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Marriott Abound

dsmrp

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The TBA information will not change my opinion that the timeshare companies have too many levers to screw up the individual owner.
If you really feel this way, why do you continue to own timeshare(s) ? You must have found value despite the risk of getting "screwed". If the risk is higher now, you can avoid it by getting out. I prefer to mitigate it, by looking at other ways I can use my units which are of value to me, compared to hotel rates. A risk is a possibility that something might occur. It doesn't mean that it will.
 

CalGalTraveler

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MVC is clearly intending to utilize more levers than Vistana ever did. The Vistana system never allowed non-owners access until 8 months. II deposits were never the best weeks, units nor high volume as MVC is proposing.

Abound changes to the prime week owner pool to exploit a loophole designed to support II deposits were not part of the original agreement. Perhaps the way they manage Abound home week withdrawals is not terrible as many believe.

But I worry about the next change ("BBound")... and the next ("CBound Luxury OF Trust") We know they are profit-driven. What is there to legally to stop them every 3 - 5 years from creating new exchanges and new trusts until there is no home deeded availability left except the leftovers. We will ride this ride as long as it is viable and fits our travel plans. If they give us an offer we cannot refuse, we may ride that ride. Or we will exit and move on. Our resale OF deed was a fraction of retail, we have ownership in other TS systems so we have little risk if we do nothing and continue to use or rent it out because that option is free.
 
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timsi

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If you really feel this way, why do you continue to own timeshare(s) ? You must have found value despite the risk of getting "screwed". If the risk is higher now, you can avoid it by getting out. I prefer to mitigate it, by looking at other ways I can use my units which are of value to me, compared to hotel rates. A risk is a possibility that something might occur. It doesn't mean that it will.
Just because you find some value in your units it does not mean you have to accept everything they through at you or just walk away. Thank you for your question. I think I pay the fair share for my vacations to Marriott by paying thousands of dollars in MF every year, you bet I want to maximize that and make sure I do not get screwed.

Comments like yours confirm to me why the timeshare companies get away with almost everything.
 

Eric B

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I truly enjoy being an informed consumer and maximizing the efficiency of my vacation dollars, but recognize some of the great deals I get are due to the marketing expenses developers make. I don't own the most efficient weeks in Vistana for long term use, but it does strike me that I am still doing quite well with inexpensive SO bookings into great resorts, recognizing that my MF dollars are only paying for what I own - it's tough to say I'm getting less than my VSN dues worth out of the exchanges within the system. I kind of hope that Marriott keeps up its money grubbing ways because they benefit me, even as a resale owner. Others may feel differently and things may change, of course, but that's the nature of TS ownership.
 

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MVC is clearly intending to utilize more levers than Vistana ever did. The Vistana system never allowed non-owners access until 8 months. II deposits were never the best weeks, units nor high volume as MVC is proposing.

Abound changes to the prime week owner pool to exploit a loophole designed to support II deposits were not part of the original agreement. Perhaps the way they manage Abound home week withdrawals is not terrible as many believe.

But I worry about the next change... and the next. We know they are profit-driven. What is there to legally to stop them every 3 - 5 years from creating new exchanges and new trusts until there is no home deeded availability left except the leftovers. We will ride this ride as long as it is viable and fits our travel plans. If they give us an offer we cannot refuse, we may ride that ride. Or we will exit and move on. Our resale OF deed was a fraction of retail, we have ownership in other TS systems so we have little risk if we do nothing and continue to use or rent it out because that option is free.
It is an interesting situation if Marriott decided to use the clause regarding the bulk deposit. Is an exchange program that includes only resorts managed by Marriott external? How so, it does not really pass the smell test. Remember, the clause is: “Bulk Banking for Anticipated External and Starwood Preferred Guest Program Exchanges. Network Operator has the right, but not the obligation, to reserve a number of Floating Vacation Periods from time to time at any time after the beginning of the Home Resort Reservation Period, and any unreserved Vacation Period after the Home Resort Reservation Period, for the purpose of depositing the reserved Vacation Periods with an External Exchange Program on behalf of Network Members based on Network Operator's determination, in its sole discretion, of anticipated Network Member demand to access an External Exchange Program or the Starwood Preferred Guest Program.”



