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Florida in January--Fifth Generation Thread

JLB

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The following is the fifth generation of my Florida in January thread. The 4th one just seems to have disappeared.

The next post will be the post that started the 4th generation thread. After that I will add some intervening posts to bring it up to date.
 

JLB

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From here:

http://www.timeshareforums.com/showthread.php?t=62&page=1
- - - - - -
http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137


I am starting it again, courtesy of www.tstips.com.


02-18-2005, 07:39 AM
JLB
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Daily Florida RCI Search
Many of you know that I search RCI for Florida the next two Januarys every day I'm home. I have since RCI.com began, and I have recorded the results of the searches for SW FL for January since March 27, 2002.

Today the Florida subareas changed (from what was there yesterday), including two Ft. Myers/Sanibel/Captiva. The subareas changed two weekends ago, during the weekly Saturday night maintenace, and several were added at that time. Since yesterday the subareas have changed again.

You would have to be pretty knowledgable about Florida geography, or have a map at your side, to be able to keep up with them.

Generally speaking, the drastic reduction in availability of SW Florida resorts for January, something that occurred a couple years ago (I can document the exact time if you like) has not improved. With a top trader I am only seeing 2 for next January and 3 for January, 2007. All are lesser resorts.

To compensate, I am now searching "Resorts on the Beach" for each January, and once or twice a week "Florida", so that I can keep track of more than just SW.

Logic tells me other areas will begin to suffer shortages sooner or later.
 

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http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137


Here's the original OP for the fourth generation of this thread:

posted 05-14-2005 06:29

Time for pruning.

Time to bring the meaningful posts over to a new thread. This is necessary because as threads get too long, the forum does not handle them well. Eventually they will be lost.

I will be pulling old stuff over, and you can, too, but here is where we started on the third generation, July 25, 2004:


Officially for RCI, SW Florida is a Subarea that begins at Englewood/Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda and goes south to Marco Island.
I have been familiar with, interested in, in love with SW Florida since going there during my previous incarnation in the 1970's. Initially my interest was in Ft. Myers Beach, but eventually branched out to include Sanibel/Captiva, Bonita Beach, Vanderbilt Beach, Naples, Marco Island, and, yes, Lehigh Acres.

In my new incarnation, we began timesharing in SW Florida, Weeks 1 and 2 each year, in the early 90's. In those days, with no RCI.com, the method of searching involved ongoing searches and relying on the word of a VC. We typically wound up with Lehigh Acres, and with one of the crappy units across the road at Lahaina Inn one week in the early 90's.

With the advent of RCI.com, a better trading week, TUG, and a dose of reality leading to semi-enlightenment, about five years ago we discovered that there are many wonderful resorts in SW FL and they really are/were available.

With RCI.com I began searching SW FL for each January I could, every day I was home. I began recording my searches on March 27, 2002, and have recorded every search since. No, I did not have a crystal ball to know that our best trading week would suddenly lose ALL trading power and I would need my documentation to present to RCI for a remedy. And I had no idea that two years later we would be concerned about prime weeks going directly to rentals.

I believe why I started recording my searches was because of TUG. There were several very nice, very informative members (most of whom seem to no longer be here) who gave advice on areas they were familiar with. As good as their advice was and as well-meaning as they appeared to be, what I found lacking was specifics, empirical data, so I adopted SW FL to study.

I sometimes say that if each of us would do this, for a Subarea we like, it would be a service to all of TUG.

So much for the idle chatter. For those of you who are viewing this for the first time, I just wanted you to be aware of the extent of time and study I have put into this. I have not yet found any simple explanations for the results.

Here's what I've seen:

January, 2004: Search began 3/27/02 with 10 resorts available. The peaks came in July and October, 2002, with 14 resorts. That would have been at 18 and 15 months out. At a year out (January, 2003) it was running 8 and 9 resorts. At six months out it was down to zero to 2.

January, 2005: Search began 3/19/03, with 11 resorts available. The peak came in June and August, 2003, and held through October, with 13 resorts. At 13 months out it was running 5-6, but at a year out it was zero to 3, and never recovered.

