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

timeos2

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As long anticipated the ill-fated and 1/3 complete Wastegate Planet Hollywood Tower (of Terror) is soon to be rebranded without Wastegate involvement. See story here.

While nothing will ever improve the mess this monstrosity ended up being (the original, unique design was seriously compromised most likely by expenses and only 1/3 of the planned resort has actually been built) at least the worlds worst management and sales company will no longer manage/sell it.

Of course the LAST thing Hilton needed was yet another Las Vegas property - especially one as tainted and garish as this one - but since their other strip property is now virtually an island at the seriously depressed end of the strip at least the Tower of Terror is in the hot area now. Those poor people that got suckered into the Wastegate pitch and paid far too much will still be left under the Wastegate thumb - a true nightmare for them.

Now lets run them out of the remaining resorts they blight with their very presence...
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
No More WestGate Timeshare Sellers At HGVC Planet Hollywood ?

The 12,000 existing owners remain with WestGate, it says, but future timeshares selling on site will be HGVC.

Sounds like that means it will be possible to stay there without having to encounter any WestGate sales weasels.

Won't that be something ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

Pit

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The more than 12,000 existing owners of the property will continue to enjoy the full ownership rights and benefits associated with their original purchase from Westgate Resorts.
From that statement, it is not clear what role Westgage will have, if any, regarding the existing owners.
 

Remy

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Just a quick walk to the Flamingo. Glad we'll have more options, but for the love of jeebus, can we get out of the same three states? Two of the three latest acquisitions are in locations where HGVC is already operating.
 

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I don't get it. Why would HGVC work with another company when they are trying to build up membership in their own resorts? It sounds like they are competing against themselves since the profits would go to RFA and not HGVC.
 

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I wonder how this will affect the resorts exchange co. affiliation. Currently its with II, but HGVC is obv. w/ RCI
 

ocdb8r

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I don't get it. Why would HGVC work with another company when they are trying to build up membership in their own resorts? It sounds like they are competing against themselves since the profits would go to RFA and not HGVC.
I'm sure it's financially lucrative for them.

Does anyone know what the remaining inventory at the HGVC Vegas properties currently is? It may not be that big of a consideration - plus, I think the demographic is slightly different. The PH Towers are targeted to a bit younger crowd.

Regardless, it appears obvious moving forward that this will be the new model. Both HGVC and Marriott Spinco have made it clear they will not be pushing resort development, but rather this sort of sales and management partnership with other developers. The change in the financial markets means they just can't justify getting caught with loads of inventory on their books when access to credit freezes.


As to the news itself, I consider it VERY exciting. We stayed here on an II exchange right after it opened and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The rooms are very swank and being connected to the PH Hotel is pretty nice (despite the long walk through the mall). The opportunity to stay here without the Wastegate wolves roaming will be a plus. It will be REALLY curious to see where the point charts come out.

Two main concerns struck me then and still hold true now: 1) the maintenance on these units has got to be high both because of their level of furnishing and the beating they take from more rambunctious guests and 2) The hotel often uses the rooms as upgrades or overflow...and a lot of bachelor parties end up in the units leading to not only more wear and tear but also can lead to some problems if you happen to be staying next door....or even if you've got to step over them passed out in the hallways or elevators (yes, we did encounter this on our stay).

One more article: http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2011/nov/22/ph-towers-westgate-planet-hollywood-has-new-owner/

Only thing it adds is that the CEO of Westgate had been quoted in the Orlando Centinal as saying that banks started to refuse to finance sales at the towers.
 
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islandguy

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Westgate PH now Hilton

Just read an article saying Resot Finance America acquires controling interest in the PH Westgate Resort and will rebrand it a Hilton timeshare.

So is that better for the current owners? Will Hilton allow them to transfer into the Hilton Club?

Looking forward to better customer service now that Hilton will be the on site brand.
 

timeos2

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One more take on the new owner/operators of the Tower of Terror.

It does appear that the tie to Hilton will bring an effective change to dual-affiliation (II if Wastegate owner deposits & RCI if a Hilton owner deposits). That is a real positive as it should open exchange into the resort by both groups - always a good situation.

