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[2011] Westgate Tower of Terror Las Vegas No More! [merged]

Discussion in 'US - Western States Timesharing' started by timeos2, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I think what he meant when he said "get out of the same three states" was to get out of Nevada (now 4 resorts in Las Vegas), FL and Hawaii. It seems that HGVC concentrates the majority of their resorts in those popular vacation destination locations with very little varity in other locations. Before the economy collapsed HGVC has plans to build an additional Las Vegas resort out by Lake Las Vegas. I much prefer this option to the original plan or, for that matter, to even completing the final two towers of the north strip project. I would still have prefered something other than another Las Vegas resort where the sales mantra will be "buy here and trade into Hawaii."

    When we originally joined in 2002 (or somewhere in that timeframe), the only other US option was Colorado. The only other additions of states besides NV, FL and HW have been SC and NY. It's been a lack of variety in loctaions that kept us from expanding out HGVC ownership interests while we did increase ownership interests with other timeshare groups.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  2. i39249

    i39249 TUG Member

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    Unsure if this is good or not

    I am in agreement with dougp26364......

    I think the incentive is high for WG members to convert to HGVC because it will allow them easy access to HGVC properties in Hawaii. I am sure this will be use as a selling point. I for one don't think its a good deal for us current members of HGVC because it will be more difficult to book stays in Hawaii. Hilton needs to expand their resort collection outside of Las Vegas......
     
  3. ocdb8r

    ocdb8r TUG Member

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    Regardless of what current owners do, the impact on the system from new sales alone could be pretty big. There are 1201 units in the PH Tower (less than 20% of which have been sold)...that remaining inventory completely dwarfs any other resort in the system (as a point of comparison, the Grand Waikikian is only 331 units). If HGVC gets sales traction, we could see a LOT of new members competing for space at other resorts. When you consider the THREE other resorts they already have in Las Vegas, that makes the system look VERY Vegas heavy....they need to balance out a bit.
     
  4. Larry

    Larry TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Just got this email so I guess Westgate is still very much involved with Planet Hollywood;

    "A new symbol of luxury glows above it all. PH Towers Westgate, the new hotel tower seamlessly connected to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, offers world-class accommodations.

    Guests unwind in an oversized spa tub. At the touch of a button,
    the luxury living room of the one-bedroom suite becomes
    a giant media room with an HD projector and an 8 ft. screen. Guests may
    also dine in the full-size kitchen with stainless steel appliances...
    all the while contemplating whether to go out or stay in forever.

    Escape the Ordinary. Experience the Extraordinary. PH Towers Westgate.":shrug: :crash:
     
  5. pianodinosaur

    pianodinosaur TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Resorts Owned:
    HGVC SeaWorld x 2, HGVC Las Vegas Strip x 2, MVC Mountain Valley Lodge, MVC Legend’s Edge
    The 2012 Member Guide, which is still a work in progress, now includes additional Club Intrawest Resorts in Ontario and Vancouver. We had an excellent time at Club Intrawest Whistler for our anniversay several years ago. We almost went to Club Intrawest in Mexico this year but decided upon a cruise instead.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. Ernie

    Ernie TUG Member

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    Westgate PH towers LV. turning into Hilton? [MERGED]

    I am a owner at WG PH Towers in LV and I got a letter today stating the sale fo the assets of the PH towers to Resort Finance America and that Hilton will be responsible for future timeshare sales on behalf of Resort LV Tower 52, LLC.

    Does anyone else know about this? Also the HOA name as changed to LV Tower 52 Condominium Owners Association, INC.


    http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2011/nov/22/ph-towers-westgate-planet-hollywood-has-new-owner/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2012
  7. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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  8. ocdb8r

    ocdb8r TUG Member

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    Please do tell us anything else of interest in the letter. I think we're curious if there is any indication on timing and how the resort will be managed moving forward. Esepecially curious to hear what they are telling existing owners...
     
  9. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    We attended the Wastegate owners meeting earlier this month. At the meeting they announced that they were no longer part of the LV project. It is, as expected, likely that Hilton now has management responsibilities there and I'll wager that Wastegate owners are going to find themselves orphans at what had been "their" resort. Plus Hilton is likely to put the pressure on to "upgrade" them to their program. Good luck. This place was dubbed "The Planet Hollywood Tower of Terror" for good reason. I feel sorry for those that got sucked in to the Wastegate pitch.
     