January, 2006: Search began 1/28/04, with 2 resorts. In 2/04, it was up to 6, but hasn't done much since. It has hit as high as 9, in June, at 19 months out, the timeframe when the previous searches began their peak. Now, in July, 2004, it has been running only 5-7 resorts.

General observations: First, there has never been any wild and radical fluctuation from one day to the next, as some might lead you to believe. It has seldom changed more than one resort in a day, often times with that one reappearing within the next two days. Several times it has gone many days, sometimes more than a month, with no change whatsoever.

Obviously, there has been a reduction in the number of resorts available.

This was refelected in the 2005 search, when at a year out the typical surge from people Spacebanking in December and January, when fees are paid and trading power is being maximized, did not occur. It was more like what you should see at six months out, 0-3, and never rebounded.

January, 2006, is more obvious. The numbers have simply never been there.

As alarming, the resorts that are not appearing for 2006 are the better resorts. In previous years I saw an occasional Gold Crown, or RID, which I either took or referred to others. Some may remember when I posted Club Regency on Sightings, a Gold Crown I could not take because we already had another Gold Crown!!!! When we changed our plans, I did take it, since it lingered on RCI.com for quite awhile. Club Regency then appeared again and so did Charter Club of Marco and a couple on Sanibel.

But, nothing like that for 2005 or 2006.

So, there it is. The numbers are down. The quality is down. Even searching every day, starting two years out.

- - - - - -
Added 7/26: To give me and mine an alternative, and to share that with others, on March 10, 2004, I began the daily search of "Resorts on the Beach", mainly for January 2006, but also for 2005.

Amazingly, most other areas of Florida do not have the problem I see in SW FL. The Keys, of course, are tough, but I was able to snag a decent place there for Week 1, 2006, something we have always wanted to do,much likeI used to be able to do in SW.

I have seen as many as 55 choices for ROTB for 1/06 and almost as many for 1/05. Some really, really nice places.

Today there were 46 for 2006 and 43 for 2005 (Yes, even at this late date--five months out!).

Go figure!
 

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07-14-2005
JLB

Now, around 18 months out, has traditionally been a peak of availability.

Today Resorts on the Beach for January, 2007, is the highest it's been. At 56 resorts it is 10 higher than this date last month, and the highest yet. Compared with this date last year, that is actually up, from 50.

SW Florida for January, 2007, is at 7, and the highest it has been. At 18 months out in the past, on this day of the year, there have been:
2004-6
2003-12
2003-14

What is missing the last two years is the nicer resorts, which virtually never appear now. As you know I have been trying to ascertain where they have gone, and I have not.
 

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What's left in Resorts on the Beach for January, 2006, is located as follows:

Panhandle: 6~~~40% of the resorts
NE: 22~~~51% of the resorts
SE: 1~~~2% of the resorts
 

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JLB

Resorts on the Beach for January, '06, is still shrinking and for '07 still growing. For '07 there are some nice settlefors available.
 

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JLB

Resorts on the Beach for January, 2006, took a big hit this week. A little over 20% of what was there at the beginning on the week is now gone. Now it's down to 26 resorts. We're looking at three months out now.

It had been at basically the same level for several months, with just minor fluctuation.

For some reason, Resorts on the Beach for January, 2007, also took a pretty good hit the past week. It's down to 62, at 15 months out.
 

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One of My Occassional Summaries

All figures for SW Florida:

January, 2004--Peak availability was 14 resorts, at 18 and 16 months out. At a year out there were 7-10 available.

January, 2005--Peak was 12 resorts, at 21 months out, and 13 resorts, at 17 and 18 months out. At one year out there were only 1 or 2 available.

January, 2006--Peak was 9 resorts, at 21 months out. At a year out there were 2-5 available.

January, 2007--Peak was 9 resorts, at 21, 20 and 16 months out.

The lesser resorts, what I refer to as the normal suspects, are the ones that continue to be available. The better resorts, the GCs and RIDs are the ones that have disappeared. For January, 2004, there were GCs and RIDs on the beach available 9 times. For subsequent years just once of twice. For January, 2007, only two have been available.
 

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JLB

Here's a couple of conclusions that tend to go against the conventional wisdom.