I do seriously feel sorry for those unfortunate owners who will be stuck with Wastegate ownership as it is already worth virtually nothing and now is likely to be viewed as the lesser option for that resort. Those that bought in to Wastegate, as usual, are big losers in a high cost game. Hopefully it will help people realize that dealing with Wastegate in any shape or resort is a colossal mistake. At least the management on site will be controlled by Hilton That is a plus for both sets of owners.
 

jjlovecub

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So glad I didn't buy here as tempted as I was (resale). I have exchanged into the resort with ease - hopefully it does end up with an II and RCI option but if not the Grand Chateau is a great and easy exchange property as well
 

UWSurfer

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It's usually less expensive to sell something already built than it is to build it from scratch. As an HGVC owner with two weeks already based in Vegas (for low MF's), PH as an HGVC will be a hot exchange and may command premium points values like their more desirable newer towers in Hawaii and New York.

Flamingo has always sold out first given it's desirable location, this acquisition may take some of the pressure off of Flamingo.

Now if we could get them to build an HGVC Washington, D.C!
 

timeos2

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Now if we could get them to build an HGVC Washington, D.C!
If they would just have something new in places other than Orlando & LV! Talk about one track mind.
 

ocdb8r

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I do seriously feel sorry for those unfortunate owners who will be stuck with Wastegate ownership as it is already worth virtually nothing and now is likely to be viewed as the lesser option for that resort. Those that bought in to Wastegate, as usual, are big losers in a high cost game. Hopefully it will help people realize that dealing with Wastegate in any shape or resort is a colossal mistake. At least the management on site will be controlled by Hilton That is a plus for both sets of owners.
Am I the only one that feels like there may be a bit too much reading into the very breif statement that "The more than 12,000 existing owners of the property will continue to enjoy the full ownership rights and benefits associated with their original purchase from Westgate Resorts."

First, this could just be press misinterpretation of the assurance that current owners will retain their ownership rights (i.e. what the deed guarantees them to, not necessarily continued affiliation with Westgate). Second, even if the assumption is correct, I would not be surprised to see HGVC offer Westgate owners an opportunity to convert their weeks over the HGVC at a cost.

The articles are pretty scant on details - often vital ones. Upon re-reading, nowhere does it say that the resort will be "managed" by HGVC, but only that HGVC will provide "sales and marketing" services. Who will actually be managing the resort? Are we to assume Westgate has retained an interest in the resort since RFA has only acquired a "controlling interest"? We don't know if there were parties other than Westgate that had an interest...I think there is still a lot to be discovered.

On another note, I wonder what percentage of the resort is sold!?! 1201 units = 62,452 weeks to be sold....yet there are currently only 12,000 owners. I know we don't know the average number of weeks owned, but given the number of EOY resales I've seen, I can't imagine it's much higher than 1 (and could even be lower). That means something like 80% of the resort is unsold! No wonder we see so many bulk bankings in II!!! Regardless it's a LOT of inventory for HGVC to push.
 

UWSurfer

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The first article (link from first posting) has a quote:

"We are delighted to announce the selection of Hilton Grand Vacations as our exclusive provider of timeshare services for this project, as well as the rebranding of this property as a Hilton Grand Vacations resort."

Rebranding would indicate that it will be an HGVC property, which then suggests they will be managing it.
 

pedro47

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The 12,000 existing owners remain with WestGate, it says, but future timeshares selling on site will be HGVC.

Sounds like that means it will be possible to stay there without having to encounter any WestGate sales weasels.

Won't that be something ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
The 12,000 t/s owners that purchase thur WestGate will their unit be maintain by HGVC or WestGate?

If they are maintain by HGVC would not that be a win - win for the West Gate owners?
 
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ricoba

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Do you think HGVC may try to get more Westgate Resorts to expand its limited location?

After all, didn't HGVC start as a buy out or merger with another company? Didn't Krieger come from that other ts company?

Just wondering????
 

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Wyndham's loss after Desert Blue seems to have disappeared. Less than a half mile apart and I am sure the points would be a lot higher but would be a lot different than the Grand Desert. Although I think the Grand Desert is great for what it is. Just not a place for a few people for just a few nights, especially without a car.
 

timeos2

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Am I the only one that feels like there may be a bit too much reading into the very breif statement that "The more than 12,000 existing owners of the property will continue to enjoy the full ownership rights and benefits associated with their original purchase from Westgate Resorts."

First, this could just be press misinterpretation of the assurance that current owners will retain their ownership rights (i.e. what the deed guarantees them to, not necessarily continued affiliation with Westgate). Second, even if the assumption is correct, I would not be surprised to see HGVC offer Westgate owners an opportunity to convert their weeks over the HGVC at a cost.
The article in the Las Vegas Review makes it clear that Hilton - through a third party management - will be in control at the resort.
"Terms were not immediately disclosed. A Resort Finance unit, Lantern Asset Management of Dallas, will provide management services."

