that ownership as "phantom" options that then elevates my owner level within the Vistana program. If you are at all familiar with the MVCI DP program, you would know that, as an example, Executive level owners are granted "platinum" BonVoy status. It is a recognition of an owner level. I did not have to buy anything from BonVoy to be recognized as a platinum level member (meaning, I did not have to earn it the old fashioned way by staying the 600 nights and having 10 years of gold level membership).

    So, if Vistana is going to give me recognition for my MVCI ownership (capping it at some number), in order to give me a higher owner star status in the Westin Flexible Connection program, then it is logical that there may be something similar that MVCI will do for Vistana owners to recognize that separate ownership. And that concept is what got my attention because the OP was about receiving credit for his Westin ownership in the MVCI Destination Points program.

    But from a logical viewpoint, keep in mind that Vistana is now under the MVW umbrella. It is a sister corp to MVCI. MVW made the money off of the MVCI sales to its owners, but MVW did not make the money on the sales of the Vistana, formerly Starwood, timeshare vacation week sales. That money went to Starwood when Westin (and Sheraton vacation clubs etc) were owned by Starwood.

    We know factually that Starwood and Marriott agreed to a merger on the hotel side. As part of that transaction, in 2016 Starwood spun off its timeshare business as Vistana. After the timeshare business then named Vistana was spun off, Vistana merged with a wholly owned subsidiary of ILG. That was also in 2016. Then, in April 2018, MVW acquired ILG, which included Vistana. But all of the prior timeshare sales did not financially benefit MVW.

    Thus, I'm suspicious that there is going to be parity among Vistana and MVCI in regards to the owners who bought the timeshare weeks previously being sold by Vistana (and I'm using Vistana to include Starwood prior to the spin off of Vistana, as well as Vistana prior to the MVW acquisition of ILG).

    Thus, I circle back to the OP, as well as various folks who I have seen making comments (not necessarily on this thread) that they just couldn't wait for "the merger" to be complete and to be able to use their Westin weeks to book MVCI locations. I'm incredibly skeptical that will ever happen, because there was no "merger." Vistana and MVCI are now sister corporations. When I've attended sales pitches aka owner updates, I've inquired as to how will the timeshares integrate access without the need to use the Interval platform. We know now that if I want to use my MVCI ownership to stay at Westin resort, I have to do that via Interval. I cannot go directly from MVCI to any of the "Vistana" resorts, which include timeshares originally sold as Sheratons and Westins.

    From the MVCI side, not one sales person has stated anything about here how that is going to work. Rather, the routine sales pitch is there was the acquisition of 46 resorts and Marriott is working on determining how its owners are going to be able to access those new resorts, so when it finally is figured out, you better buy more points now because they are going to be real expensive. (That's the standard sales pitch I heard and it was consistent among sales folks).

    From the Vistana side, I was told that with Steve Weiss now being the company president that Vistana is operating under, corporate has received significant inquiries from existing Vistana timeshare owners wanting to know how they are going to be able to use their existing ownership to access MVCI locations, and thus sales was instructed to go out and educate its owners about what to expect. And, I'm confident that there was also the hope that getting out there with the road shows would also increase point sales.

    It was from that perspective that the Vistana sales folks pitched the sale of points aka FlexOptions under the banner "Westin Flexible Connection". I can't answer your questions about how do they differ from home options and star options. I don't know how old ownership is going to gain access to the "Westin Flexible Connection". I don't know anything about retro or resale, I'd never heard that term in relation to my existing Vistana ownership at Nanea. No one said anything to me this month pitching a sale of "retro" Vistana weeks. Indeed, quite to the contrary, I was advised in no uncertain terms that Vistana is no longer selling timeshare weeks and is only selling points ownership in the FL land trust.

    I was told that I could buy into the points program and there would be a way to integrate my existing Vistana ownership (ie still keep my deed), but I did not bother to explore that discussion because: (1) I'd already been there for almost 2 hours, and (2) I have no plan or desire to buy into the Westin Flexible Connection program and I am not going to buy any FlexOptions. PERIOD. FULL STOP.

    As part of this thread, JIMinNC was talking about there must be some uniformity in treatment between the old MVCI owners and how they were allowed to enroll their ownership into the DP program and old Vistana owners who should be able to get some sort of credit for those weeks. That was when we started a discussion, albeit all speculation, regarding the potential (for lack of a better term) enrollment. It is the CONCEPT of enrollment. I do not understand why it is difficult to understand the concept. I never said that it was a done deal, and I was unsure of how it would work, but I was informed by the Vistana sales folks that there would be some way to do it. But I did not care, it is not important to me. Someone else in this feed criticized me for not learning more about that concept. Ok - whatever, sorry to disappoint that person. It did not matter to me. I don't know how someone cannot grasp my statement that I did not care to learn more about that because it was not important to me.

    More importantly, back to the Vistana pitch, the big picture concept is that while they do not know how the different name branded resorts could possibly be integrated, the sales manager said that they have been advised that corporate is working to determine an "exchange rate" between the two different "currencies" that exist under the MVW umbrella, that is, the Destination Points program sold by MVCI and the FlexOptions sold by Vistana under the Westin Flexible Connection program.

    This is where the sales pitches actually met. The Vistana sales staff was pitching buy lots of FlexOptions now in the form of points under the Westin Flexible Connection program, because those are going to be really valuable and the price will go up because in the near future, they will be the currency that is required to be able to access the MVCI resorts. (As you can see, that is quite similar to the MVCI sales pitch of buy more DPs now, because the price will go up and that will be the only way to access the new Westin and Sheraton resorts that were part of the acquisition.)