  10. rrlongwell

    rrlongwell Guest

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    What is the LV project, is it the Westgate system similar to the Wyndham program that lets you go to other resorts in the system? In another words the Westgate owners no longer can trade through that system and now have to use trading companies?
     
  11. ocdb8r

    ocdb8r TUG Member

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    Well, this may indeed be an "out" for those that got sucked into Wastegate. Hilton's "upgrade" fees in the past have been reasonable and so I'd consider it a good option for many. While HGVC doesn't cover all the places Wastegate did, they are a much more reputable and upstanding Timeshare developer (alas, they are STILL a timeshare developer).
     
  12. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    They do allow very expensive (for what you get) internal trades and the few unit weeks they now end up with rights to (only those that some poor buyer unwisely actually bought from them) will remain available to other Wastegate owners if they are offered as available by the owners until or unless those owners opt to upgrade (a rare case where the term truly applies if it allows you to escape the Wastegate world of pain!) to the Hilton system. But it's a small number to start with - sales were TERRIBLE which is why they had to sell it off even with what is reported to be a huge loss - so the number available will also be very small. If I had bought there and had the chance to upgrade to Hilton - even at more cost - I'd take it in thirty seconds just to get out from under the Wastegate nightmare.

    Those who got talked into a purchase were royally shafted but that was a given from the day the Wastegate name was announced for that monstrosity.
     
  13. rrlongwell

    rrlongwell Guest

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  14. Ernie

    Ernie TUG Member

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    It also says that The Association has entered into a new Association Affiliation Agreement with Interval International, Inc. to ensure that all persons who purchased their timeshare interestes in the Resort from Westgate wil continue to enjoy their reciprocal exchange privileges at other Interval -Affiliated Timeshare resorts.
     
  15. thehomebrewer

    thehomebrewer Guest

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    I bought into this property in 2010 and have heard nothing but negative things from users of this service about this property and Westgate since. I think everyone is wrong. This is a premium property in a premium location and now will carry a premium brand with the changeover to HGVC (which is old news as Resort Finance America took over in November '11). I recently visited over the MLK jr. weekend and had absolutely no hassles with my visit, check in, or check out. Westgate never "managed" this property. They only developed it and put their name on the top of the building. The hotel operations were always, and will likely continue to be, under the management arm of the Caesars group which owns and operates that part of the strip (Flamingo, Caesars, Ballys, Paris, Planet Hollywood, etc.). Westgate, as Hilton will be, was in charge of selling the units which as we know have not sold. With the current economic situation, they may never be sold and the property will go on as hotel/time share combo. This does not increase maintenance fees for owners as hotel users pay a premium price to stay at this property and their bills reflect as such. This was, never will be and hopefully never was perceived by anyone as a a nice, quiet, vacation spot to take the family. (Vegas is not Orlando, Myrtle Beach, or Hawaii although it can be just as trashy and touristy.) This is likely the only timeshare that will ever give you the opportunity to earn your money back while offering free cocktails during your stay, as it is connected directly to a casino. My advice to anyone who bought here is to watch Rainman, get yourself a deck of cards, read Stanford Wong's "Blackjack Secrets," practice and go work the tables at Planet Hollywood for a few hours during your visit. Get yourself a Rewards too, so you can eat for free all weekend. In just the 3 years I have owned this property, I have earned nearly 60% of the cost at the tables all while drinking and eating for free during my visits.
     
  16. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    The very best thing that could happen to the Tower of Terror was that somehow Wastegate be run out of the picture. It has occurred now and going forward with Hilton should take it to the best it can be. The only issues are likely to be focused on the relative handful of buyers that are under the Wastegate banner. They are likely to find a limited inventory and "second class" stats as the vast majority become Hilton members. It won't happen overnght as right now there is a humongous unsold inventory they will assign anyway they can but as that dries up or Hilton uses it for their rentals & comps the Wastgaters will be left with a small block that will get snapped up quickly each use year.

    My advice to all Wastegate owners is to seriously consider any reasonable offer to convert to Hilton. They may not offer it forever and if you stick with Wastegate you will ultimately regret it. That's just history and it does repeat.
     
  17. Ernie

    Ernie TUG Member

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    I finally figured out how to scan the text off the letters. This is the letter from the new HOA.


