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Westin St John [Master Thread] - Part 2 (June 2014 and forward)

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Helios

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I think they are just covering the options. I would have loved to see the photos they showed of the 2Bd TH VGV villas.

That is too bad about II being only option for CV/BV resale owners.
That's the beauty of mandatory resorts...

I have a lot of SOs from other VOIs, so I'll convert to SPG points. I am planning a big trip with the fam to Phuket and those Singapore and Emirates Airlines F suites ain't cheap. I want to try both airlines in one way trips.

Manufactured Spending to generate SOs is not for me, and does not work in my area anyway (I actually think it's end everywhere is coming). So, I have to rely on a lot heavy spending (personal and biz) to generate those miles and this little help will come in handy. I have to make lemonade with the hurricane lemons...:cool:
 

okwiater

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I actually think Vistana is being more than fair -- incredibly generous, in fact -- with the usage options they are providing to owners. With no inventory to trade, Vistana could have easily (and justifiably) stated that although maintenance fees would be reduced, there would be no usage options for 2018. Instead, everyone is getting the full gamut of trading choices, and even voluntary resale owners are getting a top trading II deposit for less than half the maintenance fee. It could be much, much worse.
 

DavidnRobin

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Justifiable???
VGV Owners have SOs - along with SOs/HOs by BV/CV/SB Owners (VSE/SVO purchased) - they cannot deny Owners VSN (SO) usage per CCRs. Nor, can they deny any II/RCI usage (note: some original VGV Owners still have RCI) - again per CCRs, or SO-SP conversion...
And... the HOAs must have a audited 2018 budget that has a zero sum (revenues/expenditures) which they have submitted, thus the revised MFs

The only thing they did more than fair beyond their legal responsibility (as a public corporation beholden to the stockholders) was the SP offer (1.65c/SP) - which was nice compared to the 3.5c/SP retail rate, but still above the 1c/SP base value (1%).
 

okwiater

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DnR -- are you certain that ownerships within SVN are entitled to SOs even if the resort is uninhabitable?
 

duke

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That is a good question and, as well, what right does Vistana have giving exchange rights without requiring a unit deposited? Where is that inventory coming from? Seems it makes it more difficult for other members of Vistana to exchange?

They are not giving away their stuff... They are giving away mine! Such nice guys....
 

GrayFal

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Just received MF Invoice VGV
1BR $770.85 with nothing going to reserve fund this year.
 

Henry M.

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I got my bill, EOY Platinum WSJ Bay Vista:

Maintenance Fee: $402.68, Taxes: $102.41, Total: $505.12.
 
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DavidnRobin

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DnR -- are you certain that ownerships within SVN are entitled to SOs even if the resort is uninhabitable?

VSN fees are paid for the ability to use SOs within VSN (at 8 months).
WSJ Owners have SOs associated with their Ownership (except resale CV/BV/SB) per CCRs, and tied to the purchase contract between the Owner and VSE.
VSN period (SO) is the 2nd tier of VSE usage per CCRs.
The CCRs (Owners Manual) does not state that if a resort is uninhabitable then SOs will also not be available.

Importantly - VSE/VSN did not come out and deny SO usage (and resort usage) that they would have done if it were part of CCRs (it would be legally binding...).

Theoretically, this is no different than if 100% of WSJ Owners decided to use their SOs instead of their Home Resort.
(of course this would not happen under normal conditions, but still possible in theory)

So yes... I am certain - especially considering that it is actually happening. I have used my WSJ 2018 SOs already - along with others.
I find interesting the thinking behind the supposition that it is more than fair for VSE to allow Owners to use the SOs associated with their deed per their contract...
Jarta?
 

DavidnRobin

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That is a good question and, as well, what right does Vistana have giving exchange rights without requiring a unit deposited? Where is that inventory coming from? Seems it makes it more difficult for other members of Vistana to exchange?

They are not giving away their stuff... They are giving away mine! Such nice guys....

This is a different topic than VSE/VSN 'allowing' WSJ Owners the right to use VSN that is part of CCRs/Contract.

This is obviously something VSE/VSN had to deal with (and take associated loss), and did. I can only assume that this has been extensively discussed at the highest levels with Legal Dept involved (being a large publicly traded company), and found that within their own inventory they can cover the extra non-WSJ SO usage. Also, it is unlikely that 100% WSJ owners will be using VSN.

This naturally means limited inventory of VSN in 2018 for SO reservations by all VSN members, and why I immediately used our WSJ SOs (2x95.7K) to reserve WPORV at exactly 8 months out. When we were at WPORV in Sept - we ran into a few people staying at WPORV using their WSJ 2017 SOs (post-Irma) since they lost their usage.

What would you suggest VSE/VSN do about the WSJ situation - charge 2018 MFs and then deny SO usage? Not an attorney, but I assume that would be legally challenging based on CCRs/Contract. (as evident by their actions - they did not take this route)

btw - there are already people looking to give away their WSJ deeds (low season) - with more to come. This will be the largest hurdle to overcome for VGV given the already lack of value for low season weeks (IMO). [as evident from the proposed HOA-acquired inventory sale pre-Irma - most were low season weeks]
 

DavidnRobin

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When will the bill arrive with MF? When is the payment due? Not sure if I missed something arriving in the mail.

