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New Westin Flex

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

  1. Markus

    Markus TUG Member

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    Just heard from a Corporate rep that Vistana will be launching a third points based product, the Westin Flex. This will be in addition to the Sheraton Flex and Aventuras programs. It is expected to go into active sales on January 4th, and will include 6 resorts; the 2 in California, 3 in Hawaii, and 1ski property. Pricing is not currently available. Something to watch for early in the New Year.

    Markus
     
    vistana101, darius and Helios like this.
  2. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    Thanks for the heads up.
     
  3. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Interesting. I'm curious what the ski property would be. I thought westin riverfront was sold out, and there are no other ski resorts where they have the right to develop Westin branded timeshares, so they would have to negotiate with Marriott International to add anything new.

    Maybe it'll just be a few weeks at riverfront...
     
  4. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    Interesting. This could be appealing with 12 month access to HI and a Westin Ski property (whatever that means).
     
  5. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I wonder if their were legal reasons they couldn't include the Mexican and US inventory in one trust. A westin flex that included 2x Mexico, 3x Hawaii, 2x Palm Springs and 1x ski seems like a potentially killer product.
     
  6. Markus

    Markus TUG Member

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    I think it will be an apealing product. Makes one wonder though about VSN as a network, when all these properties are being sold bundled, almost like mini-networks.

    Markus
     
  7. cubigbird

    cubigbird Tug Review Crew Veteran TUG Member

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    Sounds like Vistana needs more inventory to sell. With new resort inventory not coming online fast enough and most resorts sold out they have to create something to sell. Hence the birth of these flex programs. It's just a churning of an existing product, telling the weeks owners what they own is inferior and trying to sell it all over again.
     
  8. cubigbird

    cubigbird Tug Review Crew Veteran TUG Member

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    If it's anything like Sheraton Flex and Aventuras, I'm sure it will be expensive, voluntary, and of little value. Get ready for the owners update to devalue what you have in attempt to get you to buy what you own again. You can get access to all the resorts now with Staroptions.
     
    Ken555, skibummer and Sunshine10 like this.
  9. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 TUG Member

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    Vistana will be selling this as flexible holidays at Vail and Maui, but most of the weeks that will be owned by the "Westin Flex Trust" (or whatever they will call it) will likely be in Palm Desert and probably not be prime weeks.

    I agree with the prior posts: this is a bad deal all around -- except for Vistana whose business plan is apparently to re-package old goods, add some sizzle, and sell for a multiple of its intrinsic value.

    My major regret is that I foresee WPORV exchanges through both Interval and StarOptions becoming more difficult. Vistana controls Interval deposits and will make sure Westin Flex has WPORV inventory if at all possible.
     
    Sugarcubesea likes this.
  10. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I'm not surprised - since they made Nanea a Flex resort, it was only a matter of time before they created a new group.

    This is a way for VSE to repackage Westin Mission Hills which is struggling as a voluntary resort with high maintenance fees.

    During the 12-8 month owner's priority period, Flex owners will only be able to exchange for reservations in the flex pool - not the deeded weeks inventory that already belongs to owners.

    From the start, this will really impact Nanea, because all Nanea reservations will be available to everyone in this group during the owner's reservation period. But at least to begin with, it shouldn't impact the other 3 Hawaii resorts as much. But eventually, as more and more deeds are sucked into the Flex pool inventory, there will be less and less Staroption availability.

    (If I was a Nanea owner, I would be be po'd about this!)

    It will probably mean that after Jan. 4th, you will only be able to buy FlexOptions from the developer at the 6 resorts in this group, but you can still buy deeded weeks on the resale market. However, it may mean that VSE will actively pursue more resales, or exercise ROFR more often, to acquire inventory for the Flex Pool.

    As Robert said, this is a bad deal for owners/buyers, and a good deal for VSE.
     
    iqmavin likes this.
  11. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    Why just WPORV? Do you just regret not buying at WPORV?
     
  12. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 TUG Member

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    My assumption is that WPORV (not Nanea) will be the third Hawaii resort in the rumored Westin Flex group.

    Zero regrets about not buying Princeville. It's a beautiful resort -- we have stayed there several times -- but it has very high MF's (about $2,800, iirc). To date it has been an easy StarOptions exchange and it has not been a difficult exchange through Interval if one has a Vistana preference unit. I think exchanging into Princeville could become more difficult.
     
  13. darius

    darius TUG Member

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    I spoke with a corporate sales person today about this. Apparently, it is going to include WKORV, WKORV-N and WPORV for Hawaii. (Nanea is NOT included in this offering...). Also, there will be no ocean front units included in the weeks - so if you want that premium view, this package will not offer it. The costs and fees are expected to be higher than the existing Flex products as well.
     
