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Diamond

Discussion in 'Diamond Resorts International - DRI' started by cwn, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. cwn

    cwn TUG Member

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    I do not own any Diamond Points or Deeded weeks. I have stayed at many Diamond properties that I like by exchanging with DAE or Bonus weeks, or Resortime. I am considering buying a deeded week resale. I have read many old posts about Diamond.

    My question is, if I buy a deeded week at a resort in a studio and I want to exchange into another Diamond TS in a 1 or 2 Bd, how do I ? Is it difficult to get? Would I be able to exchange internal through Diamond, or would I need to use II or RCI? I would like to trade into San Luis Bay Inn or Kaanapali Beach Club if a buy at Sedona Summit. I have looked at San Luis Bay Inn resales, but it seems like Sedona Summit may be better because it is less to purchase. Which would have the best trading power?

    I also am wondering if I could buy small, (a studio) and easily trade up to a 1 BDR, or 2 BDR at SBI for spring (first week of April)

    I could continue to try to trade into SBI with my other non Diamond TS's - but wondering if it would be better to purchase into Diamond.

    And, can anyone tell me more about bonus time? Can I own at one Diamond resort and get bonus time at another for $65/night? Is bonus time only for deeded weeks, and not for points ownership? I am super confused about Diamond & Wyndam now after hearing it from the front desk when checking it- anyone want to explain?
    Thanks Diamond Owners for feedback.
     
  2. craigrow

    craigrow Guest

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    If you buy a deeded week at a Diamond managed resort I doubt Diamond gives you any trading privileges.

    Diamond runs a point system. You can probably put the week you buy into one of their trusts and get points for it. That would be a permanent decision though. That would allow you to exchange within the trust. It is probably cheaper and easier just to buy resale points.

    If you want to exchange with other Diamond trusts you probably will be forced to buy some additional points from Diamond and pay a hefty fee to joint The Club.
     
  3. fluke

    fluke TUG Member

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    There has been at least one recent report of buying a small retail points package( ~2500 I think) to qualify a resale trust purchase much larger (10000+ I believe). That is similiar to what I did 2-3 years ago. No additional fee has been required. More remotely you could join the club by payin a fee only, this has not been available for some time.

    I actually qualified a deeded week rather than resale trust points in this manner. However before doing anything I would talk to DRI as they do have a history of abrubtly changing these kind of practices
     
  4. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    if you buy a resale deeded week at Diamond resort you get the use rights at that resort that come with that week - i.e., if it's a fixed week you get that week. If it's a floating week you can reserve at the resort in accordance with whatever rights are assigned to that particular float group. If you want to go to any other Diamond resorts you can only do so through an exchange company or direct owner-to-owner swap.

    If you buy a resale ownership in a Diamond trust, you get the number of points associated with that ownership, but you can only use them at Diamond Resorts that are part of the trust in which you own. If you want to go to a Diamond resort that is not part of your trust you would have to go though an exchange company or a swap.

    To be able to use a resale purchase to access all of the Diamond resort directly, you would have to make some kind of purchase directly from Diamond. As part of that purchase you could then bring your resale purchases at Diamond resorts into the Club as part of that purchase.

    If there is a particular set of Diamond resorts that you want to visit and they are contained in one of the trusts, then your best option would probably be to purchase a resale in that trust.
     
  5. alexadeparis

    alexadeparis TUG Member

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  6. AKE

    AKE TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Lifetime Member

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    From what I have read and seen on the internet (as well as gone to a number of DRI presentations), the maintenance fees are high for DRI points (around double when compared to what you would pay for a traditional timeshare week at the same or similar resort). In the last few months I have also seen a number of DRI points owners give the points away for FREE on the internet. Another thing to consider - Sunterra was the forerunner of DRI - does anyone remember Sun Options and Club Sunterra or what happened to their membership in Club Sunterra and all the Sunterra benefits when DRI came along?
     