First, there is a surge of deposits around 1-year out, to maximize trading power. I've never seen it. By one year out the availability is in a decline. The bulk of those who know they are going to deposit seem to do so at 15-20 months out.

Second, availability is highly volatile with a lot of day-to-day fluctuation. Searching early and daily, the opposite is the case. Some searches go for days, weeks, even months, with very little change.
 

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Now, a month before check-in, the less desireable areas~~~NE and Panhandle~~~are being taken.

12/8/05

Resorts on the Beach for January, 2006, was down to ten yesterday. A week ago and for several months before that it was in the 20s and 30s.
 

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Last year on 12/19/04 an amazing amount of availability suddenly appeared for the next two check-in dates, stuff that I had not seen in the previous 23 months of doing the same searches every day. Madge said it came from a variety of sources.

on 12/16/04 I had seen only 8 resorts and on 12/19 there were 20-some. Stuff would get taken during the day and then the next morning there was a whole lot more. That went on until we left for our January Florida vacations. it got as high as 50 resorts.

Im noticing that starting to happen again, nice stuff that should have been taken a long time ago, if it had appeared then, now appearing each day, for the next two check-in dates.

If you want to take a nice Florida vacation on short notice, start watching it.
 

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I recently posted a summary here that I did not also post over yonder, so it is lost.

I had analyzed the number of Gold Crown Resorts on the Beach in SW Florida I saw early on in my study, for January, 2004, and compared it to 2005 and 2006. It has been declining.

After the first year of searching for January, 2007, Gold Crowns in SW Florida I have only seen two, and they were taken the first day they appeared.
 

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Jim-Shouldn't we expect a surge of January 2006 inventory as RCI makes available unrentable deposits soon? Or has RCI done a better job this year of marketing prime inventory? I'm looking for a week 3 in Ft. Myers rather then use my confirmed week in Sarasota....let me know if you see anything good.
 

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You're reading my mind. (A short read) ;) I just came here to talk about this.

Just this week over yonder we have been talking about this. It appears that it is happening again.

http://www.timeshareforums.com/showthread.php?t=3300&page=1&pp=10

I talked about it in great detail last year between 12/19 and the day we left for Florida, coincidentally a 3-bedroom at OL for 1/1.

My mention of it here now does not do justice to the amazing amount of stuff that showed up in the 14-day window. I was totally shocked and astounded. In the lost thread I also had posted Madge's explanation and the explanation I got from Feedback.

Most of it was typical RCI-speak, but there was information important to owners.

First, ongoing searches end 14 days before the requested check-in date, unless the member specifically requests that it continue. Most would not know to do that and most would give up if they don't have something two weeks before their check-in date. Most would think that means there won't be anything. (keep in mind I am going from memory on what I was told a year ago).

That means whatever goes into the Spacebank from whatever source will only be available to those who do a search, either on-line or through a Guide, in that 2-week period.

Secondly, Madge did mention a variety of sources like late deposits, cancellations, developer inventory, and rentals that did not get taken. I had seen a big 14-day window for Hawaii before, because of a historically heavy last-minute cancellation rate, but not for Florida.

In any event, stuff that I had been looking for daily for two years, and never saw, suddenly became available in the 14-day window.

The same stuff that was appearing for exchanges was also available through Extra Vacations, and that appears to be happening again also.

So, if anyone is looking for a last-minute Florida vacation, start looking. Let's just call it the Christmas Clearance Sale.



ttt said:
Jim-Shouldn't we expect a surge of January 2006 inventory as RCI makes available unrentable deposits soon? Or has RCI done a better job this year of marketing prime inventory? I'm looking for a week 3 in Ft. Myers rather then use my confirmed week in Sarasota....let me know if you see anything good.
 

ronandjoan

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This was a great synopsis

Thanks Jim for this nice review - it helps us a lot
 

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de nada

Anyone who needs specifics, or to be added to my daily searches of Florida, which I do for others also, let me know by email.

Together we have been able to find some very nice exchanges over the past few years.
 

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JLB said:
Let's just call it the Christmas Clearance Sale.
All of Florida for the next two weeks:

64 Resorts have availability
 

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All of Florida for the next two weeks today:

73 Resorts have availability

Some really nice stuff.
 

