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New Westin Flex

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by Markus, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    ... and I am wondering the same.
     
  2. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    I may have to check out this tomorrow AM. Too hard to do in the phone screen.
     
  3. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Reading other posts by gdstuart, his Monarch week was bought in 2006 through Marriott resales.
     
  4. gdstuart

    gdstuart TUG Member

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    Yes. As long as you bought from the developer or from Marriott Resale, which I did.
     
  5. vistana101

    vistana101 TUG Member

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    That's true. I guess Vistana was relatively innovative in creating that system of a home resort and internal points trading right off the bat.

    These new programs give Vistana a great opportunity to create more inventory to sell with existing resorts/units, but I just wonder if they could have made it a bit simpler from the start, as now you have several different programs and purchasing methods for a single timeshare company.
     
  6. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    So the rule hasn't changed. The purchased prior to date is not December 2017, it is June 2010. As long as one purchased an external resale week prior to June 2010 or purchased a true developer week (not a Marriott Resales week) you can enroll the week in the Destinations Club program. Not necessarily sure why December 2017 was mentioned as that date really has no relevance on if you can enroll or not. Marriott has been offering some deals lately where people can enroll for varying fees or often for free with a presentation or Encore Package purchase.
     
  7. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    Just checked, rule has not changed...too bad...I actually got excited to potentially enroll my post 2010 resale KoOlina 2BROV.:mad:
     
  8. Anne&Jim

    Anne&Jim TUG Member

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    Ok, so we just exited our owner update while staying on an Explorer package at the Westin Riverfront. Here’s the scoop:

    There are 6 properties included in Westin Flex: WKOR, WKORN, WPR, WMH, WDW, WRF.

    Yes, they are planning on building a new Westin Flex building on the opposite side of the WRF hotel from the current villas, but they don’t yet have all the approvals, so it will be a while before they can break ground. Until then, the Westin Flex program will only have access to the units they have been able to gather (they would not say how many, but there are only 36 total, so the chance of getting a ski week in Flex will probably be difficult.)

    As for the other properties, they would not say how much of the total Flex pool was at any resort, nor what seasons, only that they were required by Florida law to have “all seasons available.” You can read between the lines that means they have units in the summer in Palm Desert, which no one in their right mind would think were as valuable as Hawaii or even Colorado. In fact, I asked them outright, “why would I trade a week on Hawaii for the chance to get Hawaii, or more likely, summer in Palm Springs since we all know that’s probably what you have the most of.” Our sales person was pretty direct and basically said he saw my point. I thought it was interesting that they latched on to one of our Hawaii weeks as the unit they encouraged us to “upgrade”. When I asked him why not upgrade our Christmas week at WMH instead (we would not have done that either) he said, “oh, you don’t want to do that — you got too good a price on that week!” In other words, they aren’t interested in our WMH week — they probably have more of those than anything else.

    Here’s what surprised me. They only keep the deeded and the flex units separate between the 8-12 month reservation window. After 8 months, they all go into a pool together, along with Nanea and every other property. So if you don’t use your owner 8-12 month window, any flex owner as well as all deeded owners share the same chance of booking. I guess that’s no different from what happens today, but it was good to hear it straight from the developer.

    They are offering an owner “discount” of something less than 10% of a cost they recently made up for this program, so hard to know if it’s worth anything at all: $51,835 for 148,100 WF options, or $61,845 for 176,700 WF options.

    So, it’s substantially more expensive than the weeks we already own, and probably more than buying a deeded property for the options, based on what I’ve seen on TUG.
     
    vacationtime1 and DavidnRobin like this.
  9. Anne&Jim

    Anne&Jim TUG Member

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    One more thing I forgot to mention. They confirmed that zero ocean front villas in Hawaii are in the Westin Flex program, nor “event weeks”. They are reselling those as deeded weeks for a premium price.
     
  10. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Interesting indeed. I still have difficulty figuring out if this is going to impact the way we use our StarOptions today. So they are selling mandatory StarOptions effectively and we will compete with those owners at the 8 month mark.