Instead of clarifying rules that are in clear conflict, instead of limiting the potential damage to a main feature of the timeshare ownership, the home resort priority, Marriott may have decided to extend a rule that had a limited scope and take it to a whole new level.
 

daviator

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There is nothing in Marriott that enticing for me, that frankly, I haven't already been to using II or some other means.
That's my conclusion as well. Being really blunt, if I'd wanted to buy into Marriott's crummy resorts, I would have. But I didn't, I bought Westin. So while I won't promise never to elect Abound points if we get a burning desire to travel someplace where MVC has a property, I doubt that will happen often, if at all.

I like having more options, options are always good. But I don't really see myself taking advantage of them, I am happy with the VSN properties. I wish there were plans for additional Westin Vacation Club properties, but I feel like that is unlikely. VSN is what it is and isn't likely to grow further. We're lucky we got Cabo.
 

kozykritter

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It seems odd to me to be angry at Marriott for trying to integrate its acquisition in a way that boosts its bottom line. Isn't that why companies make acquisitions to begin with? To fuel growth, cut costs by consolidation of administrative and back office functions, etc? It'd be different if Marriott did some kind of hostile takeover of SVO/Vistana but as we all know, Starwood spun off its timeshare unit and then immediately sold it to ILG. Marriott ostensibly had nothing to do with it, purchasing ILG years later. Maybe the anger should go back at Starwood as the initiator who cast us adrift. I count myself lucky that an industry-leading company like Marriott ended up with our beloved timeshare system as opposed to one that has a history of troubled acquisitions and questionable decisions affecting owners. It had to be someone, so thank goodness it was the likes of them.

Similar to others here, I am so happy that I chose Vistana to be my primary timeshare company and where I made my big investment. I've used II and other methods to access Marriott properties over time but I never considered investing any timeshare dollars in them as my Vistana ownership was meeting my needs. But now that they are linked up and inevitably becoming more and more integrated as time goes on, it made sense to me to make a small investment in Marriott points recently to have ownership in both systems and set myself up to fully participate in any changes that come along on either side while also protecting my big Vistana investment as consolidation continues. For me and how I own and how I travel, it all feels like upside as things progress, yet I recognize that that is not the same situation that everyone is experiencing. We can't deny that change has and will continue to happen and that it is beyond our control, so my plan is to roll with it and make whatever feels like the best decisions to fit my budget and travel desires and go from there.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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I do not think anger is the right word. Disappointed and losing trust because they are starting to act like Diamond. I thought MVC was a class act and I would expect better of them.

An announcement is an announcement in this age of social media. A lack of transparency with your customers who pay the bill's and believing they wont find out, or will not care indicates they are out of touch with their base.
 

kozykritter

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I do not think anger is the right word. Disappointed and losing trust because they are starting to act like Diamond. I thought MVC was a class act and I would expect better of them.

An announcement is an announcement in this age of social media. A lack of transparency with your customers who pay the bill's and believing they wont find out, or will not care indicates they are out of touch with their base.
Yes, I definitely agree they could have at least given us some kind of general outline communication back when they did the soft launch as opposed to just letting us hang and twist in the wind with speculation the only thing we have to hang on to. And why did MVC owners get some type of calming letter about Abound released to them recently while Vistana owners hear nothing? We are the ones that are actually having the biggest change in all of this so you would think that they would want to calm us down first! I really think they've sorely misjudged the sentiment of Vistana owners towards this whole process and Marriott in general, especially after the SPG integration debacle. It will likely cost them some revenue down the line.

That said, I wouldn't put them down anywhere near Diamond. Still a quality company, just with some out of touch communication decisions in this integration process.
 
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vikingsholm

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From my understanding after two recent sales presentations, it's the MVC Exchange Company that is being renamed Abound. This is the place where enrolled owners weeks inventory is put once they are elected for DP in a given year and it is the same place that Vistana weeks inventory will be put when they elect for DP. I don't think it's function is changing at all, just its name. Brian Miller made it clear in his recent letter that there will be no incremental fee for enrolled Marriott owners (weeks/DC trust) to enjoy this new usage option of booking Vistana inventory.