VGV 2018 MFs are due Jan 9th. The 2018 MFs are ~40% of original budget (pre-Irma).
 

okwiater

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DnR, there is lots of supposition and assumption in your post. You keep saying "per CCRs" but that is not the extent of the legal agreements which guide VSN usage. There is also an agreement between the resort itself and VSN. Now, I am not saying definitively that you are wrong, nor am I implying it. To the contrary, you may well be right. But you have not provided any *evidence*, and I'm asking if you are sure. Thinking you are right isn't the same thing as being sure. Can you provide the language which is applicable to this particular situation?
 

duke

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David - of course, I am happy for you and glad you could get 21 days stay at WPORV instead of WSJ. However, the point is that Vistana should not be congratulated for giving away inventory that could be used by others who have rightfully deposited into the system. We should get the credit for helping out WSJ by the exchange as we are going to suffer due to less availability to reserve.
 

DavidnRobin

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David - of course, I am happy for you and glad you could get 21 days stay at WPORV instead of WSJ. However, the point is that Vistana should not be congratulated for giving away inventory that could be used by others who have rightfully deposited into the system. We should get the credit for helping out WSJ by the exchange as we are going to suffer due to less availability to reserve.

We thank you... ;)
and also me as we own 4 other VOIs

What was VSE/VSN/WSJ supposed to do?
I am really unclear here - tell WSJ that they can’t use their SOs?
Not a Lawyer, but... again - if they could, they would as they have a large Legal Dept.

@duke - perhaps you can get non-WSJ VSN members to form legal action to get to the bottom of this travesty? :D
 
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DavidnRobin

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VGV 2018 MFs are due Jan 9th. The 2018 MFs are ~40% of original budget (pre-Irma).

The CCRs/Owners Manual include the SVN agreement. I have read both - more than once. I do not recall any section about denial of entitled SOs unless VSN stops being the conduit for VSE reservations, OR Owner has acted against terms of CCRs (like rental of non-HR SOs).

I can send to you if you want to peruse and find section that allows them to deny SOs to those entitled
since you are making the claim that they could (“more than fair”).

If they could deny WSJ SO usage based on resort damage (or the like...) not only would they - they would be required to.

Prove that they can deny SO usage based on unavailability of Resort Villas. To me, they have already shown answered this question by their action. Nothing to do with fairness - they are required to act in a legally defensible manner.


C55D89D4-9E9B-4B55-A482-7C03850EFFBF.jpeg
 
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SandyPGravel

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I would think that Vistana owns enough weeks at the other resorts to equal the mandatory VOI's at WSJ that need availability. Granted not at a resort that might be considered desirable, I.e. Orlando. Plus WSJ owners are allowed to bank next years usage (for 3 years I think) which spreads out usage as well.

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okwiater

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The CCRs/Owners Manual include the SVN agreement. I have read both - more than once. I do not recall any section about denial of entitled SOs unless VSN stops being the conduit for VSE reservations, OR Owner has acted against terms of CCRs (like rental of non-HR SOs).

I can send to you if you want to peruse and find section that allows them to deny SOs to those entitled
since you are making the claim that they could (“more than fair”).

If they could deny WSJ SO usage based on resort damage (or the like...) not only would they - they would be required to.

Prove that they can deny SO usage based on unavailability of Resort Villas. To me, they have already shown answered this question by their action. Nothing to do with fairness - they are required to act in a legally defensible manner.


View attachment 5146

DnR, you are still making lots of assumptions based on your recollection of the CCRs/Owners Manual as well as your implied assumption that Vistana, if it were legally permissible to do so, would act in the least advantageous manner with respect to its owners. I'm going to go ahead and call your post as false, and recommend that you give the documents another read.

Here is the section that would permit Vistana to revise the number of StarOptions available to WSJ owners for CY 2018:

"The number of StarOptions assigned represents the reservation power of a given Vacation Ownership Interest within the Network is based on such factors as relative Network Member demand for the particular Network Resort, seasonality of the VOI, Unit type assigned to the VOI Use Rights associated with the VOI, Network Resort type, Network Member use patterns, and availability of Vacation Periods for reservation at the particular Network Resort ("Assignment Factors"). Network Operator reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to revise the number of StarOptions required for reservations within the Network annually, each without Network Member consent [...] Club Operator also reserves the right to revise the assignment of Club Points based on the Assignment Factors."
And here is the catch-all section that would permit Vistana to do whatever it deemed necessary to "improve" the operation of the VSN:

"Network Operator shall have the right to amend any portions of the Network Documents which Network Operator in its sole discretion determines are necessary or desirable to amend from time to time, without the consent of Network Members. With respect to Club Resorts, Club Operator may change the Club Rules from time to time as set forth in the Network Affiliation Agreement for the Club. In making any changes to the Club Rules, Club Operator will use its best efforts in making such amendments, in good faith and based on all reasonably available evidence under the circumstances, to improve on the quality and operation of the Club and to further the collective enjoyment of present and future Club Members as a whole to use and enjoy Vacation Periods. Such amendments may be for any purpose, including permitting banking of Vacation Periods and creating Club tiers. Operating the Club in an efficient manner requires the tracking of Club Member use patterns, Club Member demand, and availability of Vacation Periods. Club Operator shall have the sole discretion to amend the Club Rules from time to time based on the results of this tracking to improve on the quality and operation of the Club."

