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[2016] Aspen Highlands Ritz owners suing

GreenTea

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Sounds like those two folks don't want a bunch of Marriott riff-raff running around and spoiling their fun.

Not to add to their spoiled fun.....a fractional ownership IS a time share. They just have more weeks.
 

BocaBoy

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"The owners of a fractional unit at Ritz-Carlton Club at Aspen Highlands are suing a collection of hotel operators and affiliates alleging their properties’ value has plummeted 80 percent because of new membership terms."

http://www.aspentimes.com/news/1997...rriott-affiliation-dilutes-ritz-carlton-brand

Some people would apparently rather lose everything and go belly up than affiliate with the trashy MVCI program. RC owners get a boatload of points that they can use to exchange IF THEY WANT. It is just an additional option for them. I think the real problem is that these owners do not want peasants like us to stay at their properties. Thy claim their value went down because of the Marriott affiliation but they affiliated because they couldn't sell anything at the prices they were asking. The value was lost long before the Marriott affiliation.
 
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gblotter

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I frankly don't blame the Aspen Highlands owners. Maui, Bachelor Gulch, Jupiter, Kauai Lagoons, and even San Francisco prove that Ritz Carlton Club is a failed business model. That really sucks for the Ritz owners who paid so much money. Some of these owners (Bachelor Gulch, Jupiter, etc) collectively found an exit path that gave them more control over their own destiny. Unfortunately, the Aspen Highlands owners are stuck with fewer options because Marriott owns most of the inventory and thus controls most of the voting power over decisions.

The courts will decide if their complaints have legal merit, but I sympathize with these owners. If I paid big bucks for the promise of exclusive access to luxury properties, I would be upset too at my diminished value and reduced options. That sucks, but that's life. There are countless examples of real estate investments that don't always work out as planned. Through the Destinations Club, at least Aspen Highlands has financial viability which allows these owner to still enjoy the beauty of their home resort. The same was not true for Maui.
 

SueDonJ

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Some people would apparently rather lose everything and go belly up than affiliate with the trashy MVCI program. RC owners get a boatload of points that they can use to exchange IF THEY WANT. It is just an additional option for them. I think the real problem is that these owners do not want peasants like us to stay at their properties. Thy claim their value went down because of the Marriott affiliation but they affiliated because they couldn't sell anything at the prices they were asking. The value was lost long before the Marriott affiliation.

I don't disagree generally but I can sort of understand this point of view from some of the RC owners based on how their product was marketed to them especially as to the exclusivity. At least a portion of the DC availability is coming from RC owners, though, when they exchange their intervals for DC Points - so it's disingenuous for those owners to claim that any perceived value loss isn't at least partially their doing.

I expect that eventually at least a few owners at all of the Ritz-Carlton Residence Clubs will be in litigation with MI and MVW, even if only as a chain reaction thing. What makes Vail unique under the RC umbrella is that relative to the DC, Vail isn't classified as a "Luxury Property" because intervals had been conveyed to the DC Trust prior to that classification being defined and administered differently. In that respect Vail basically is more like the timeshares than the other fractional clubs.
 
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vikingsholm

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gblotter or anyone, do you have a link to the information that shows how much of the Aspen inventory Marriott owns?

This is what I found on a marriott-vacations.com site from a search yielding info from early 2015, and it seems to indicate a higher percent of member owners:

"Currently, more than 87% of the inventory at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands, is Member owned and the remaining is available for purchase. A broker from The Lore Institute has been engaged to assist with sell out of the remaining inventory. As a result, we are extending a unique opportunity to our Ritz-Carlton Destination Club Members to acquire a Membership at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands, at preferred pricing."
 

gblotter

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gblotter or anyone, do you have a link to the information that shows how much of the Aspen inventory Marriott owns?

This is what I found on a marriott-vacations.com site from a search yielding info from early 2015, and it seems to indicate a higher percent of member owners:

"Currently, more than 87% of the inventory at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands, is Member owned and the remaining is available for purchase. A broker from The Lore Institute has been engaged to assist with sell out of the remaining inventory. As a result, we are extending a unique opportunity to our Ritz-Carlton Destination Club Members to acquire a Membership at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands, at preferred pricing."
Pardon me for adding confusion to the discussion.

