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TUG in the age of Covid

jerseyfinn

TUG Member
Joined
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Location
Sedona AZ
Resorts Owned
MMB MVO
I think that each of us have our own MVC/Covid virus narrative to tell as this pandemic is truly a once in a lifetime event that shakes our nation to the core. In this sense, there's bigger things at stake as we move into the Future. But that said, MVC & destination travel is itself a big part of many people's lives and rightfully so. I hope that all of us can carry this into the uncertain Future as the positive resolve by struggling MVC owners here is indeed the way forward.

With that I mind, I offer some reactions to these many threads where folks share their experiences and try to keep destination travel dreams afloat. To non-timeshare folks this may seem trivial, but here in the MVC group, destination travel brings people together, eases work issues and brings a modicum of peace of mind with fellow travelers.

________________________________

Carol and I got off easy as we fly to Oahu & KoOlina the last week of February for 5 nights adding 7 nights in Maui at the Marriott Wailea resort using our MR points ( I'm yet to speak Bonvoy language ). Great stay at both places and a smooth flight back to PHX. We had no idea that our flight back to AZ was actually a final Dunkirk-like escape as the virus looms. Our only issue is we get home after the grocery hoarders empty shelves in our small village grocery store.

Of course we 're running low on toilet paper. I'm of Finnish ancestry, so we implement the "Helsinki bathroom accord". We each have a bathroom and a full roll & you hold your own fate in your hands. It takes 10 days to score toilet paper at a Walmart. Hoarders slow down and life here in northern AZ's tranquil as there's no tourists & our virus risk moderates, Distancing not an issue out here in this landscape. We do red rock picnic hikes on nice days & remain patient. AZ' infections concentrated in PHX/Tucson metro regions where over 2/3 of pop lives. Once again, we're lucky, but grateful and careful. ( it helps that our work careers was 40 years giving anesthesia so we're science people versed in adversity).

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We relate very much to the travel predicaments of many here as MVC & destination travel has ordinary complexities and this Covid sequester process adds another Gordian Knot to the destination travel process.

Insightful as folks share their travel dilemmas and try to find a work around. This is where TUG's worth comes into play as folks make suggestions or offer insights. Solutions are presently difficult to come by, but ideas and hope are out there. We get to see how others travel and prioritize and their travel issues, some fixable and others waiting for time. Lots of tidbits put forward relevant to renting, Red Week, II etc . Many things many of us have forgotten or neglected to think about as the years go by.

We ourselves don't hop around to very many resorts, especially now that we live on other side of the country. Our 5+ hour proximity to Hawaii is the seed of our recent trip. But reading carefully through these threads, I'm finding hints and ideas to keep in the back pocket. Some to use and others that you don't want to have happen but you at least you understand the process as explained by others.

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The immediate near term is about travel cancellations and the airline headaches as it's all about who gets their money back. Not a nice thing when you've already got travel/work/bills headaches. Those unintentionally caught up in the under 60 day paradigm are in an especially tough predicament. But TUGGers at least offer ideas and encouragement. Hang in there!

_________________________

Looking forward from the canceled trips behind you, the next issue is how to use redeposited weeks when this nation is yet to return freedom of movement that hopefully reopens the doors of every affected business. We of course already know that many business will be slow to recover and some won't make it. This brings more consequences to ordinary folks wanting to get on with life ( and destination travel ). Once again, TUG a good resource for ideas and reassurance looking forward.

As I see things into the future for we MVC folks:

  • folks who have enrolled their weeks have more flexibility pushing points ahead if necessary or being able to ID resorts where Trust holds lots of weeks and can help owners find destinations to book. You need only eyeball which/when points expire as you plan into the foggy future.
  • Legacy week/resort/season owners are more constrained. Existing reservations are use it or lose it or deposit the week(s) basic alternative
  • It'll be interesting to see how renting works out for owners who decide to try to recoup via that route ( demand anybody's guess in a stressed economy but it could unleash folks ready to travel -- cruise ships excepted ).
  • Some interesting TUG threads about rental owner interactions with canceled reservations
  • Those who now sit inside the 14-60 day window unfortunately have least choices. I wish you the best as hopefully you work out solutions.
  • The ability of owners to readily adapt as things improves is dependent upon your job and ability to rearrange family vacation time etc.
  • Some folks might have been forced to burn vacation/sick days in lieu of work shut down. This too reduces flexibility.
  • Retired folks have the most flexibility in sense of time and travel.
  • You must also ponder the MVC end of this virus shutdown in terms of the various inventory buckets across MVC & Marriott.
  • This bucket system in wake of virus shut down could become a MVC Pandora's Box dilemma as past canceled demand collides with present folks trying to catch up to salvage something.
  • Good news here is this is Marriott's headache. I'd expect MVC to stick to the 2021 script as it is logical/legal
  • Prior to this virus shut down MVC emphasizes/expands multi-layer way to use enrolled/Trust points for special events/cruises/house swaps etc. Might some displaced owners go this route?.

Just some thoughts on this cloudy red rock day as we look out the window and I tire of working on our taxes.

Once again, best wishes to those TUggers presently caught in the middle. I hope you find solutions as time goes by.

I've been processing photos taken here in the red rocks as well as our recent Hawaii trip. I'll let folks know when I get those photos up. At least you can go on a virtual Hawaii trip.

barry
 
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