Given the lack of availability of any Vacation Periods at WSJ, it would seem to me to be entirely within Vistana's rights to reduce or eliminate the ability of WSJ owners to trade using StarOptions.

Furthermore, there are references throughout the document to a Club Affiliation Agreement and a Network Affiliation Agreement which govern the affiliation of the resort with Vistana and with the Network. I did not see these documents included with the CCRs, but it's possible I missed them. If you know where they are, please provide a link. There could very well be additional relevant terms related to the availability of VOIs at the resort contained therein.

All that said, DnR, you made a good point earlier about WSJ low season owners being at a higher risk of default. IMO, this could very well have been the primary driver of the decision to preserve StarOptions for WSJ owners alongside the drastically reduced MFs. Even WSJ low season owners will enjoy high VSN trading power relative to MFs this year.

Let's try to keep these discussions fact-based going forward?
 

dioxide45

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Here is another tidbit from our SVV Mandatory CC&Rs. I suspect many are very similar for the early mandatory properties. If the VGV documents contain similar, it seems that Vistana is well within their rights to permit owners to continue to use SOs.

Capture.JPG
 

duke

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"Business Interruption" / "Loss of Use" insurance covers this type of situation. It is included in most policies.
Owners (that is, other than WSJ) are probably not getting the full story here and are being taken advantage of by Vistana giving away something they don't own.
My bet is that Vistana, managing the HOA, is collecting on the "Loss of Use" insurance and reimbursing themselves for the rental income loss they are taking by letting WSJ owners use their units in the exchange pool.......
 

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Got our final invoice -- in all we own - 3 Bd Bay Vista Winter ($1228 vs $2500), 3 bd Bay Vista Winter (odd - $750 vs $1300), 3 bd Bay Vista Summer ($1228 vs $2500), 2 bd Coral Vista ($1125 vs $2500). In 2016 - dues were about $8600 - for 2017 they were about $4400. We also purchased the points 110,000 for $1815 so our total cost was $6200. We are lucky as we own all in network, re qualified and saved some money. We did have a few expensive developer buys, but got smart after doing our research but got to 5 star. We ended up booking 17 nights in Cancun in January (super cheap month to go) and a 2 bd and Studio (3 units total) in March for a week PLUS get to convert our Winter Bay Vista to 153,000 points and bought the 110,000 points - so 263,000 points to spend. All for $6200 so we got our monies worth and leverage this year. Hopefully will be open and ready for us in January 2019 when we return for our 2 weeks in our Odd years.

I think all and all we all came out pretty well through this. I know there is "well we should" or "we got screwed" or "Vistana is out to get us" -- but consider this. We have a corporation that is going to get our place back months if not years before others. We have insurance that covers EVERYTHING. Also, as noted in the letters our Reserves should be stronger than ever as so much will be replaced and it will be like a new resort in most areas. Insurance will go up, but hopefully not horrible with 100 year storm...but I am sure it will go up substantially. In an odd way, if the USVI gets their $8billion they could get out of a huge financial mess they were in right now that has increased taxes and "fake taxes on our timeshares" Another topic too long to discuss, but none the less could be in a healthier state a few years down the road.

The pictures area amazing, the green is coming back. There will be some areas that will never be the same; but all in all it is still a gorgeous place. It stinks to have this happen, and things will never be exactly the same; but we are counting our blessings and trying to make the most of it. Happy Holidays.
 

okwiater

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Nnerland -- completely agree. Vistana has been handling this admirably thus far. All the doomsday scenarios that were being painted in the immediate aftermath seem quite far-fetched at this point. Remember when people were talking about the HOAs declaring bankruptcy and the resort never being rebuilt?
 

Helios

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Well, depending on your specific situation, they may not meet your needs. There is no option to convert to SPG points...options are: use in network or bank (VGV, equal, developer units) or convert to II.

To bad for people with large WSJ portfolios.
 

canesfan

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Well, depending on your specific situation, they may not meet your needs. There is no option to convert to SPG points...options are: use in network or bank (VGV, equal, developer units) or convert to II.

To bad for people with large WSJ portfolios.

At least there’s no charge for banking and 3 years to use instead of 2.


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Helios

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At least there’s no charge for banking and 3 years to use instead of 2.


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Not much help when you don't pay to bank, have more than 0.6M WSJ Options, tons of options elsewhere, and VOIs with MVC and HGVC. I really wanted to convert...
 

DavidnRobin

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As discussed - the WSJ thread #2 has gotten quite long, and perhaps this change in the overall WSJ situation is a good time to start a new WSJ thread.

I have asked DeniseM to lock this thread, and I will start a new one. Seems like a timely change as multiple issues with WSJ and STJ will likely take a while to resolve the new 2018 MFs now that have been announced, and 2018 usage has been resolved.
 
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