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New Westin Flex

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

  1. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    I really haven't paid much attention to the Flex programs. So my questions might be really dumb, but here goes. If they add WSJ to Flex would it only be weeks in the voluntary sections? Obviously Vistana owns some of the low season weeks in VGV. VGV is mostly fixed week fixed unit right? Vistana doesn't own too much high season VGV. I asked for a very specific week/unit and nothing was available during my update in May. Are the Hawaii weeks in Flex only at the voluntary resorts or are the mandatory resorts part of the flex deal? As for inventory at the rest of WSJ, with the $25/night environmental tax, a lot more low season weeks might show up. If the MF for the Westin Flex are already high, then add on the extra $175 to stay at WSJ, not so appealing.
     
  2. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Two of the three resorts in Hawaii are mandatory. They have conveyed both mandatory and voluntary weeks to the Flex trust. They could do the same in WSJ. Once in the trust, Vistana grants the new owners access to the trust inventory from 12-8 months and then they can use VSN at 8 months.
     
  3. SandyPGravel

    SandyPGravel Guest

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    I thought maybe the only Nanea and Princeville were in Flex from Hawaii. At least the fixed week fixed unit owners at WSJ are covered until the 10 month mark is WSJ gets thrown into the mix.
     
  4. skibummer

    skibummer TUG Member

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    I think one of the main problems of the flex programs (Westin and Sheraton) is the resale value for the unknown ease of access to the unknown season of voluntary properties of what the Flex Trust actually owns (they could be comprised of mainly low season weeks, but sold as access to prime weeks that don't exist). Too many "unknowns" in the above sentence (pun intended).

    An annual Sheraton Flex for 81,000 HomeOptions just sold on eBay this week for $1 (one dollar) with annual MFs of $1287 (high). It was likely sold from the developer for over $20,000.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SHERATON-FLEX-81-000-H-O-ANNUAL-POINTS-TIMESHARE-FOR-SALE-/332502031115?
    ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=S26u6q%252FvT21FrLbjhrBLH42DPRI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    No thanks. I will take my resale mandatory resorts with StarOptions or buying a resale voluntary resort at a place I desire in the season I want to use vs. the "black box" of the various flex programs.

    Caveat Emptor
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    alexadeparis and VacationForever like this.
  5. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I think you nailed it. A mandatory resale can use SOs to book at all resorts. It trumps any of these fragmented voluntary Flex systems as resale value trends to 0.
     
  6. okwiater

    okwiater TUG Member

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    I think Vistana should have just created a Flex program that combined access to all the resorts, instead of just some. This would have undermined the availability in VSN to some degree, but would have benefitted the developer sales schtick and may have even helped preserve some resale value.
     
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  7. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    +1
     
  8. cubigbird

    cubigbird Tug Review Crew Veteran TUG Member

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    Just you wait, that’s probably the next product once these Flex systems run their course. Can’t you imagine sales pitching “why own just Mexico (or the Sheratons) when you can book 12 months out everywhere!”

    I agree, that’s the way they should have gone if they wanted a true points system.
     
    vistana101 likes this.
  9. DanZale2000

    DanZale2000 TUG Member

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    This is what Diamond Resorts has been doing for quite some time. They have nine trust fund based subsystems called "collections" (these are trust fund deed pools similar to the flex systems). Then they have a propriety exchange system that sits on top to these. People buy points in one of the Diamond collections, and they gain access to other collections through the exchange club. Of course only developer purchased points have this "privilege;" it doesn't transfer with the sale of the points. Diamond can also charge a (very large) fee to join the exchange system (deeded owners at DRI resorts can do this, and resale point owners can do this (a bit like re-qualifying a deed in VSN)). Also, all the DRI loyalty benefits are offered through this framework. I'm not seeing any reason why ILG can't do something similar, maybe even including the new Hyatt point system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  10. cubigbird

    cubigbird Tug Review Crew Veteran TUG Member

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    What would it looks like for Nanea and WSJ (CV and SB) if they are added to Flex since they are already HomeOptions programs??
     