Pay MORE to join HGVC? It is a great club BUT these poor owners already paid tens of thousands they'll never get back for a pig in the poke. Few if any will want to spend more.

I LOVE the ""I'm very frugal," Siegel said quote from King David in the Orlando Sentinel article. 90,000 square foot mansion - up from a "mere" 20,000 square feet. Yeah, that's a frugal guy alright.

What a weasel.
 

timeos2

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Wyndham's loss after Desert Blue seems to have disappeared. Less than a half mile apart and I am sure the points would be a lot higher but would be a lot different than the Grand Desert. Although I think the Grand Desert is great for what it is. Just not a place for a few people for just a few nights, especially without a car.
Grand Desert is two (long) blocks from the strip. Desert Blue would have been in a desolate, basically industrial area near (by about 1/4 mile) the RIO but WAY farther from the strip in the middle of nowhere. If it was built it might rival PHT of Terror as the worst timeshare in Vegas albeit for two different reasons. (Management, exterior design, incomplete building & sales in one case - location in the other).
 

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Pay MORE to join HGVC? It is a great club BUT these poor owners already paid tens of thousands they'll never get back for a pig in the poke. Few if any will want to spend more.
I think you underestimate the timeshare industry. Many have no clue what a bath they have taken on their purchase...just look at some of the resale ads. There's a listing on eBay for a 4 bdrm for $150,000 - don't worry the seller knows it's worth "about $250,000" but is happy to take the 150K. Only those who've tried to sell realize what trouble they are in. Further, there are PLENTY of examples of people who've already dropped tens of thousands, dropping a bit more to join HGVC...that's what the affiliate program has been all about. If offered at a reasonable price, why not drop some cash to get away from Wastegate and maybe increase your usage options via HGVC? What you've alreay lost, is lost. (not that I am advocating this, just that there are probably plenty of the 12,000 that HGVC could convert).


It's interesting to note that RFA (who bought the controlling interest) is also behind MarBrisa in CA. Looks like a pretty cozy relationship with HGVC.
 

dougp26364

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Pay MORE to join HGVC? It is a great club BUT these poor owners already paid tens of thousands they'll never get back for a pig in the poke. Few if any will want to spend more.
I'm sure many will pay the joiner fee. The last I knew, affiliated resort owners were only charged $695, or something like that, to join the HGVC points system. If that continues to be the case then it's a pretty low price of admission to one of the best points based reservations systems in the indurstry.

Using the tried and true HGVC method of sales, they'll own in Las Vegas but will have easy access into the HGVC properties in Hawaii. If the points structure for the tower units is considered premium and they're alloted more points than the standard units, tower owners could convert to HGVC and have equal access into HGVC Grand Wiakakian Tower in HNL. It would be an attractive offer to those who have been burned by Westgate.

Don't underestimate the attraction of points based exchange systems vs weeks based systems. Once presented, for some it's a no brainer to join just for the flexiblity. We purchased into HGVC for their flexablity, we converted our Polo Towers weeks into DRI's THE Club for nearly $3,000 and we converted our Marriott weeks to their Destinations Club program. To date we have made excellent usage out of all three programs and are at the break even point as far as savings vs cost with both the DRI and Marriott conversions.

Of course it depends on how HGVC presents any conversion offer and the cost associated with that conversion but, if the cost were right I could see a relatively higher percentage (20% or greater) of conversions in the next couple of years.
 

tahoeJoe

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Wheres the 3rd?

Glad we'll have more options, but for the love of jeebus, can we get out of the same three states? Two of the three latest acquisitions are in locations where HGVC is already operating.
OK, 1) South Carolina, 2) Nevada, where is the 3rd acquisition?
 

pedro47

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I'm sure many will pay the joiner fee. The last I knew, affiliated resort owners were only charged $695, or something like that, to join the HGVC points system. If that continues to be the case then it's a pretty low price of admission to one of the best points based reservations systems in the indurstry.


Don't underestimate the attraction of points based exchange systems vs weeks based systems. Once presented, for some it's a no brainer to join just for the flexiblity. We purchased into HGVC for their flexablity, we converted our Polo Towers weeks into DRI's THE Club for nearly $3,000 and we converted our Marriott weeks to their Destinations Club program. To date we have made excellent usage out of all three programs and are at the break even point as far as savings vs cost with both the DRI and Marriott conversions.

Of course it depends on how HGVC presents any conversion offer and the cost associated with that conversion but, if the cost were right I could see a relatively higher percentage (20% or greater) of conversions in the next couple of years.
$695 is a great price to join a point based exchange system in my opinion.
 
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