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[2008] VRI*ety; seeking input based on first hand experience...

theo

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I own a few fixed weeks at two different VRI managed resorts. Generally, I simply use what I own, renting out a week on rare occasion only when I can't use it. Historically, I don't "exchange" (...and I would never give the likes of RCI any of my primo weeks under any circumstances).

That said, I am curious about VRI's "internal" VRI*ety program, which allows owners at VRI managed resorts to deposit and exchange into other VRI resorts. With the acquisition of AVR, the "universe" of VRI exchange options will supposedly be about 150 different resorts by the end of CY2008.

Has any VRI-managed resort owner here on TUG personally utilized the VRI*ety program who might be willing to share their first hand experience and informed view, observations and opinion on it?
Do you feel that you got a "like for like" exchange, quality wise?
Time frame of deposit vs. time frame of exchange?
Any input at all based on first hand knowledge and experience would be welcomed and appreciated; hearsay and speculation, not so much.... ;)
 
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e.bram

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Primo weeks owners geerally use or rent. VRI has a small base of TSes they manage. It would taake a lot of luck and you have to deposit first. With II ypu can request first , so if you don't get what you want you can keep yours.
 

Corky

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Like you, I am a VRI owner who has questions about how this new system will work. It will succeed only if enough VRI owners are willing to deposit into the pool. Since it requires a deposit first, there's no getting your week back if there isn't any good inventory. Because of this, I'm skeptical and won't try the system.
 

theo

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Thanks(?)

Primo weeks owners geerally use or rent. VRI has a small base of TSes they manage. It would taake a lot of luck and you have to deposit first. With II ypu can request first , so if you don't get what you want you can keep yours.

With all due respect, nothing stated above answers or addresses anything I asked about. I know (and already stated) exactly how many participating VRI resorts there are and am also well aware of customary owner practices after my own 25 years of ownership experience. Also, none of my resorts are II affiliated, so the "request first" feature of that particular exchange company, although nice, is not applicable or relevant to my inquiry.

(Still) looking for any direct, first hand, personal experience with VRI*ety...
 
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e.bram

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Theo:
There are no personal expierences, because ,like you and I know, the situation. It can't work. Sometimes theoretical evaluation will preclude the empirical(sp?) tests.ie. Why try it when you know it will not work.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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I was interested (and still deciding what to do with my Gaslamp for 2009), but I too was cautious and not wanting to commit. Perhaps VRI should do a different approach, like maybe a 4 month exchange window where everyone deposits but will get their week back if their exchange isn't found. It sounds complicated, but maybe it would be doable. We put in units, at the end of the deposit time, VRI would match weeks up, making sure that if your week was requested, you got a week you requested, otherwise, you get your week back.
Liz
 

theo

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We'll see...

Theo:
There are no personal expierences, because ,like you and I know, the situation. It can't work. Sometimes theoretical evaluation will preclude the empirical(sp?) tests.ie. Why try it when you know it will not work.

Please don't speak for me; I actually DON'T know that it will not work.

Frankly, I like the fact that the exchange pool competition is finite, by being strictly limited to only other VRI resort owners. I haven't yet been to any VRI managed resort I dislike, so it may well be worth a try (if the inventory is there). The unknown factor is whether VRI (which routinely rents units out on behalf of unit owners for a "cut") will prioritize VRI*ety exchanges over rentals. Or will they instead adopt the RCI practice and motto of "Screw the members...we'll just rent it out ourselves since the monetary "take" is higher using that route than in a mere exchange fee"?

I have a primo 2009 week that I already know I likley won't be able to use due to conflicting commitments. I may advertise an exorbitant rental rate for that week and if no one is foolish enough to pay that rate, I may then step forward into these uncharted VRI*ety waters and give them a try. Every experiment needs a guinea pig; I'm not finding any here so far ;)
 
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UWSurfer

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I'm rather interested in VRI*ety as our entre would be our SCI week.

However I'm still in love with SCI and don't see us exchanging it in the near future, thus VRI*ety will likely be a concept to us rather than a reality in the short term.

What I'm noticing looking at the list of VRI resorts is many (if not most) are not top tier resorts. Most are middle of the road kind of places, none of which have that appeal that makes us say..."We've got to go to THAT place!" I don't mean to imply that SCI has that cache either...just nothing has jumped out at me from the lists I've seen.

Maybe it's because I'm used to HGVC, maybe it's because I already own several weeks, but my first look at the VRI*ety hasn't wow'd me yet.
 

vacationhopeful

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As another VRI owner, FLBR, I don't think we have been "rolled into" the VRI*ety system yet.

I would give it a try. Wyndham points resorts are not strong in the Western US. I could certainly part with a decent late Jan week or any July week for a similiar wine country (Solvang area) week (or what ever "the season" is there - no fires, mudslides, snake season etc).

I am NOT a West Coast expert - I don't have a clue while typing this reply as where the VRI resorts are located. Solvang was a mindless place I was driven to and feed many glasses of wine.:rolleyes:

But I have family who lives on that coast. I hope in the future to take a 10-14 day trip and vacation with them. It is another alternative to look at.
 

theo

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No "being rolled into the system" will actually occur...