  7. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    Maintenance fees seem high for DRI points because you have to pay the Club fee too. The Club fee is the same no matter how many points you have. If you don't have many points, the Club fee could be a high percentage of the maintenance fees. The Club fee was $277 for 2012. That's why owners of < 5,000 points can't give them away. It's like paying $277 to join an exchange company when you only have a couple of days to exchange. I'm not sure, but I think if you buy more Club points, you have to pay DRI to merge them with any existing points you may have.

    We bought our first week in 2004 when Sunterra was selling deeded weeks with membership in Club Sunterra. When DRI took over they just changed the name, except after awhile, they stopping doing the Visa card that could earn Club points. Our deed is for ocean front at the Point at Poipu, and our Club membership has enough points to actually book an ocean front unit. If deeded owners that were able to book ocean front try to convert and join the Hawaii Trust, they only get enough Club points to book ocean view at P@P (and they give their HOA vote to DRI :( ) . Our points can be used at any of the DRI properties. If the Club fee gets too high, we can just quit the Club and we'll still have the deeded week.
     
  8. momeason

    momeason TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We rescinded a purchase at a DRI property in 2007. I looked into the company extensively and decided I did not want to be associated with them. Very questionable business tactics..bankruptcies and new businesses with same ownership. Closing of resorts.
    There have been many more complaints in the past year..see Point at Poipu for an example. I personally would not consider DRI. The resorts are not difficult to exchange into. I am going to Sedona Summit tomorrow. I would buy into another system and exchange into DRI resorts.
    Google DRI complaints..look for Point at Poipu threads on TUG. Huge Special assessment...major conflicts of interest.
    If you still want DRI, lots of people are dumping the system.
     
  9. fluke

    fluke TUG Member

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    Low points total (within the club) do have a high yearly cost due to the club fee (~$277 - which does include a gold II membership) and the collection fee (~$205). The actual MF on US collection points are I believe just over 11 cents a point (so MF of 4000 pts are less than the club and collection fees). A deeded week bought resale does not incur those fees, but I believe resale points do have to pay the collection fee.

    But if you keep future purchases in the same collection those fees are static (well other than a increases over time). Or obviously on a per point basis the more points you own the less your total fees are

    Hawaii collection, I think, used to be very similiar in MF, but I think things have changed recently with the Point at Poipu massive special assessment.

    As far as the "questionable" business practices this is arguable. DRI has continued to expand in the face of the depressed economy. Many may call this the sign of a shrewd, well run business that will be well positioned as the economy improves.

    Sales force of any timeshare developer is always full of questionable people, IMO. DRI may or may not have less ethical sales people than average.
     
  10. momeason

    momeason TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I was not referring to the Sales people. I am referring to the Sunterra bankruptcy and the purchase by Diamond. It all seemed shady at the time.
     
  11. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I'm not certain what you find shaddy about it. Bankrupt companies are purchased all the time and typically go to the highest bidder. There are times where an agreement is reached on a sales price and the seller files bankruptcy to move the sale forward. I believe this is what happened when DRI purchased Mystic Dunes in Orlando but, there is risk in doing this as the bankruptcy judge might not allow the sale to process and open it up to the highest bidder.

    DRI made a failed attempt to buy Bluegreen a couple of years ago. I don't believe there was anything shady there.

    P@P owners probably should be angry with Sunterra rather than DRI. DRI was the messenger. Sunterra was the management company that a: didn't fix the problem and b: collected so little in cash reserves there wasn't sufficient funding to fix the problem without a huge special assessment.
     
  12. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    I certainly do. Our Club Sunterra membership and SunOptions converted to membership in the DRI Club and DRI points without us lifting a finger or paying an additional cent.

    The only thing that changed was the name on the letterhead and on the publications.

    And the resort management. That got much better under DRI.

    And the sales practices. Those got much better under DRI.

    And accessibility of senior executives. That was non-existent under Sunterra but with DRI you can send a letter to the president and if it's a reasonable questionable, comment, or suggestion you get a response from a senior executive.
     