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They're going:

52 Resorts have availability
 

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Resorts on the Beach for January, 2006, two weeks from now, are going fast. it is down to 9, all in the NE.

There does not appear to be a lot of extra inventory in the backroom to restock what is being taken for all of Florida for the next two weeks.

Late yesterday there were:

48 Resorts have availability

Since I can't look for this coming Friday any more, this morning I added another week. Still, the total is not much higher:

50 Resorts have availability, adding another week

For the same period, the two Florida areas on Extra Vacations are:

Extra Vacations:
29 Resorts have availability
30 Resorts have availability


Despite the fact that more resorts are not appearing, there are more desirable units within the resorts that are.
 

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ROTB for 1/2006 is down to 4.

For 1/2007, a year from now, SW FL is 8 (all lesser resorts) and ROTB is 56. ROTB peaked at 68 on 9/10/05, 16 months ahead. That's about normal, 15-20 months.

I'm following the 14-day window for all of Florida for the rest of the year, to see what might happen.
 

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The 14-Day Window Kicks In

I forecasted it and then gave up on it when it did not happen around the 18th or 19th.

But it kicked in today:

Florida/Florida 12/30/05-1/16/06
12/13/05: 24 Resorts have availability
12/14/05: 25 Resorts have availability
12/15/05: 21 Resorts have availability
12/16/05: 25 Resorts have availability
12/17/05: 27 Resorts have availability
12/18/05: 26 Resorts have availability
12/19/05: 24 Resorts have availability
12/20/05: 17 Resorts have availability
12/21/05: 20 Resorts have availability
12/22/05: 18 Resorts have availability
12/23/05: 16 Resorts have availability
12/24/05: 37 Resorts have availability

Florida/Resorts on the Beach 12/30/05-1/16/06
12/13/05: 9 Resorts have availability
12/14/05: 8 Resorts have availability
12/15/05: 4 Resorts have availability
12/16/05: 6 Resorts have availability
12/17/05: 4 Resorts have availability
12/19/05: 9 Resorts have availability
12/20/05: 8 Resorts have availability
12/21/05: 8 Resorts have availability
12/22/05: 8 Resorts have availability
12/23/05: 8 Resorts have availability
12/24/05: 18 Resorts have availability
 

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F/F
12/24/05: Noon: 30 Resorts 6:00PM: 22 Resorts
12/25/05: 8:00AM: 44 Resorts Noon: 43 6:00PM: 35
12/26/05: 8:00AM: 26 Resorts 4:00PM: 12 Resorts

F/ROTB
12/24/05: Noon: 13 Resorts 6:00 PM: 10 Resorts
12/25/05: 8:00AM: 22 Resorts Noon: 20 6:00PM: 16
12/26/05: 8:00AM: 13 Resorts 4:00PM: 5 Resorts
 
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JLB

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The turn of the year has not produced any changes. There is still a shortage of the better resorts for 2007, and now 2008.

I am engaged in a complex, lengthy and interesting discusssion with Inside Guy as to why the better resorts that I saw for 2004 and 2005 never showed up for 2006 and 2007. I believe he said that those resorts never showed up for him in the first place, that they certainly always matched to ongoing searches. There are many factors involved in the RCI system that only insiders are aware of.

Part of his position is that we are fortunate to be able to trade into the ones we do see, as they are very nice resorts, albeit not the upper crust, and ones that his family enjoys. I do not disagree with that assessment as we enjoy some of the lesser SW Florida resorts also, and feel uncomfortable, not fully relaxed at some of the larger and pretentious resorts. Conversely, our most vacationy, relaxing vacations have been st some lesser resorts.

But that does not help answer why some are no longer available.
 
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I am not precluded that there is anything amiss with the reduced availabilty.

It could be something as simple as the HGVC owners wising up, realizing the least value for their January ownership would be to give it to RCI. Take those 15 resorts out of the picture and SW Florida becomes pretty limited.

Or, it could be that RCI has improved their system, so that deposited weeks no longer escape ongoing searches, which might have been a possibility previously.

It could be that I am now seeing exactly what I should have been seeing then, or perhaps more than I have a right to be seeing ever, since no one else who has ever assisted me has ever seen more and most see much less.
 
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