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HGVC on the Las Vegas Strip (Boulevard)

Discussion in 'Hilton Grand Vacations Club / HGVC' started by Todd Fogelberg, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    I have been traveling to Las Vegas for 30 years and have always stayed in standard hotel rooms. Now semi-retired and looking at other options, especially since I've discovered this group.

    I like the area where this property is located. Looking at a 1 Bed Platinum for $4,100 with $610.00 MF and 4800 points as a possible option.

    Looking at Hilton.com, I can book a 1 Bed with breakfast for 5 nights for $1,020.42 inc
    resort charge of $25 night and taxes of $120.42.

    Appreciate any feedback on this property and the 2 options (buying or paying cash). I prefer to go down to a hot breakfast vs cooking in my suite.

    I think I prefer the flexibility of booking on hilton.com and adding my breakfast. 5 nights in Vegas is just right for us.

    On the other hand, I kind of like the idea of "owning a piece of the action" (although I think I should know better after hanging out on this site for a few days.)

    I like the ability to walk to the Peppermill! (Any fans out there?)
     
  2. terces

    terces TUG Member

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    HGVC LVB x3, Sandos Mexico for RCI points
    I did lots of research and that is the resort I chose, but like the 2 bdrm platinum with 7000 points and a cost around $7000. Annual fees are $840 but you also need to include your Club membership which is around $190. With membership you also get the right to book "open season" for a cash price which is quite a bit lower than the rate on the street. The first question we asked and I believe it is the most important in the time share world is - can I get rid of this thing when I am done. I don't know what the resale market is for the 4800 point unit but would suggest answering that question before buying. BTW, just because you might buy a 2 bdrm unit does not mean you can't usually book a different size unit using your points.
     
    Todd Fogelberg likes this.
  3. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    HGVC on the Strip is a nice property. You cannot get breakfast there but you can get food in the minimart downstairs and there are locations nearby with breakfast. Note: you can also use your points at HGVC Elara or Flamingo. These properties are center strip and there are $2.50 breakfasts in the adjacent miracle mall.

    BTW...If you want to keep it simple and not inundate yourself with research, there are licensed real estate brokers recommended by Tuggers who can navigate you through the optimal HGVC resale purchase for your situation. Unlike developer salespeople, they are not high pressure and because they are licensed brokers they legally have to provide you with truthful information. You might pay a little bit more (or not, the seller pays the commission), but you will be able to sleep at night knowing you are not getting scammed, or hit a snag and it is a bona fide sale. Many people use a broker for their first resale purchase and then DIY once they have used and understand the system.

    Otherwise, read below for more details on how you can DIY.

    IMO I think you could find a 4800 point strip property for less than $4100.

    Check 3 items to get a sense of what properties are going for:

    1) ROFR.net
    2) Ebay for HGVC timeshares for sale and then hit the button "Sold Items" (Ebay will have rock bottom prices but sometimes there is a reason - bankruptcy with backpayment, poorly rated seller. But sometimes people just want to sell quickly.)
    3) Bargain Basement on Tug

    As we move into maint fee season in the fall, people will decide to sell before the next maint fee is due so prices will drop and the ROFR budget will deplete.

    7000 point platinum units cost more (they have held to about $1 a point but sometimes you see a fire sale by a seller at the end of the year) but they can be easily sold because they are desired for the points/trading value. While 4800 may be sufficient for Vegas, most people buy the 7000 point units to stay in Hawaii.

    You can split up your points for multiple stays anywhere in the HGVC system e.g. you can also use your HGVC points at HGVC at Paradise, Trump, Elara or Flamingo. Or Hawaii etc. We own 7k at the Vegas Paradise property and never stay there. We use the points to stay at Blvd, Elara and Hawaii. So you may want to expand your search to the 4 with the best MF/$ Blvd, Paradise, Flamingo, Elara. (Trump is too expensive MF-wise but you can stay there with your points from one of these other properties.)

    HGVC Platinum units 4800 and higher will be able to be sold/given away. Just factor the capital cost depreciation over 10 or 20 years into your comparison with renting via Hilton.com to see when you breakeven. If you believe you may use open season, or RCI getaways, you could also factor savings from those stays relative to rentals into your calculation.

    The second question to ask yourself is whether 4800 points is enough for your situation? It will buy you 1 week in Vegas, or you might be able to get two trips out of it if you travel midweek. Check out the points chart for the property in the stickies. Also check out the points charts for the other Vegas properties. You can stretch your ownership by also using open season reservations for discounted stays. You also will have access to RCI which has cash getaways for about $500 a week at places like the Grandview or Tahiti just south of the strip.