I believe it is Vail - not Aspen - that has a lot of RC inventory owned by Marriott. I was mistaken.
 

GregT

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Pardon me for adding confusion to the discussion.

I believe it is Vail - not Aspen - that has a lot of RC inventory owned by Marriott. I was mistaken.

You are correct, the Trust is loaded with Vail inventory. I don't believe there is any Aspen in it.

Best,

Greg
 

dioxide45

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I am not sure that the affiliation with the MVC product is what cause the 80% loss in value. It is more likely the failed business model which was never really viable in the first place. If they removed the affiliation, would their values suddenly go up? I doubt it.
 

dioxide45

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Some people would apparently rather lose everything and go belly up than affiliate with the trashy MVCI program. RC owners get a boatload of points that they can use to exchange IF THEY WANT. It is just an additional option for them. I think the real problem is that these owners do not want peasants like us to stay at their properties. Thy claim their value went down because of the Marriott affiliation but they affiliated because they couldn't sell anything at the prices they were asking. The value was lost long before the Marriott affiliation.

It seems that the people that bought in to Ritz Carlton are a similar demographic as those that go yachting. Paying a hundred thousand or more for a week long yacht charter. Where those that frequent MVC properties are more mainline cruisers.
 

SueDonJ

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I am not sure that the affiliation with the MVC product is what cause the 80% loss in value. It is more likely the failed business model which was never really viable in the first place. If they removed the affiliation, would their values suddenly go up? I doubt it.

I wonder what the numbers are of owners who are electing DC Points usage for portions of their RC fractionals, as opposed to the number who formerly or still are electing II exchanges. The opportunity has always been there for us "timeshare riffraff" to exchange in but II availability has always been scarce. Maybe the DC Explorer Club (read: similarly "exclusive") options are more attractive to the RC owners than II ever was, leading to more availability for timeshare owners exchanging in??

I agree with you that there are other economic issues at play with the RC value loss, but I wonder about the DC v. II exchange-by-RC-owners comparison.
 

GregT

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I wonder what the numbers are of owners who are electing DC Points usage for portions of their RC fractionals, as opposed to the number who formerly or still are electing II exchanges. The opportunity has always been there for us "timeshare riffraff" to exchange in but II availability has always been scarce. Maybe the DC Explorer Club (read: similarly "exclusive") options are more attractive to the RC owners than II ever was, leading to more availability for timeshare owners exchanging in??

I agree with you that there are other economic issues at play with the RC value loss, but I wonder about the DC v. II exchange-by-RC-owners comparison.

I would speculate that for owners that do not use their interval, 80% of them rent them and 20% trade for DC Points (and nobody uses II). I see a fair amount of rental listings on redweek.com at pretty high prices -- and the rental ads close.

I was also surprised that the Ritz properties don't command as many Elected Points as I expected. I worked it out at one point for Ritz STT and estimated that the 2BR Suite owner gets about 4,000 points for a week (2BR Villa and 3BR Villa get more).

So....I don't think Points are overly compelling and the rental market is decent. But...just my speculation.

Best,

Greg
 

BocaBoy

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I am not sure that the affiliation with the MVC product is what cause the 80% loss in value. It is more likely the failed business model which was never really viable in the first place. If they removed the affiliation, would their values suddenly go up? I doubt it.

My point exactly. RC couldn't sell many of their fractional ownership intervals to the public and the owners could not have resold at the higher prices either. The value was gone long before the MVCI affiliation began. Kind of like a football team blaming its loss on a 4th quarter fumble when they were behind by 30 points after three quarters.
 

SueDonJ

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I would speculate that for owners that do not use their interval, 80% of them rent them and 20% trade for DC Points (and nobody uses II). I see a fair amount of rental listings on redweek.com at pretty high prices -- and the rental ads close.

I was also surprised that the Ritz properties don't command as many Elected Points as I expected. I worked it out at one point for Ritz STT and estimated that the 2BR Suite owner gets about 4,000 points for a week (2BR Villa and 3BR Villa get more).

