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Maui Ocean Club Sacks Concierge Staff

JohnB

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I am at Maui this week and sadly learned that Maui Ocean Club is doing away with its concierge employees in favor of a subcontractor that will handle bookings. The concierge folks at this property are my favorite in the Marriott system. One of the strengths of this location is the number of long time employees, and I have booked with these concierge employees for ten years. I already have fedexed a letter to Steve Weisz expressing my disappointment and will deliver the same letter to the gm and to the sales and marketing director tomorrow. The concierge folks work under the sales and marketing arm. This change is a devastating blow to the employees affected because there is so much unemployment out here due to the suffering economy. "Welcome home" won't have the same meaning coming from a subcontractor's agents. Other employees are wondering whether their positions may be subcontracted away as well.
 

Lawlar

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Other Signs Of Weakness?

Are you seeing other signs of economic weakness at MOC?

When we were there in Jan 2008 the salespeople were busy taking people on tours. Is that still true today?

I've been surprised to see ads for rentals at the new building - Napili - and a few have already been offered up for sale at a discount on Redweek.

We will be at MOC in 3 weeks! The good thing about recessions is that the beaches on Maui won't be so crowded.
 

sdtugger

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When we were there in November, we were annoyed to learn that they stopped selling food at the beachwalk pantry after 5 p.m. or so. We used to enjoy buying dinner and eating it looking out over the ocean without leaving the property (and a better view than Longboards). The materials at check-in still touted the free dessert with each entree after 5 p.m..

Things are very tough right now in Hawaii. If this is the worst that happens at MOC, I'll be happy. But, I'm not a big user of the concierge.

We'll be back in a few weeks too!
 

Dave M

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I am at Maui this week and sadly learned that Maui Ocean Club is doing away with its concierge employees in favor of a subcontractor that will handle bookings.
That doesn't necessarily mean that all of those employees will disappear. One primary purpose of most outsourcings is to save money through lower compensation and (often) fewer employee benefits. In this case, that savings gets passed on to owners. In such situations, the subcontractor typically interviews all of the existing employees who are interested in remaining on the job and then decides which ones to hire. If there are any that the HOA doesn’t want back, they will likely make that clear to the subcontractor.
 

JeffW

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On the other hand, the subcontractors could be people already employeed by the subcontracting firm, but perhaps getting laid off at other resorts due to cutbacks. They might be placed at MOC instead of existing MOC concierge staff being 'reflagged' under the subcontractor's company.

"Passing savings onto owners" is a dubious statement. I doubt anyone will see a reduction of annual fees. If anything, it would probably fall under the excuse of, "if we hadn't done it, you fees would have been much more."

Perhaps a subject for a new thread, but aren't timeshares sort of insulated from the economy woes. As a contrast, I can see it being an issue with hotels: fewer renters means less income, which means expenses (salaries, other resort expenses) might need to be reduced.

But for a timeshare, doesn't every unit basically have an owner: either an individual owner, or the developer? If so, it seems like the income to a resort (generated from an annual fee for each unit) would basically be fixed. An obvious exception would be deadbeat owners, who aren't paying their fees. However, even if Marriott still owns say 25% of a MOC, aren't they still required to pay their same amount of support, regardless of the economy?

That's not to say it may not make sense to decrease costs. Obviously with the economy, there are probably enough people willing to be a concierge at say $10/hr vs the $15/hr they might be paying the staff now. It's not great (especially if you're the one making $15/hr).

Jeff
 

Dave M

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Yes, the subcontractor might well use its own existing employees. And it probably will use some. However, keep in mind that, like any business, the subcontractor will have to keep the General Manager and the Board of Directors happy if it wants to stay around as the subcontractor. Frequent complaints by guests - not counting in the first few weeks during the transition - won't help further that goal.

And you're right, Jeff. Please start a separate thread for a discussion of the economics of timeshares rather than derail this one. Or you can post to one of the several existing threads on the topic.
 
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