    You should be looking for platinum season, not gold because gold pays the same MF as plat but you get more points per $ spent = more stays.

    Good luck! And please continue to ask questions so we can help you with your decision.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  4. CaliGirl08

    CaliGirl08 TUG Member

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    Since you are semi-retired, it may be beneficial to be an owner and use open season or RCI last call. It's cheap last minute stays. The Blvd seems like a very deal for the MF$ per point. On rofr.net, I see one recently sell for $2k on 5/12/19. You can offer any amount you want but Hilton has right of first refusal to buy (except on Flamingo). I'm in the process of buying 5k annual points at Flamingo and I'm not sure if 7k points is better. 7k points do not go as low for the purchase price. :( Your points for a 1bdrm gets you 1 week stays anywhere and a 2bdrm for RCI trade.

    I do agree with CalGalTraveler that you can get more trips with midweek travel.
     
  5. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    It's nice to hear from someone else that their search came down to this property. Sun Country has flown for years from MSP to Vegas, offering very cheap access without a lot of notice or strings attached. Being from the Midwest, I just enjoy the change in scenery and buzz of the big city. When you book at hilton.com and add the breakfast option, has anyone knowledge of what that includes? I think it' s more than a breakfast sandwich and coffee from the deli! My mostly likely scenario is 1 trip per year or even 1 trip every other year (bank points and doing a more expensive destination every 3rd year). So it might look like year 1 - Vegas Year 2 -bank Year 3-Hawaii or ?....does this make sense? I am not a big traveler by air as I am an rver and spend 2-4 months "camping" all around the US. I'm definitely intriqued by the suite concept vs standard hotel room, for at least an occasional vacation beyond the camping. These prices and MF and club fee are very reasonable.
     
  6. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Based on your usage, 4800 - 5k points may be right for you because you can get Hawaii by combining years, but you will need to reserve at 9 months if you want peak summer or whale season on Oahu or BI because the lower point units go first. I haven't checked HI for 1 bdrms, you might be able to do with less than 7 - 9.6k points.

    BTW it's free to borrow but costs abt $100 fee to bank. Better to borrow for free:

    Year 1 Vegas
    Year 2 Hawaii (borrow from year 3 free)
    Year 3 skip

    or

    Year 1 Hawaii (borrow from year 2 free)
    Year 2 Skip
    Year 3 Vegas
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  7. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    So following the posts here, week 32 (Platinum) has just ended so folks may now start thinking ahead to 2020 and look to sell their deed to avoid next year's MF. I will be watching.... Some of the listings mention a "Club Activation Fee" of $609. This applies to all HGVC transfers? Sure seems ridiculously high.
     
  8. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    This does apply to all resale purchases. You are still saving $1000’s over developer and it’s still way cheaper than activating resale Marriott trust points.
     
  9. terces

    terces TUG Member

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    I have found that even the brokers recommended here do not always give you good information and can lead you astray, so I would not trust them 100%. Once you get in to the process they are the best at making a deal happen but you need to know what you are doing from the advice you can glean here on TUG.
     
  10. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    I'm moving real slow on this. Appreciate everyone's input and the wealth of information here. I kind of enjoy the prospect of finding a good deal and navigating the system, but don't want to make any mistakes and create a nightmare scenario.
     
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  11. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    It is crazy when you think about the money these developers and resort managers must make. If you sell each week for $10,000 as a developer, your gross income is $500,000 (I'm assuming they hold 2 weeks back for maintenance) up front. Maybe the property cost $200-$250,000 per unit to build. Then you charge the owners the management fees (build into MF). The annual club dues. And the transfer fees and club activation fees.
    A couple more questions, when booking at hilton.com, a stay for 5 days incurs $120 in state and local sales taxes. Are these totally avoided with the TS arrangement? Just the property tax, correct? Also, no resort fee for owners, correct?
     
  12. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Good idea. Take your time and research so you are comfortable if you decide to move forward. If you think you could say "No" easily you could find a discounted promo stay at this resort if you agree to a developer presentation. They are usually low pressure, but if they say "resales don't have same rights as developer" don't believe them. They are referring to elite privileges that don't matter.