    LV TOWER 52
    CONDOMINIUM OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.
    (FORMERLY PLANET HOLLYWOOD TOWERS BY WESTGATE
    CONDOMINIUM OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.)
    GENERAL NOTIFICATION

    Dear Member,

    On November 21, 2011, LV Tower 52, LLC, an affiliate of Resort Finance America, LLC (“RFA”), a company with significant assets and experience in the timeshare industry, acquired Planet Hollywood Towers by Westgate, a Vacation Ownership Resort (the “Resort”).

    Effective November 21, 2011, LV Tower 52 Management Co., LLC, an affiliate of RFA, has taken over management responsibilities for the Resort and the Association. In conjunction with the management change, the 2012 annual maintenance fee billing accompanying this correspondence will reflect new payment instructions. Please take note of these changes prior to making your payment. Also, please note that all payments relating to any outstanding mortgage financing pertaining to your timeshare interest will continue to be made as you have done so in the past. Current owners who purchased from Westgate Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, LLC (“Westgate”) should continue to make reservations for usage of their timeshare interests under the same process they have used in the past until further notice.

    Effective December 15, 2011, the legal name of the Association has been modified from “Planet Hollywood Towers by Westgate Condominium Owners Association, Inc.” to “LV Tower 52 Condominium Owners Association, Inc.” This change was required as part of the shift from Westgate to LV Tower 52, LLC and the termination of Westgate’s licensing agreement with Planet Hollywood International, Inc. (“PHIl”). The licensing agreement with PHIl was terminated in conjunction with the execution of a Sales & Marketing Agreement with Hilton Resorts Corporation (“Hilton”), which will be responsible for future sales of timeshare interests in the Resort on LV Tower 52, LLC’s behalf. The Resort will also be rebranded as a Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare resort. Finally, the Association has entered into a new Association Affiliation Agreement with Interval International, Inc. (“Interval”) to ensure that all persons who purchased their timeshare interests in the Resort from Westgate will continue to enjoy their reciprocal exchange privileges at other Interval-affiliated timeshare resorts.

    A Special Meeting of the members of the Association shall be held on January 26, 2012, beginning at 9:00 am at the Resort, located at 80 E. Harmon Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89109. The purpose of the Special Meeting is for the members of the Association to ratify the 2012 proposed budget, a copy of which is enclosed herewith for your review. You may attend the Special Meeting in person and vote at the meeting or you may vote by proxy by submitting the enclosed Proxy Form to the Secretary of the Association (Clifton Dugas) at or before the Special Meeting. Instructions for sending the Proxy Form to the Secretary are included on the Proxy Form. Ratification of the proposed budget will be the only business conducted at the Special Meeting.

    Our collective goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible while continuing to allow you to enjoy the full ownership rights and benefits associated with your original purchase from Westgate. Additional correspondence will be forthcoming to provide owners with periodic updates regarding operations and improvements to the Resort.

    Sincerely,
    William T. Phillips
    President
    LV Tower 52 Condominium Owners Association, Inc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  18. Ernie

    Ernie TUG Member

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    This is the one from Westgate.



    Dear Valued Westgate Owner,

    I am pleased to announce that 2011 has been a great year for the Westgate family. We all know what is happening in the global economy, but Westgate continues to outperform the vacation ownership industry and has once again been recognized as the #1 producer of new timeshare owners by Interval International. We believe this is due to the quality of our resorts and the tremendous value we provide our owners. We could not have done this without the support of our existing Westgate owners.

    The major challenge that our company faced during the past several years was limited access to the capital markets in order to provide financing for our timeshare buyers and support growth of our company and resorts. I am happy to announce that we have successfully obtained financing by working cooperatively with our existing lenders to implement a plan that will ensure the future success of this company. As part of this transaction we sold our remaining interest at our PH Towers Westgate Project in Las Vegas, Nevada to Resort Finance America (RFA). The sale of this inventory will have no effect on current PH Towers Westgate timeshare owners who will continue to enjoy their full ownership rights and benefits as a Westgate owner at this and other Westgate Resorts properties.

    I have attached a letter from the new owner of the remaining interests at this project. As you may be aware, Harrah’s was managing the operations of PH Towers Westgate under a management agreement with Westgate. As noted in the attached letter, RFA will be rebranding the property as a Hilton Grand Vacation Resort and will be hiring Hilton to perform the management operations of the property. We are confident that Hilton’s role as resort manager will actually improve the quality of your resort experience. Again, this will have no effect on your ownership as a member of the Westgate family of resorts. Please be advised of the following:

    1) If you have an outstanding mortgage balance, there is no change to your payment instructions. Please continue to make your payments as normal.
    2) The attached letter outlines the new payment instructions for your maintenance and tax billing. Please read this carefully and follow these instructions to insure your payment is properly received and processed.
    3) You will continue to make your reservations through Westgate as you have done in the past. At some point in the future we will be streamlining and automating the reservation process in coordination with the new property manager (Hilton). You will be notified of this change well in advance.
    4) You will continue to enjoy your rights to exchange to all other Westgate Resort locations, and there are no changes to any of the existing exchange procedures. In addition, there are no changes to any exchange benefits related to any memberships that you may have with Interval International.