So....I don't think Points are overly compelling and the rental market is decent. But...just my speculation.

Best,

Greg

In the suit they're alleging that Marriott's foray into the Destination Club, specifically the timeshare owners being able to access R-C Aspen Highlands intervals, is what's driving the devaluation. MVW must be getting access to Aspen units somehow, if what's alleged is true? Are they using the intervals that are given up by R-C Owners for rentals through Marriott?
 

Padad

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In the suit they're alleging that Marriott's foray into the Destination Club, specifically the timeshare owners being able to access R-C Aspen Highlands intervals, is what's driving the devaluation. MVW must be getting access to Aspen units somehow, if what's alleged is true? Are they using the intervals that are given up by R-C Owners for rentals through Marriott?

I think the Marriott timeshare owners are using units MVC owns (they were never purchased on the primary market). Marriott probably owns enough to control the real estate trust.

The units the RC owners don't use are available for the other owners to use on a deeply discounted per diem rate (maybe $250/ night vs $750 rack rate)

In addition to paying in the high 6 figures for their units, the RC owners also are paying in the 5 digits for maintenance fees.
 

SkyBlueWaters

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Location, location, location...not sure why it didn't work here. Several times I was tempted to buy here and have to remind myself about the $15,000 MF in perpetuity.
 

saabman

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Location, location, location...not sure why it didn't work here. Several times I was tempted to buy here and have to remind myself about the $15,000 MF in perpetuity.

The place is gorgeous but the location is lousy IMO and there is very limited scenic views. Too remote for my taste. Much rather stay in town --St. Regis, Little Nell, Jerome--where the restaurant selection is huge and there's action.
 

dioxide45

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In the suit they're alleging that Marriott's foray into the Destination Club, specifically the timeshare owners being able to access R-C Aspen Highlands intervals, is what's driving the devaluation. MVW must be getting access to Aspen units somehow, if what's alleged is true? Are they using the intervals that are given up by R-C Owners for rentals through Marriott?

Or it is the 20% that trade their intervals for DC points. I think MVW also has a lot of unsold inventory there. They are probably bulk banking it in to the MVC Exchange Company if it doesn't rent on Marriott.com.
 

elleny76

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LOL.. that's a good one..:rofl:

Now ...
1.) MVC are the ones that owns "points' only right? and can be bough by resale?
2.) Are all the RC properties available to book with the MVC?...or just the Aspen?
Thanks





It seems that the people that bought in to Ritz Carlton are a similar demographic as those that go yachting. Paying a hundred thousand or more for a week long yacht charter. Where those that frequent MVC properties are more mainline cruisers.
 

SkyBlueWaters

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Some people would apparently rather lose everything and go belly up than affiliate with the trashy MVCI program. RC owners get a boatload of points that they can use to exchange IF THEY WANT. It is just an additional option for them. I think the real problem is that these owners do not want peasants like us to stay at their properties. Thy claim their value went down because of the Marriott affiliation but they affiliated because they couldn't sell anything at the prices they were asking. The value was lost long before the Marriott affiliation.

So true...
 
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Padad

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Location, location, location...not sure why it didn't work here. Several times I was tempted to buy here and have to remind myself about the $15,000 MF in perpetuity.

I've wrestled many times with purchasing at the Ritz residences in St Thomas, the perpetual $12k annual MF stops me every time.
I'll look into the exchange with the points at Marriott
 

Bill4728

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So now 200 of the 700 owners have joined the suit That seems like alot of owners to me
 

K2Quick

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"The suit suggests that the fractional-units, which are deeded and come with condo association fees, are now more like timeshare units because of the Ritz-Carlton Club’s recent affiliation with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp."

I have to laugh at the implication that the fractional concept is somehow superior in nature to timeshares. Fractionals are timeshares. You just own four weeks per year in this particular concept instead of one - and there's a good chance that two of those four weeks are pretty worthless mud weeks. What the owners are really angry about is that, like timeshare owners, they are realizing that what they bought from the developer is worth a fraction of what they paid.
 
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