As another VRI owner, FLBR, I don't think we have been "rolled into" the VRI*ety system yet.
.....
I am NOT a West Coast expert - I don't have a clue while typing this reply as where the VRI resorts are located.
=============================================

1. You have access to the new VRI*ety program by virtue of your ownership at a VRI managed resort. There is (and will be) no further action initiated or required by you or by VRI until or unless you actually want to initiate an exchange through the VRI*ety program. You don't have to "buy into" or "sign up" for eligibility to participate.

2. Don't confuse the fact that VRI offices are located in California with the actual locations of VRI managed resorts, which are in assorted locations. All of my VRI weeks, for example, are in coastal Florida; I know nothing about the left coast where the VRI offices are physically located in CA.

For me, it's ALL about access to desirable geographic locations in prime seasons. I'm perfectly happy with "middle of the road" facilities. I couldn't personally care less about the "upscale" notions or features associated with HGVC, Marriott, etc. For that reason, I guess I look at the potential of the VRI*ety program as maybe being an opportunity for occasional geographical change, rather than seeking access to "top tier" resorts --- and all without ever having to deal with the likes of RCI. To each his / her own....:shrug:
 
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bobk

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Theo,
Being an owner and a VRI managed property is not the only criteria to belong.
I own at Sedona Springs Resort which is managed by VRI and we are not in the VRIety program. As stated in VRIety rules " The VRI*ety internal exchange program is available to owners/members at participating VRI-managed resorts and Multi Resort Ownership Plan (MROP)". Key word is participating.
 

PrairieGirl

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it would appear that we are now in!

Theo,
Being an owner and a VRI managed property is not the only criteria to belong.
I own at Sedona Springs Resort which is managed by VRI and we are not in the VRIety program. As stated in VRIety rules " The VRI*ety internal exchange program is available to owners/members at participating VRI-managed resorts and Multi Resort Ownership Plan (MROP)". Key word is participating.

Bob,

We are long time owners at Sedona Springs as well (and VERY happy to have VRI back as our management co after the Sunterra fiasco). Just yesterday we received a letter letting us know all about VRIety and how to participate.

The funny thing was that I didn't notice the Springs listed as a participating resort.

Guess I'll learn more about it as we go along.

LeAnn
 

e.bram

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My best TS used to be managed by VRI and got dunped. This could happen to other TSes and would put them out of the program.
 

theo

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Thanks

Theo,
As stated in VRIety rules " The VRI*ety internal exchange program is available to owners/members at participating VRI-managed resorts and Multi Resort Ownership Plan (MROP)". Key word is participating.

A good point --- and well taken. Given the relative "newness" of the program, I guess it may be a while before a complete "roster" of "participating" resorts is even fully developed. Even then the list of participants may well change with time, by either addition or subtraction.
 

Honeydew

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Some of us may hear more this month

A good point --- and well taken. Given the relative "newness" of the program, I guess it may be a while before a complete "roster" of "participating" resorts is even fully developed. Even then the list of participants may well change with time, by either addition or subtraction.

I too am a VRI owner who came back recently from my home resort. When I asked about VRI*ety at check-out I was told they are working very hard at learning this program and that my resort, although not currently listed on the website, will be participating. I was also told that "we" should be getting more info by the end of this month, instead of the end of the year.
Now what I don't really understand is that the website http://www.vriresorts.com/ExchangeGuide.html shows units available next to the resort. Isn't this sort-of like a search first feature? I know it will depend on what and when you deposit though.
I think I will be a guinee pig....:ignore: I too have a prime week that, if not rented by the time this is fully unrolled, will get deposited with VRI*ety so I can try the 3 day & 4 day split vacations out of it.
 

theo

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I don't think so...

Now what I don't really understand is that the website http://www.vriresorts.com/ExchangeGuide.html shows units available next to the resort. Isn't this sort-of like a search first feature?.

I don't believe so. Unless I am mistaken (...always a distinct possibility, but based upon my knowledge of the number of units at my own resorts), that web site info really only identifies the number of total units at the particular facility, while neither indicating nor implying any actual "availablity". In point of fact, there may well be no "availability" at all for exchange purposes.
 

bobk

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LeAnn, Theo

LeAnn thanks for the heads up on Sedona Springs now being able to use VRIety. I called VRIety today and confirmed it is now part of the program.
Theo as you said maybe not all the VRI managed resorts are in the program yet but looks like VRI is constantly adding more of the resorts. Thanks to both of you.
 

CharlesS

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Any first hand experience yet??

Has any VRI-managed resort owner here on TUG personally utilized the VRI*ety program who might be willing to share their first hand experience and informed view, observations and opinion on it?