    Below is a promo offer. I would call and negotiate to stay at the Blvd or other HGVC property and not the hotel so you can try before you buy. Just remember that resale is ALWAYS better deal than developer.

    https://milestomemories.boardingarea.com/hilton-timeshare-offer-50k/

    No resort fees or parking fees for owners at any of the Vegas resorts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  13. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    The finances simply don't add up. So on a typical 1 BR HGVC unit, the maintenance fee is $610. HGVC collects $30,000 annually to manage that 1 bedroom unit. When did it start costing $30,000 to operate a 1 bedroom unit? Yes, there is a pool. Yes there is housekeeping 1x week. But the numbers just don't add up. Ownership has an implied financial advantage. But not with timeshares. As if the $30,000 wasn't enough, they have the gall to charge a club activation fee and annual membership fee to handle the reservation process. Unbelievable that people fall for these things.
    (And don't forget, the developer received about $500,000 when they sold the 50 weeks for $10,000 a piece)
     
  14. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    @Todd Fogelberg You need to look at it from your vantage point and financials. As long as you are getting a good deal relative to competitive alternatives who cares if they make $20,000 or $20 million as long as your deal provides savings to you?

    Mine provide tremendous savings over renting equivalent hotels and AirBnBs (BTW...which also have the gall to charge you resort, parking, AirBnB services, housekeeping fees which the timeshares don't charge).

    This may or many not work out for you depending on the destination and property but making blanket statements are like saying, "Never invest in the stock market because people lose money!"
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
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  15. pianodinosaur

    pianodinosaur TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We purchased at HGVC on the Boulevard prior learning about the resale market. :wall: The elite benefits are not worth the increased cost. However, developers do not build new resorts unless they think they can sell them for a profit. We have used our points to travel all over the world, so we ultimately got our money’s worth. I estimate it took about 10 years before the cost of purchasing retail reached parity with the cost of traveling without timesharing. If you purchase resale, you are instantly saving money assuming that you actually use your timeshare.

    We have stayed at HGVC on the Boulevard, HGVC at the Flamingo, and HGVC on Karen Avenue. We have visited Trump Tower. They are all very nice. Points are points so it really doesn’t matter which one you buy at. Getting a room in Las Vegas is not difficult. Good luck
     
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  16. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    If the resorts weren't so readily available "for rent", "buying in" might make more sense for me. Timeshares are marketed by the developer with key terms like "owner" and "deed" giving the false impression that the buyer might accrue benefits typically associated with home (condo) ownership. Owners have control. But in a timeshare arrangement, owners are held captive. They have no input regarding management or fees. The HGVC "club activation" fee is an insult to the intelligence of all owners, as is the annual "club fee". I could stomach the MF but not this additional layer of fees. Just my take on the situation. I can see timesharing as a fun hobby for those with extra time and money, nothing wrong with that! It just isn't for me. I'll hang onto my Hilton Honors card and book suites at the Embassy Suites and look forward to my cooked breakfast and cocktail hour.
     
  17. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    @Todd Fogelberg Agree that the marketing is misleading. But we can see past the marketing spin and at its core, the TS product is excellent with well maintained resorts, updated amenities, spacious accommodations and attentive staff.

    Vegas has an overabundance of cheap hotel rooms. Most people that own in Vegas arbitrage their points to stay in Hawaii or other expensive locations where weekly rents can be $5000 for a week in an oceanfront unit. That's what we do - pay $1000 mf for a unit that rents for $5000/week in Hilton Hawaiian Village.

    Just because it doesn't work for your situation doesn't mean that it doesn't work for others. In fact, this summer we stayed in a 3 bedroom penthouse unit in HHV over the July 4 holiday. The rate is $5000+ a night on Hilton.com. We paid $1100/week by arbitraging our Vegas unit ($1100 vs. $35,000/week). This week alone recouped our Vegas resale buy-in, MF and $699+ fees by 3.5x. Nothing stupid about the ROI of that! We were able to host not only our college age kids, but extended family in the 3 bedroom. Can't do that comfortably and with a kitchen to save money on family meals and a place to congregate together with several crap hotel rooms.

    I am curious why you are so galled at a one time $699 fee that will be spread over 20+ years when you have no issues with paying $25 to $40 resort and parking fees daily at Hilton hotels - thats up to $280 a week? You simply have to add both into the total cost of ownership vs. hotel comparison.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  18. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    I don’t know, but I have a sneaking suspicion that HGVC might not be for you.

    I like the system because it gives room to spread out! A 2 bedroom condo is great for a family of 5 and I would be hard pressed to get what I can get with my points at the level of accommodations and service for what I paid. Is it an investment? Nope. But I should be able to get out of it if I choose to.

    In a previous post you mentioned a 1 bedroom apartment doesn’t take $30,000 a year to maintain. Your right, it doesn’t. But that’s not all the MF’s pay for. There’s staff salaries, wages and benefits. Yes, they might be able to pay a smaller wage, but the workers that I encountered in my stays were all great! Then there’s upkeep, maintenance and refurbishing of the rooms and building itself. Now throw in the insurance, management fees and property taxes and you start to see the cost. Is it too much? Probably, but the cost to keep a place like that up to the standards that it’s guest expect costs a good chunk of change.