Technically the DC trust inventory remains separate, bookable only by those with DC trust points and is unaffected by this renaming. In practice according to people in the know here, most of the DC trust inventory is actually moved over to the exchange company at 12 months and available for booking by those with elected DP as well as those with DC trust points. Marriott could reduce or stop the DC trust inventory transfers at any point in the future. I believe if you own both DC trust points and enrolled weeks then Marriott treats all of the points you own/elect as eligible to book DC trust inventory. It's essentially the same thing they're doing with dual owners of Vistana and Marriott and is the reason that I recently bought 1000 DC trust points to create the hybrid account and have any of my elected Vistana points be DC inventory eligible now and in the future in case they do actually reduce or stop their current inventory transfers to the exchange company.
Thank you for answering.

I guess it still leaves me a bit confused though. I have never been confident that Marriott DC points are fully maintained separately for those with a trust designation vs those which came from legacy enrollment. Over the years, opinions have varied all over the map about this on TUG, and while Marriott tries to explain it, many have been skeptical and it's not transparent to us what goes on behind the scenes. At a certain point, I ceased to care, because as a legacy owner it seemed I most always had access to units that I wanted in the DC program if I planned ahead far enough.

So I'm not sure how all this will work additionally when Vistana units are thrown in the mix.

I may have to wait for the actual rollout to get the really specific questions that I have in my head answered, by experimenting with the new system myself.

Those questions are more about what specifically happens with:

Westin/Sheraton owners having access to Marriott DC (future Abound) units, and with what lead time restrictions or other types of restrictions.

Marriott owners having access to Westin/Sheraton deposits of units converted to points within Abound, and with what restrictions.

Owners who own both systems having access within Abound, and with what various restrictions.

--- and whether there are different types of ownerships in each system (like Marriott legacy enrolled vs. trust, and whatever Westin's different ownership categories are) that will impact the type of access and specific rules that impact ability to use those points for a reservation for owners with different portfolios in these systems.

If I'd had my preference, I would have preferred no merger at all. Only an integration with Hyatt would have gotten me interested.
 

tamu_bu

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Part of me wonders if there aren't some MVC moles in this forum charged with floating trial balloons in order to suss out the most likely objections from the smartest of the Vistana owner population thus preparing their marketing and identifying weak spots in their structure. [taps nose]
 

Hankmoon

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From what I can see, the distrust is unwarranted. Every Vistana owner will be allowed to use their deeded week exactly as before. If this changes, then this thread will have more meaning. Then the people who are threatending lawsuits can hire their attorneys.
 

CalGalTraveler

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Agree it is early and we need to see how it will work. However the notion that every Vistana owner will be allowed to use their deeded week exactly as before is TBD. Will be watching for the following:

1) If I will not be able to use my deeded week during the prime week I usually reserve because MVC starts pulling inventory for Abound milliseconds before owners are able to reasonably access at midnight. That's an unfair advantage beyond the odds of a regular owner and violates the spirit of the CC&Rs.

2) If I book at midnight and am not able to continue to get the best views because non-owners in Abound are taking those best views because of the millisecond timestamp, that's also a scenario where deeded owners will call foul.

3) If SO traders cannot find inventory as before so the value of the mandatory deed declines because they hobble the SO program.

OTOH, perhaps Abound could be good for deeded owners if it relieves some of the 1 - 50 pressure because some owners go elsewhere during high demand weeks, deeded owners get the weeks they want with fewer owners vying for prime weeks, and owners get the best room view priority with less competition since Abound would be a lower view priority for room placement. See the St. Thomas Thread in MVC.
 

timsi

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I do not understand how anyone can claim with a straight face that everything will stay the same. 12 months before check in a number of units will be available to members who are not owners at those resorts. How many such units will be available to non-owners? It will be determined by Marriott since they will make the allocation for each week. How will the allocation be made? You tell me.