Do you feel that you got a "like for like" exchange, quality wise?
Time frame of deposit vs. time frame of exchange?
Any input at all based on first hand knowledge and experience would be welcomed and appreciated; hearsay and speculation, not so much.... ;)

The above request appeared in early August. It is now December and I haven't seen any real answers. Has anyone actually tried VRI*ety and be willing to report?

Charles
 

JudyS

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The above request appeared in early August. It is now December and I haven't seen any real answers. Has anyone actually tried VRI*ety and be willing to report?

Charles
I've deposited a few of my (many) VRI weeks, but haven't done much searching yet. If I get time today, I will give VRI*ety a call and see what they have. I have blue and red weeks that I can search with at the moment; no white weeks.

Any requests here on specific areas & times I should ask about?
 

jkb

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Our forage into VRI*ety

We just deposited a week with VRI*ety for a hard to get location. To date, neither RCI or DAE has succeeded in getting us the week so we are giving this new exchanging opportunity a try.

I'll let you know if they come thru any time soon.

Janet
 

JudyS

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I finally remembered to call VRI*ety!

Checking their inventory isn't easy because their Guides can only check one month & one area at a time. However, it looks to me like VRI*ety is starting to get some nice inventory. They had some ski weeks (including one at the former Vail Marriott) and some Florida weeks in the next few months. They had a Maui week in April (that was their soonest Hawaii week.) What really made me think they have some decent inventory, though, was that they had some SoCal summer weeks -- all hotel units and studios (mostly at Gaslamp Plaza suites), but it's still SoCal summer. In VRI*ety, weeks are evaluated only by size and color, not trade power, so I would not expect prime weeks to just be sitting in inventory -- they will get booked right away. Instead, you'll need an ongoing search to get the best weeks. That's why I wouldn't expect any larger SoCal summer units to be available without an ongoing search.

Anywhere else people would like me to check? I have a 3-bedroom red week on deposit, so I can search for anything VRI*ety has.
 
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ausman

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JudyS,

You reinforced my feeling that it is necessary to put in ongoing requests.

I called a few months ago to get an impression of inventory and there were no 2010 and they were waiting for 2009 MFs to be due to get 2009 for the areas and times I checked.

The only other titbit I gleaned from that call was, for ongoing searches they will automaticlly comfirm if for specific time or resort but will contact for broarder seaches such as for an area and for a time range.

There is no harm in setting up an ongoing search(s) as they say the credit card is not charged until an exchange is confirmed.
 

skisnow&water

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Will reply back w/firsthand IF something comes through

Since VRIety is new I see lots of speculation on this thread but I"ll try to stick to facts and give everyone a sense for how it works as our experience "progresses".
We own a Jackson Hole Towncenter week 11- managed by VRI although it no longer shows on their website. We also own a Marriott and are II members.
We have decided that we want a ski week from 12/26/09 at either the NH or VT resorts shown on the VRIety website. I "paid ahead" my March 2010 MF and got a confirmation for it on 1/10/09 knowing we cannot go there next year and with the intent of depositing way early to maximize trade power.
Like most here I debated whether to deposit with VRIety or II. It is in with VRIety now waiting for a confirmation. Here is my rationale and I'd be interested in others opinions at this point if I was logical:
VRI - Pro's: 1. Cheaper- $77 when confirmed instead of $139 w/ II 2. "New" - hopefully means they are more aggressive to "prove" their system works. 3. Match on room size and color only. 4. I checked availability at NH and VT resorts and both are available for rental. I'm hoping that at some point in the future rentals convert to TS in order to fill vacancies
Cons: 1. Unproven 2. Smaller inventory to work with (less probability of a match) 3. No on-line visibility to my deposited week 4. Can't get the week back once deposited.
II Pro's - 1.Many more options to trade 2. On-line access to the deposited week
II Cons - 1. Probably the thing that ultimately made me try VRiety was my concern over II's rating of my deposited week's "like quality". There is limited trade activity with Jackson but demand has less influence than quality from what I see.

Well.. it's done and I guess I was just willing to take a bit of a gamble with VRIety. If it trades we'll be happy and if it doesn't...we'll see what I can get for it.
I'll update if anything happens.
 

Honeydew

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(old post bumped) Any new info on VRI*ety ?

It's been a few months since the last post and I was curious if any exchanges have been made yet.
Now that the website is up and running, http://www.vrietyexchange.com/ I checked it out today after a phone call to them. I was told you can view all inventory online before depositing a week. Today there was actually still a few summer 09 Cape Cod weeks and some summer CA Gaslamp weeks available. "Diane" told me you can exchange like season for like season, etc and if you wanted to trade up in season, you can do so within 28 days of check-in. The exchange fee however, is now at $109 for US (not $99) and she said if you book a TPI week, it is $119. Also, they are still letting you split a week (a 4-day & a 3-day) if it is within 90 days, with a one time $59 transfer fee and you can only get one long weekend trip between the two.

skisnow&water: There was even a week close to what you are looking for at my home resort at Loon Mountain in NH, 12/19 - 12/26 for a 1 BR.

Let me know if I have incorrect info. First hand experience with exchanges welcomed.....
 
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