  13. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    The Bluegreen deal would have been a straight-up acquisition, approved by BG sharesholders. BG is a publicly traded company, and DRI made an offer which was voted on and approved by the shareholders. The deal fell through when the credit markets melted down a couple of months before the deal was scheduled to close.The lender who had agreed to finance the deal reneged on their commitments. BG extended the closing date to give DRI time to find alternate financing, but no one would fund.

    The collapse also scuttled acquisition of Raintree by DRI. IMHO - that's a deal that's just waiting to happen. Those two operations are an almost perfect fit as regards resorts and locations, and Raintree certainly would benefit from competent management.
     
  14. cwn

    cwn TUG Member

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  15. cwn

    cwn TUG Member

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    I love Sedona Summit, I was there Jan 1. I am interested in San Luis Bay Inn, and I haven't seen anybody dumping it. I have been watching it on eBay and looked at previous tax sales records, haven't seen any great deals there. I just left there and it is pretty confusing, it is part Wyndam and part Diamond points and part original San Luis Bay Inn Deeded ownership weeks. It is hard to tell which ownership is best to own there. and I am looking for th best deal for purchase. I understand better how each trust is, so it would be Ca trust, which doesn't reade to Maui. And so many of the owners there were telling me hoiw much it cost to buy more points and convert deeds to points and it doesn't seem like I want to get involved in that. But maybe I am better finding an original SBI deeded week - I found a studio - but it's too small. I could look at going the Wyndam route there. Or just try to exchange in.




     
  16. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    I concur with Doug. Sunterra had already gone through bankruptcy once, and was on the verge of going in a second time. Diamond saw the opportunity to acquire the resorts cheaply, and knew that with decent management the Sunterra operation could be profitable. They saw the opportunity and took advantage.

    I'm reminded of the axiom that one should seldom attribute to design that which can be as easily understood as incompetence. In this case Sunterra's incompetence created opportunity for someone else to profit. No need to assume there was anything shady going on.

    Of course, if you have specific information - not innuendo or hearsay - we'd love to hear it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  17. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    When we were at the Point at Poipu in 2006, we noticed how neglected the landscaping looked. This was about a year before DRI bought out Sunterra. When we went in February this year, we were impressed at how much better it looked. I have my own gripes about DRI, but I'm happy they're spending the money to maintain the grounds.

    Point at Poipu in 2006 vs 2012:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  18. momeason

    momeason TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We are at Sedona Summit now and we love it and love Sedona. I know I got the trade for this week one day after I requested it last September. I do not think it necessary to own Diamond. It is an easy trade right now and I think DRI has a lot of restrictions on resale. I am sure others can fill you in on what the restrictions are. Just compare all your options and know that trades are easy to the Sedona Summit and it is a lovely resort. Not in town ,but I love the peaceful, residential feel. Great property.
    Many Diamond resorts are an easy trade. They are nice resorts though, no doubt.
     
  19. hvsteve1

    hvsteve1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We have 15,000 points in The Club. We have a deeded two-over-two lockout week 52 at Powhatan which we purchased in 1988. We converted to points because Powhatan had gone downhill and it was becoming very difficult to trade with RCI. Points, on the other hand, are points and trade the same no matter what week they represent. As to the discussion of buying points on Ebay and purchasing a small number of points from the developer to get your new points into The Club, the 2,500 points mentioned as a purchase would sell for $15,000 according to the new pricing schedule which I'm looking at as I type this (I'm currently at Powhatan and had an "update" and am amazed they let me walk out with a price list) and the minimum number of points are 4,000, though they may sell whatever you're willing to take. The price went up by $1 a point on April 16. As to MFs, I got a kick out of the gal telling us somebody did us a real favor by not talking us into the trust as MFs in the trusts are going out of sight due to maintenance issues. Truth is, a salesman practically beat us over the head with a lead pipe to get us to join the trust. Why? Because MFs in The Club were bound to go up over time while MFs in the trust would be stable due to the way points were owned in the trust. :wall:
     
  20. robcrusoe

    robcrusoe Guest

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    The Trust is always gonna be more, while it shouldn't spike as much as when you own at a single resort and have a special assessment, in the end, the Trust will be more because of the added Trust fees. You have some of the lowest MFs in all of THE Club as yours are based on a week at Powhatan for which you get 15000 points. MFs in The US Trust are like 12¢ or so, while yours are down around 9¢. Good thing you didn't convert a dead of winter week!
     