As far as I am concerned Marriott can remove the home priority rule completely because the idea of exclusive rights to book during that period will be a joke.
 

jabberwocky

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OTOH, perhaps Abound could be good for deeded owners if it relieves some of the 1 - 50 pressure because some owners go elsewhere during high demand weeks, deeded owners get the weeks they want with fewer owners vying for prime weeks, and owners get the best room view priority with less competition since Abound would be a lower view priority for room placement. See the St. Thomas Thread in MVC.
One thing we haven't really considered is the differential that MVC places on prime weeks vs. low weeks. Booking through MVC via points will take a significant amount of points, so it may push Abound users to book in lower demand periods. Vistana owners who convert will be out of the pool, so it may get a bit easier to book some prime weeks on a relative basis.
 

CalGalTraveler

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Comments... confirm to me why the timeshare companies get away with almost everything.
This is a valid point. Just to compare, there was a rumor on the HGVC Max thread that Diamond Max owners could make OGS reservations at 10 months to HGVC ahead of the 9 month trading window (comparable to the SO window.) HGVC owners went bat sh*t crazy. So much so that the CEO responded and tamped down the rumor.

I have not heard much pushback from SO traders on MVCs proposed change so far which is much worse by affecting home priority. How will WKV owners respond when they find their DP points are insufficient for Hawaii and SO inventory dries up because Abound has grabbed most of the weeks that would have been deposited in the SO program?
 
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timsi

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One thing we haven't really considered is the differential that MVC places on prime weeks vs. low weeks. Booking through MVC via points will take a significant amount of points, so it may push Abound users to book in lower demand periods. Vistana owners who convert will be out of the pool, so it may get a bit easier to book some prime weeks on a relative basis.
What does history show in MVC? Are the high demand weeks easy to book because they cost more points or the differential is not high enough to discourage booking those weeks first?
 

jabberwocky

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What does history show in MVC? Are the high demand weeks easy to book because they cost more points or the differential is not high enough to discourage booking those weeks first?
I don’t own Marriott, but a prime week at WKORV OF 2BR is purportedly 9975 points. At around $0.63 per point in MF, that means an Abound points owner would be paying the equivalent of over $6k.

That is pretty hefty- I don’t see many people using their Abound points to book units for renting out to others, so that should eliminate some competition.
 

VacationForever

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Good point. I avoid high cost, i.e. points, requirements and as such I only book shoulder season. I try my luck with II for high season weeks.
 

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I don’t own Marriott, but a prime week at WKORV OF 2BR is purportedly 9975 points. At around $0.63 per point in MF, that means an Abound points owner would be paying the equivalent of over $6k.

That is pretty hefty- I don’t see many people using their Abound points to book units for renting out to others, so that should eliminate some competition.
At the same time, it is more important what happens in reality.
51 and 52 for example are very expensive in the Caribbean because a good chunk of the population who wants to escape winter can only travel during those weeks during the winter months. You gave an example that is extreme, the question is if 10% or 20% difference in price between the highest demand weeks vs other weeks within the same season will deter people from booking. I suspect it does not.
 

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This is a valid point. Just to compare, there was a rumor on the HGVC Max thread that Diamond Max owners could make OGS reservations at 10 months to HGVC ahead of the 9 month trading window (comparable to the SO window.) HGVC owners went bat sh*t crazy. So much so that the CEO responded and tamped down the rumor.

I have not heard much pushback from SO traders on MVCs proposed change so far which is much worse by affecting home priority. How will WKV owners respond when they find their DP points are insufficient for Hawaii and SO inventory dries up because Abound has grabbed most of the weeks that would have been deposited in the SO program?
Most HGVC owners would consider Diamond a downgrade so they probably pay more attention to the potential of losing any inventory to the Diamond owners. Vistana on the other hand is comparable to Marriott. My expectation is that a lot of Vistana owners that are actually looking forward to it will be disappointed in terms of inventory (fragmented in too many buckets) and cost.
Also the Marriott owners are more numerous and I suspect they outnumber the Vistana owners in the social media so sometimes it is hard to know what the "pure" Vistana owners actually think.
 