    I prefer that to the worst case where they would provide some preference to the WF Owner at 8 months out, but that would disenfranchise existing owners.

    Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting!

    Best,

    Greg
     
  11. Anne&Jim

    Anne&Jim TUG Member

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    I think it can’t help but increase the pressure at the 8 month mark. Instead of having summer WMH and WDW owners without enough points to compete for Hawaii, those new WF owners will be trading 1:1 for Hawaii and elsewhere.
     
  12. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    I think that for those that reserve exactly at 8 months - this will not be an issue. Of course there will be increase in competition for location. From my experience with VSE Owners (non-Tuggers) - most do not plan far enough ahead (important aspect of VSE Ownership).
     
  13. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    What about the resale voluntary flex owners? I would suspect that they may have to hold back some inventory for them after the eight month mark since they don't have access to SO reservations?
     
  14. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I suspect there will be lots of California summer inventory left for any resale owners who don't book soon enough...
     
  15. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I still think the Westin Flex price is crazy and won't have many takers.
     
  16. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Seems like they are able to sell lots of Sheraton Flex, and this will have the "Hawaii access at 12 months" to upsell to existing owners.
     
  17. cubigbird

    cubigbird Tug Review Crew Veteran TUG Member

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    I agree and think that the upfront pricing is a huge turnoff. I guess this is the result of what happens when you have to repackage what’s already expensive - WMH and WDW weeks. At what point do people catch on and it ultimately hurts sales?? Unfortunately there will be a lot of sugar in the meetings. Hopefully this doesn’t breed much harder sales.....
     
  18. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It really is no different than Marriott's DC program. When it first came out it was much more expensive than buying weeks. MFs were also much higher. Just the same. Marriott hasn't had issue selling their points and their stock price is soaring. I suspect that Vistana will have similar experiences selling their flex products.
     
  19. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Maybe I am putting my blinders on but it feels that Marriott has a better value proposition than Vistana. As you know I did not balk at buying from Marriott directly but have a real issue with the Westin Flex price.
     
  20. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    I generally agree with this, and remain puzzled where Vistana is going to get the inventory needed to satisfy demand.

    Marriott did the brilliant thing of allowing existing owners to enroll and give up their rights to the critically needed weeks (and at a discount, no less).

    I wonder how Vistana is going to satisfy the Flex Owner who wants to go to Hawaii - Maui first, then Kauai when Maui isn’t available.

    The owners of the underlying weeks aren’t incentivized to give up their usage. They are already in (Direct or Mandatory) and they aren’t getting a premium of points to spend on the other properties to entice them to give up control (Marriott Hawaii owners got tons of points for their week) and the Westin portfolio has a limited number of properties. And why doesn’t it include all Westin properties (Kierland would be cool to add)?

    It’s an odd system. I remain curious to see how it matures.

    Best,

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  21. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I think Vistana is getting inventory filled through ROFR.
     
  22. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Vistana has the advantage of already having a point system in place. Because flex owners get access to everything available at 8 months, there is less of a need for them to have the trust "full" to start with. Thus, they probably concluded it was more lucrative to get less sign ups from existing owners at very high prices than to get most people to sign up at lower prices.
     
  23. Bird01

    Bird01 TUG Member

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    A sales agent told me that Westin Kierland Villas (WKV) is coming into the Flex Program. Anyone know anything about that. Also, can anyone confirm the annual fees for the 148,100 properties under Flex. I saw the one post earlier.
     
  24. okwiater

    okwiater TUG Member

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    I’ve heard the same thing and would not be surprised to see it happen. However, it may not be Platinum Plus season.
     
  25. cdirik

    cdirik TUG Member

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    We have recently gone through a sales pitch for Vistana Flex and Aventuras. We already own SO from Westin Desert Willow. We were first offered more SO through Flex program (as an add-on). As a follow up offer, they agreed to take back our current ownership and replace it with Flex or Aventuras. There is definitely a push by Vistana to sell more Flex and/or Aventuras. Details of the packages are very fuzzy and confusing.
     

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