  14. alohakevin

    alohakevin TUG Member

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    Does this mean WKORV and ORVN will be partially mandatory ( deeded) and partially voluntary ( flex)?

    How will they determine what inventory is dedicated to deeded and which to flex. Given the fact it is to their advantage to have deeded owners sell their deeded weeks and they control inventory seems fraught with potential slight of hand. Not trying to be a cynic just not sure I fully trust Vistana.
     
  15. alohakevin

    alohakevin TUG Member

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    To keep things even wouldnt they have to increase options necessary in flex to reserve in order to charge more in maintenance fees for the same deeded unit. Can they charge different maintenance fees depending on what program you are with on the same property. This will make for interesting pool conversation.
     
  16. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    With Flex Options, you don't own a deeded unit - you only own Flex Options, and the maintenance fee is based on the number of Flex Options that you own, and yes, it's different that owning a deed. This is already happening with the other Flex programs at other resorts.

    Only inventory that has been converted to Flex Options will be in the Flex pool. Vistana will acquire this inventory by 1) convincing owners to convert their deeded weeks to Flex, 2) buying resales, 3) foreclosures. This inventory will be segregated in the computer reservation system.

    I actually know an owner who owned mulitiple ocean front units and converted them to Sheraton Flex - OUCH!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    alohakevin likes this.
  17. lizap

    lizap TUG Member

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    This sounds eerily similar to what ILG has done with Hyatt and the Pure Points Program. It is believed Hyatt is having trouble acquiring enough units for the program. They can acquire units by ROFR, getting current owners to convert, or by adding new units by building them. Unlike Hyatt, Westin does not have ROFR at every resort. It is believed that Hyatt is having trouble getting current owners to convert as the price to convert is very high (unlike the nominal price Marriott owners had to pay). The conclusion that many Hyatt owners have come to is that it will be a long time before this affects us. I suspect it will be the same for us Westin legacy owners as well.
     
  18. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    I have been looking into this, and what pisses me off about it is, (as an owner at Nanea), I get to place my home reservations at Nanea at 8-12 months, now these 'flex' owners can reserve at any of the flex resorts at 8-12 months. we both get the same 8 month treatment. so this tells me that their points are more valuable than mine, but something ALSO tells me that MY maintenance fees will be higher. I am disappointed in Vistana in regards to this program. I will be doing an owners update later in 2018 when I stay at WKORV and will be drilling them hard on this one. (they REALLY don't like me when I go in with questions).. I feel like they are devaluing my deeded week and giving a lot more people access to my home resort at 12 months. so, play it safe and book early!
     
  19. okwiater

    okwiater TUG Member

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    @Moparman42 It's not really a de-valuation. The Flex owners are able to reserve units with deeds that are in the Flex pool. They're not able to reserve units backed by deeded ownerships outside the Flex pool until 8 months, same as you.
     
  20. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    I see you're an owner in the Sheraton Flex. what ar ethe maintenance fees like? I am actually looking at growing my portfolio, and do you think the flex program is any better than a deeded ownership, dollar for dollar? and I hope that you are correct about the pools of rooms, but I almost always book a year out and for not terribly busy seasons, so I should never have an issue.
     
  21. okwiater

    okwiater TUG Member

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    I prefer my deeded ownerships. My main reason for owning Flex was a very low "new money" threshold to perform a requal and become 5*.
     
    Moparman42 likes this.
  22. Markus

    Markus TUG Member

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    I 100% agree with you okwiater! The deeded weeks are best, but they have become very expensive to buy from the developper.

    Markus
     
  23. lizap

    lizap TUG Member

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    We are currently at a Hyatt in FL and they are being very aggressive with current owners to try to get them to convert to PP (similar to FLEX). ILG has seriously underestimated how much legacy owners are willing to pay to convert. Without a significant number of us who convert, they are going to have a product with little inventory for PP ( and FLEX for Westin).. My belief is that as soon as they realize they are not going to have enough inventory, the price to convert will be lowered to something similar to what Marriott offered legacy owners.
     
  24. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    I hope they are as honest as you suggest here. My concern is they are just selling Flex Options in sold out resorts just to raise money. Kind of like airlines selling seats on sold out flights, knowing there will always be unexpected space. Then the Flex owners get to book at 8-12 out, and the non-owners with StarOptions get less and less chance. The traders eventually get squeezed out completely.
     
  25. jlp879

    jlp879 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    What is the current price to convert to Hyatt Pure Points?
     

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