DavidnRobin

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Both, but not sure how there is Owner owned inventory at >12 months (except for fixed weeks).
I am looking at this as what HomeResort Owners can claim at 12-8 months - not Marriott/Vistana - it can only total 100%.
Going to be easy to tell from WKORV OF.

If it comes to it - going to contact a bunch of WKORV OF Owners (similar methods used for WSJ-VGV) and ask to document denials of use. I have about 8 so far (different dates) from online attempts. These owners IMO will be the most vocal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Well…
There appear to be 2023 June WKORV OFD 1Bd villas available.
Also some in May 2023.

Life maybe okay after all ;)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

daviator

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I do not understand how anyone can claim with a straight face that everything will stay the same. 12 months before check in a number of units will be available to members who are not owners at those resorts. How many such units will be available to non-owners? It will be determined by Marriott since they will make the allocation for each week. How will the allocation be made? You tell me.

As far as I am concerned Marriott can remove the home priority rule completely because the idea of exclusive rights to book during that period will be a joke.
I am reluctant to jump into this argument, but you keep making this claim and I think it is unfounded.

The only units which will be made available at 12 months to members who are not owners will be from owners who have elected to "donate" their usage to the Abound pool for that year instead of using it. So the effect on other owners is not different than if those owners had decided to use their home resort ownership that year. And I don't think you'd be complaining about owners choosing to use their ownership at their home resort. That's all that is happening here, except that they're allowing someone else to use it instead of using it themselves. The usage is exactly the same, just different bodies occupying the beds.

You might not like that for some reason, but it strikes me as 100% fair. As an owner, I can use my ownership almost any way I want to, including by allowing someone else to use it. That's all the Abound program does.

Now if MVC is taking more weeks than have been elected to the Abound pool and making those available to be reserved by non-owners, that would potentially be a problem, but we have no evidence that they will do that, and I think it's unlikely.

Also remember that MVW owns lots of weeks/VOIs, and those have usage rights too. They can do all the things with those VOIs that we can, including electing to put them in the Abound pool instead of using them. That also doesn't impact the rest of us. They were already using those VOIs in other ways, like renting them on Marriott.com, using them for Encore packages, maybe selling them to II, etc.

I feel like there is a lot of unnecessary angst here. But the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding, and the pudding's not yet been served.
 

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I am reluctant to jump into this argument, but you keep making this claim and I think it is unfounded.

The only units which will be made available at 12 months to members who are not owners will be from owners who have elected to "donate" their usage to the Abound pool for that year instead of using it. So the effect on other owners is not different than if those owners had decided to use their home resort ownership that year. And I don't think you'd be complaining about owners choosing to use their ownership at their home resort. That's all that is happening here, except that they're allowing someone else to use it instead of using it themselves. The usage is exactly the same, just different bodies occupying the beds.

You might not like that for some reason, but it strikes me as 100% fair. As an owner, I can use my ownership almost any way I want to, including by allowing someone else to use it. That's all the Abound program does.

Now if MVC is taking more weeks than have been elected to the Abound pool and making those available to be reserved by non-owners, that would potentially be a problem, but we have no evidence that they will do that, and I think it's unlikely.

Also remember that MVW owns lots of weeks/VOIs, and those have usage rights too. They can do all the things with those VOIs that we can, including electing to put them in the Abound pool instead of using them. That also doesn't impact the rest of us. They were already using those VOIs in other ways, like renting them on Marriott.com, using them for Encore packages, maybe selling them to II, etc.

I feel like there is a lot of unnecessary angst here. But the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding, and the pudding's not yet been served.
In a floating system Marriott will allocate the number of units for each bucket for every week of the season. Theoretically speaking, any bucket that owns more than 1/52 of the inventory could be given the inventory for 100% of any single week of the year. You may say that is theoretically possible, but a reputable company would not do that. I can tell you that several years in a row the platinum owners at Lagunamar could not book 51 and 52 at midnight 12 months before check in or any time after that, even if they were supposed to have access to about ½ of those units (the rest are fixed). If you search social media this was well documented at the time. If the regular platinum owners could not book a single unit at Lagunamar for 51 and 52, where did all the units go? Well, it is not hard to imagine when Vistana owns a decent amount of inventory at Lagunamar. During the same period guests reported that they booked the Explorer package for those event weeks and nights could also be found in Marriott.com. Nothing for the owners. So Vistana decided to retain 100% of the bookable inventory for 51/52 (50% of all units at the resort) even if Vistana only owned a small fraction of the overall inventory.