    If you have any questions about these changes, please call your Westgate Owner Relations team at 800-925-9999.

    We believe that memorable vacations that last a lifetime should be the hallmark of your ownership experience with Westgate Resorts. We are committed to not only meeting your expectations of service, but also exceeding them each time you contact or stay with us. Thank you for being a part of our family and we encourage you to take advantage of all of the vacation opportunities that we have to
    offer.

    Yours Truly,
    David Siegel
    Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
    Westgate Resorts
     
  19. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It may be possible that Westgate owners can become affiliated members with HGVC as has been done with other affiliated resorts in the past. Those who become affiliated members have paid a relatively small joiner fee (use to be in the $600 range), continue to enjoy the benefits of ownership through their original purchase and gain the opportunity to convert their weeks to HGVC points to be used in the HGVC system. Of course, electing to convert their week to HGVC points releases that inventory into the HGVC available units pool and removes that unit from Westgates availability. It would also change external exchange options from I.I. to RCI.

    If HGVC offers affiliation membership vs a total transfer of Westgate ownership rights to HGVC ownership rights, it would be a blessing for current Westgate owners who don't want to upgrade through an additional developer priced purchase.

    For that matter, we don't even know if there will be an option to convert a Westgate owned week into a HGVC owned week. Since one would be literally going from one timeshare company to another, I would imagine it would be much more complicated than just upgrading from one HGVC owned week to a larger week (EOY to EY, 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom or from a Vegas owned week to a HHV owned week).

    On a personal note, I'm looking forward to seeing HGVC inventory available to HGVC members to reserve at PHT. We prefer the south strip location, I like the idea it's attached to PH resort/casino and I really want to see the units in PHT. I just never wanted to be exposed to the sales weasels/tactics that a Westgate property can put guests through. It took 4 or 5 years from them to stop calling us after our exchange into Westgate Town Center back in 2000. We had avoided exchanging into Westgate resorts after that time, although we did exchange into Westgate Branson Woods a few years ago and didn't have to suffer through the sales calls we both feared post vacation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  20. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    Also note that the previous claims that management "would remain the same" once again (like most of the other claims about this resort/management dating back to the original announcements) are wrong. The management has been changed from Harrah's to Hilton (I'm not deriding that - it most likely is another improvement like the move away from Wastegate). One thing this has is bad luck continuing the long history of failures at that location. Maybe Hilton can finally be the name to turn it around. I just feel sorry for those left stuck with Wastegate as an orphan group in the resort they once nearly went belly up trying to build.
     
  21. Ernie

    Ernie TUG Member

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    I dont know much about Timeshare ownership but doesnt a deed at the Towers mean I own a week there ( ours is paid off) no matter who it gets transferred to?

    The wife and I stayed there in March of 2011 and I have to say it was pretty nice. But it's geared towards the younger crowd, say 20's 30's. We loved the location and the convenience to local stores. But if Im offered a way out in the future I will take it if it doesnt cost a fortune. Maybe Hilton will make an offer to Westgate owners.
     
  22. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    Yes, you own the right to use a week there each use year. They can't take it away but if enough negative changes are made they can easily make you wish you didn't own it. I really hope Hilton offers all the WG owners a very low cost way to transfer - that would be the best thing for you now. Resale value, especially for the WG units, is near zero despite the original high cost.
     
  23. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    If you're thinking HGVC might want to buy your week from you as a way out, that won't happen. HGVC might offer you an affiiliated membership in the club or and offer to "upgrade" to a more expensive unit. Either way you'll still own your timeshare.
     
  24. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    Does that include the assertion by some that buying fixed week 52 in the Penthouse unit would throw off oodles of cash through rentals and ultimately appreciation?
     
  25. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    I like it! Sometimes it would be interesting to hear the spin today from past posts gone wrong. After all how else would we know of the "Greatest Timeshare In The World™"?
     

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