  11. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    They basically already have done this. You can buy Sheraton, Westin or Mexico flex, but if you want VSN access (just like THE Club) you need to buy developer. That access (just like THE Club) allows you to book from the other flex choices.
     
    jabberwocky likes this.
  12. YYJMSP

    YYJMSP TUG Member

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    if I read the unit numbers right, they included some corner deluxe units.

    how are they going to differentiate those from the regular units at 12-8mos, as deeded owners are limited to only being able to book that very specific inventory and don't have access to regular units until 8mos?

    will flex owners have random access to those corner deluxe units, or will they charge a premium? will deeded owners get access to less inventory than they should proportionally based on deeded vs flex pools?
     
  13. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    I agree this is coming. If it happens, how many rounds of selling the same unit will they get?
     
  14. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    But this new overall flex would be better, it would let you book all resorts at 12 months vs 8 months at non home resorts...:D
     
  15. ValleyGirl

    ValleyGirl TUG Member

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    5* & Done (again)
    See post #13
     
  16. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    OK then. $20k in new money enough?
     
  17. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    It will be so good that $20K is a deal...of course, I am being sarcastic.

    Realistically, without endorsing anything, I think they would charge more. They charge $20K to retro. I know there are tricks to lower the amount, but the base is about (or was) about $20K depending on the location where you are purchasing the new VOI.
     
  18. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I was also just kidding. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years they offer to trade sheraton flex units for a "whole Vistana flex" at a $20k pricepoint for the same number of options.
     
  19. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    I would’t be either. The sad part is that people will fall...
     
  20. vistana101

    vistana101 TUG Member

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    It's interesting. It seems they are creating a very fragmented product that will likely confuse consumers. You have regular deeded weeks, Sheraton Flex, Westin Flex, Westin Aventuras, and the "HomeOptions" product in St. John and Nanea. I think it's odd that they didn't take the time to combine these programs into something a bit more cohesive. I get their reasoning about how their pricing can be more flexible if the programs are separate, but on the other hand, I look at Marriott, which frankly has a much more cohesive, usable product, that encompasses all of their properties. The points requirements change based on the location and caliber of the resort, which all correspond directly to both your buy-in price and your maintenance fees. If Marriott, who has far more properties and usage options (they've done cruises for a while and also have other excursions and even rental houses), could create a simpler, more unified program that's dynamically priced, why can't Vistana?

    That being said, the big issue I see with Marriott is that the points requirement is quite high for many properties, resulting in a high-buy in and MFs. (Think $50,000 buy-in and $1,600 MF for a 2 bedroom in semi-prime season in Orlando.)
     
  21. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    That is why we changed route this year when our Marriott weeks got enrolled and decided to increase our Marriott timeshare holdings. We have discussed about totally getting out of Vistana but we could use SOs to book at Westin Mission Hills. We enjoy their daily golf clinics and also we could spend time with our neighbors who have lots of Vistana, all developer bought, and have joint vacations together.
     
  22. gdstuart

    gdstuart TUG Member

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    PMJI but Marriott finally lowered that price to 0, so I converted my Marriott Monarch week to 1900 DC points. As long as your Marriott week was purchased prior to Dec. 2017, you can exercise this conversion. Altho this post seems to be in the wrong forum, I just wanted to reply here since I'm sitting at Princeville for 3 nights (booked with StarPoints, not Star Options) and considering if I want to dip my toe into the Westin product. I'm getting the impression that it might be better to sit back and observe what transpires with (1) the Marriott tender offer for ILG and (2) how this FLexPoints program plays out, before starting to shop for a Westin resale week or a bucket of StarPoints.
     
  23. alexadeparis

    alexadeparis TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I mean, didn't they pretty much have this with the original SVN that most of us belong to?
    All the resorts belong to the original VSN and depending on your home interval, your MFs could vary widely for the same number of SOS. If you want a better 12 mo reservation you buy the better resort, if you don't care, you buy SVV for better buy in price.
     
  24. Helios

    Helios TUG Member

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    Are you saying that now pre 12/17 can be enrolled by simply electing and without buying points?
     
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  25. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I was wondering the same thing...
     

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