    FYI - here’s the breakdown of those $610 MF’s:

    • Operating Fee : $450.62 - This is money that goes to the day to day operations, insurance, salary/wages of the staff and other daily repair of the rooms (we had a dishwasher making loud noises and they replaced it, had to have them in stock) including management fees toward HGVC
    • Reserve Fee : $139.85 - This is money that is put in reserve for upgrades, refurbishments and emergencies that may happen. Homeowners should have these as well
    • Property Taxes : $19.63 - Your portion of the property taxes
    This is where the $610.10 of those MF’s go.

    You are right, going to Vegas in a studio or one bedroom might be the best choice. Vegas rooms are cheap and if you are only need a hotel room, it’s not a good use of your money. We all have different reasons for being a part of the system. It’s not for everybody, but most regulars here have found a way that maximizes their vacation time.
     
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  19. Ralph Sir Edward

    Ralph Sir Edward TUG Member

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    Yes, they make a big amount up front. That is why there are timeshares. Otherwise they would never get built.

    As to the MF's, compare the MF cost to a hotel room. This is hard to do in Vegas because there is a long tradition of subsidising hotel rooms, in order to get gamblers to stay the Hotel/Casino. Still. . .

    Each has the same maintenance costs. As owner, you pay the "full freight". Maid service, linen service, heating/AC, water bills, parking lot repairs, elevator service - it all adds up. Hotels have exactly the same expenses.

    And so do Condominiums. That is another comparison point. (And condos don't have the maid/linen services, either).

    Timeshares are only suitable for a small portion of travellers. Those who want the luxury of space (and resort facilities) and are willing to pay for them, despite the drawback of ownership. (And they are drawbacks.)

    Of course, some of us are cheapskates (within the world of timeshares), trying to squeeze every last drop of luxury out of each dollar. Some of us don't. It's to taste. And some don't find the luxury worth the drawbacks.

    It's your choice. All we're trying to do is provide information for your consideration.. . .
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  20. bevans

    bevans TUG Member

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    One of the positives of owning a HGVC is if you use points for Las Vegas you do not pay daily parking fees, you do not pay resort fees and you do not pay the roughly 14% room tax. In Hawaii using club points you do not pay resort fees and the room tax is about 4% versus 14%. These savings over renting through Hilton or another booking engine are substantial. Curt
     
  21. terces

    terces TUG Member

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    I’ve been through the statements and actually the numbers do add up. This is a resort, not an apartment. They undergo regular updating which means new furniture, carpet, kitchens, bathrooms and funds need to be collected in advance and budgeted. They also operate swimming pools, exercise rooms and numerous other amenities within the resort. The buildings also periodically require maintenance or replacement of windows, roofs, HVAC and maintenance of all the myriad of mechanical systems not to mention the significant property tax burden recreation properties carry. The budget is managed by the HOA and all the statements are all available for owners to review. The only room for shenanigans is on the “management fee”. In fact what I have seen is many of these resorts are not charging enough in the Reserve Fund to offset the future liabilities and so there is a risk of special assessments.
     
  22. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Don't forget to add the Marketing Expense and the cost of carry until all the units are sold...

    George
     
  23. escanoe

    escanoe TUG Member

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    I see timesharing as an investment of my time and money in something my family will enjoy and hopefully great memories my kids will have. Hopefully also good times my wife and I will eventually have in retirement. I feel reasonably confident (knowing there is some risk) the HGVC platinum timeshares will have some value when we decide to get out IF all of HGVC has not gone bust. It is definitely a poor investment if viewed ONLY through a financial paradigm.
     
  24. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    As discussed previously, we have been fortunate that our resales have penciled out positively. However they are not always the least expensive stay option compared to a Comfort Inn. What always puts our resales over the top are the points @escanoe raised.

    Similarly, a BMW is not the least expensive option but the enjoyment of driving one versus a tin can compact will always be a superior experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  25. Todd Fogelberg

    Todd Fogelberg Guest

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    I am booked for my vacation to Las Vegas next year! Yippee, I can table any thoughts of buying into HGVC for a time. Narrowed down my choice to HGVC - on the strip ($958.06) and The newly renovated Embassy Suites Convention Center ($638.76). Both include breakfast. I decided on the $638.76 as I think I will like the Embassy off strip location, smaller, and evening reception included. These $ are all inclusive of taxes, resort fees, but not parking. And only for 5 nights. Big advantage for me now, no money out of pocket until I get home from the vacation! And I can cancel without penalty if my plans change. I'm good!
     

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