  21. hvsteve1

    hvsteve1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    What I did find interesting was a memo saying prices for points were going up by $1.00 due to $67.9 million of spending for property upgrades. The money, according to the memo, is coming from reserves (as opposed to years ago when Sunterra slammed us with assessments to pay for needed upgrades) and will contribute to increased demand for weeks which justifies the increase in costs. The memo also states a new rule that points will no longer be sold in odd amounts but only in "blocks that are designed around villa stays". The smallest block is 4,000 points which is what I gather is the least amount of points needed to get the smallest unit in Powhatan/Greensprings during the least popular week. Powhatan gets the largest piece of the upgrade pie with $9.4 million and Greensprings is 5th with $3.8 million. These are what should be fairly luxurious resorts in a popular tourist area but went downhill under previous operators and Diamond has been making improvements.
     
  22. csalter2

    csalter2 TUG Member

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    DRI is not all bad believe you me...

    It is important to note that there are people who love the DRI system. It has many components to it that people such as myself like. There are people dumping lots of timeshare systems for various reasons. I see you own Wyndham, there are lots of people dumping them. I own Marriott too and there are lots of people dumping them. In addition, as far as complaints go, there aren't any of the big timeshare companies that I know where people don't complain. Disney which many feel is the best gets complaints. Marriott is getting complaints because they added a points system.

    DRI has done nothing but improve my overall vacation experience. I will say that I did not like the big hikes in maintenance fees those first few years. None of us did and that drove many to try and sell. However, DRI has done two things that I find good for me. First, they have been improving and upgrading the resorts. When DRI bought Sunterra, many of the resorts had gone down the tubes. I now go back to resorts that I previously had decided not to stay at again. Secondly, DRI has added locations to the Club. I have thoroughly taken advantage of it. I like going to different locales. There are no additional exchange fees when one goes through the Club too.

    I don't believe there is anything shaddy going on with their acquisitions. It just business.

    DRI is a timeshare like the rest and has its positives and negatives like all the rest. I would just advise the OP learn as much as possible about the system before buying and to learn how to take full advantage of the DRI system. I would also suggest that the OP buy enough points so that he/she can fully take advantage of the system. I pay nearly $4,000 a year 30,000 points in maintenance fees, but I can travel nearly six months about the year depending on how and when I use my points. When I retire in about 10 years, I plan on being able to use those points to the maximum. I have been to the Point at Poipu and Kaanapali Beach Club. I will be there. Just to give you an idea, I just looked for a reservation right now for a reservation in Hawaii for this month. There is availability for The two resorts mentioned and they are half the usual points. I have seen this time and time again. I live in California, I can see me hopping on a plane in a couple of weeks heading to Kauai or Maui hanging out at those two very nice resorts for a couple of weeks easily. If I were to tell you that I would only be using 8500 points. That's right two weeks and 8500 points. If I were to tell you one of those would be a 2 bedroom since Poipu only has two bedrooms. Heck, I could bring another couple and that would pay for my airfare.

    My point is if people were to expend more time learning how to learning how to use their system instead of complaining about it, they would probably be much happier. Now I just shared with you that I pay under $4000 in maintenance fees for my 30,000 points. I just told you it would be 8500 points for two weeks in Hawaii. That's $935 for 2 weeks at .11 per point in maintenance fees. Unless my math is faulted that is a good deal to me. Oh by the way, one of the rooms is only a one bedroom in Ka'anapali but it's a partial ocean view. The units at KBC are really nice sizes.

    I try to take advantage of DRI's specials too since I have many resorts near me.

    I hope you see my point.
     
  23. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Would you happen to have that contact info handy? DRI took over management of Mystic Dunes and I'd like to plead for dual-affiliation with RCI. I don't get along that well with II.

    Thanks,

    Sheila
     

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