    I don't even recall who it was in this feed, but someone criticized me falsely claiming that I was saying there was a new (third) point program, or something strange like that. I never said that I suspected there would be a new (third) point program introduced, nor did I ever say that there would be a new program introduced. I said that folks need to remember that there was no merger of the programs.

    I do believe that it is logical to attempt to integrate sister brands via an exchange rate that fairly values the different "currencies" owners hold. This also struck me as very logical given that after the acquisition was announced, I understood that as to the existing timeshare resorts that had been branded Westin or Sheraton, MVW was taking over operational management of the previously sold ownership, and was also obtaining all unsold inventory, and it was that unsold inventory that MVW would then be focused on selling or marketing in the future. No, I was never told that the inventory was going to continue to be sold directly, which is why the concept of the Vistana land trust selling points as the Westin Flexible Connection, pitching 8 "home" resorts accessible with FlexOptions made logical sense. Operations continue at each former Starwood timeshare resort, and there would not be any operational impact, old owners would still be able to book their weeks as they have been when it was managed by Starwood, and that the "old" and "new" would basically be on parallel paths. All new sales would be a different program than the old sales. It looks like that is indeed what has transpired. We are continuing to see the reveal of how the timeshare ownership worlds will co-exist under the MVW umbrella. So, IMO, an exchange rate makes sense.

    I really hope that answers your questions. I do not know any other way to make it clear that I'm not trying to simply speculate and toss BS against the wall. It is very complicated.
     
  4. tshd

    tshd Guest

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    After reading all these posts about the many iterations of the Vistana program, I'm feeling as though there would need to be a completely separate program rather than just an exchange rate. While I don't own Vistana, I do own DVC which is much more like Vistana than DCP as in both Vistana and DVC have an extended home booking priority. In the DC program, there is no "home" resort. It seems to me that there would need to be some way to preserve that home priority and block others who don't own in that group from booking until the home priority is lifted. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that priority is guaranteed, otherwise what is the point of the different types of Flex programs. This is why I speculated earlier that I thought a combined program will have more effect on DP owners than on Vistana.

    It's a given that everyone is guaranteed a week at their home resort if they so choose, that is why most folks would never sell back a week for points. The mantra here is that with DC nothing changed for weeks owners in the trading world either, a week deposited in DC means one less owner trying to trade in II; I beg to differ. While this is true on the surface, if I always used to deposit a Hawaii l/o into II and now I don't, that means there are two less Hawaii weeks in II. Multiply that by many owners and I would say that is a significant difference. If I had been used to easily using my summer desert week for an II match into Hawaii. I know folks are still able to do this if they know how to use the system, but I'm pretty sure great trades used to be easier prior to the introduction of DCP. It's not all Henny Penny. Since some folks have a substantial amount of money in TS and have been used to how the game is currently played, I don't think it's unreasonable to wonder how a change might effect their ownership, for better or worse, rather than just sitting back and waiting for a surprise announcement, like what happened overnight with DCP. I think that was the point of the OP posting what he heard in the first place. It is all just speculation, but so is a puzzle, without the picture on the box, until it gets completed. Does it mean that people never attempt the puzzle just because they don't know what the end result will be; I don't think so!

    So here are some of my suppositions.

    If there are a fixed number of units available per week in a particular resort in WestinFlex and an owner elects to go to Marriott instead of another unit in WestinFlex, wouldn't that unit need to be in a separate pot, so that DC members don't have access to all WestinFlex units that are available during the home priority. Or would that unit somehow need to be preserved for other WestinFlex owners during that period. In DVC, I can borrow points from another ownership, but I can't use those points (even combined with my home points) to book during the home priority. This seems very similar to the way that HomeOptions cannot be combined with StarOptions during the home priority period, because they are attached to different inventory. Just because I transfer points out of one ownership into another, it doesn't mean that any reservations are open to "non home" owners, it just means that there is more inventory for home resort owners to book because I am no longer playing in that pool of inventory. It seems to me that Vistana would work the same way, but I'm not familiar with the legalities of Vistana ownership.

    At any rate, I'm pretty sure that home priority needs to be protected, therefore, doesn't it seem more likely that Vistana owners will gravitate more toward DCP reservations (especially in areas where the inventory overlaps, namely Hawaii) since there is no home priority to contend with and anyone can book at 12 months or 13 months if they have enough points to have priority. Am I wrong to think it would be disruptive to me to allow someone who has a ton of StarOptions bought resale to have priority over me as an existing DCP member, if an enrollment offer was made to Vistana owners that is similar to the original DCP enrollment? But because of the way DCP is structured with no home priority, I believe that there is nothing preventing MVCI from offering anything they wish to offer when it comes to DCP. And while it might piss some people off, it also provides an incentive to buy more points.

    I know I'm opening myself up to criticism, but does anyone think I'm way off base with my thinking, even though it is all just speculation?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  5. tshd

    tshd Guest

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    The one thing we all know for sure is that MVW(?) will do whatever makes more money!!
     
  6. kds4

    kds4 TUG Member

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    You forgot 'supercharged' ... :D
     
    SueDonJ, JIMinNC and Fasttr like this.
  7. CPNY

    CPNY TUG Member

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    What about the ability to voluntarily use mandatory flex DC Options?
     
    JIMinNC and Fasttr like this.
  8. SGould

    SGould Guest

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    I am at Westin Los Cabos and they haven’t even offered an owners update. I really wanted to attend to question them on everything mentioned in multiple threads.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019

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