Because of the experience, because Marriott has the means and the motives to tilt the inventory of the best weeks of the season towards the buckets that are more profitable for them (rental or the bucket they currently sell) and because the whole legal environment has been set up to favor the developer, you bet I do not trust them with a fair allocation of the inventory and I would like the owners to preserve strong protection of the home reservation period. Anyone can prove me wrong and show me any public statement or internal rule that explains how Marriott divides the inventory. Maybe they do it proportional to the number of units each bucket owns for that week. If that is the case, they can easily say so. In the absence of clear and verifiable rules, let me continue to be suspicious about it.



VKORV-N oceanfront is very popular it seems among some owners here. Again, theoretically speaking, Marriott has the means now to assign to About 100% of the inventory of any week. What will the VKORV-N OF owners do in case they want that week (say certain owners can only travel during that week) and is no longer available in Vistana? They will have to deposit in About and book it through About or they will book the same week at another resort. Since the inventory will eventually be there (just as they “estimated”) , according to their interpretation of the rules, Marriott has done nothing illegal. This is not how the system was designed to work and how it was sold. As I said before, they are leveraging an obscure rule to build a whole new system and that leads to a significant degradation of the home reservation priority rule.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
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Location
California
Resorts Owned
HGVC, MVC Vistana
I am reluctant to jump into this argument, but you keep making this claim and I think it is unfounded.

The only units which will be made available at 12 months to members who are not owners will be from owners who have elected to "donate" their usage to the Abound pool for that year instead of using it. So the effect on other owners is not different than if those owners had decided to use their home resort ownership that year. And I don't think you'd be complaining about owners choosing to use their ownership at their home resort. That's all that is happening here, except that they're allowing someone else to use it instead of using it themselves. The usage is exactly the same, just different bodies occupying the beds.

You might not like that for some reason, but it strikes me as 100% fair. As an owner, I can use my ownership almost any way I want to, including by allowing someone else to use it. That's all the Abound program does.

Now if MVC is taking more weeks than have been elected to the Abound pool and making those available to be reserved by non-owners, that would potentially be a problem, but we have no evidence that they will do that, and I think it's unlikely.

Also remember that MVW owns lots of weeks/VOIs, and those have usage rights too. They can do all the things with those VOIs that we can, including electing to put them in the Abound pool instead of using them. That also doesn't impact the rest of us. They were already using those VOIs in other ways, like renting them on Marriott.com, using them for Encore packages, maybe selling them to II, etc.

I feel like there is a lot of unnecessary angst here. But the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding, and the pudding's not yet been served.
You are correct on the one-or-one; head-for-head. No one is disputing that. But what you have described is an exchange like II or SO trading where the owner surrenders certain rights such as the right to pick the week and assign guest certificates. With guest certificates, owners are still liable for any damages to the unit and reservations still remains under the account of the owner to control (with a GC attached).

Exchanges are different. Non-owners never get the same reservation priority and views as deeded owners. Most exchange weeks are not peak weeks. SOs are the leftovers after owners have made their choice.

Do you think II exchanges should now have the same view and room priority for your Marriott resorts because an owner deposited it into II? Or if an owner gave up their week for SOs? If so, that would be a massive change to how things are currently done. Why is Abound any different? Especially since it is leveraging the exchange clause in the CC&Rs and acts like an exchange?

And why would such a change be fair to owners who pay full price at almost $3000/week compared to many deeded traders who pay half that amount for the same week? Why would anyone be so stupid as to buy a deed at a prime oceanfront resort on Maui or St. John if anyone could arbitrage for lower MF in the desert or Orlando and get the same week and view priority via an exchange?
 
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