DRI offering PT's owners Sunterra conversion

Forum: Polo Towers

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By Doug P.

DRI offering PT's owners Sunterra conversion

For those of you that own at PT's, DRI is now offering Club Sunterra SunOptions membership for $2,995. This would convert your PT's unit into SunOptions points and allow internal exchanges throughout the Sunterra resorts. There are 94 Sunterra and Sunterra affiliates in the Sunterra system.

On top of the conversion fee there is an additional Club Sun membership of $151/year ontop of your maintenance fee's.

Two bedroom Suites units that are not holiday units are converting to 12,000 points and 2 bedroom Villa's units are converting to 14,500 points.

If you are a multiple week owner, the $2,995 fee covers all units. They are also offering upgrades to holiday weeks, Suites to Villa's weeks and 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom weeks. Don't ask me where the inventory is coming from unless there's been a lot of defaults since they sold out.

Avatar for Doug P. Doug P.

12 years ago
Aug 15, 2007

By Patricia T.

dougp43 wrote:
For those of you that own at PT's, DRI is now offering Club Sunterra SunOptions membership for $2,995. This would convert your PT's unit into SunOptions points and allow internal exchanges throughout the Sunterra resorts. There are 94 Sunterra and Sunterra affiliates in the Sunterra system.

On top of the conversion fee there is an additional Club Sun membership of $151/year ontop of your maintenance fee's.

Two bedroom Suites units that are not holiday units are converting to 12,000 points and 2 bedroom Villa's units are converting to 14,500 points.

If you are a multiple week owner, the $2,995 fee covers all units. They are also offering upgrades to holiday weeks, Suites to Villa's weeks and 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom weeks. Don't ask me where the inventory is coming from unless there's been a lot of defaults since they sold out.

Doug - I am making an assumption here which is that there can be an exchange through II for $139.00. Other than the fact that Polo Towers gives a higher point value to the exchange units I'm not sure I see the value in converting. Yes they upgrade but it costs! Am I missing something here? Thanks for a reply.

Last edit by marty8084 on Sep 01, 2007 12:19 PM.

Avatar for Patricia T. Patricia T.

12 years ago
Sep 01, 2007

By Doug P.

I think it really will depend on how each owner uses their unit(s) and how many units they own. If an owner tends to stay at PT's on a regular basis, only exchanging at the most every other year, it would be pretty hard to see spending another $3,000 plus $151 more each year in club dues to gain internal exchange privledge's through Sunterra. If you only own one unit you'd never make the numbers work out as the $151 club dues each year is greater than the $135 exchange fee through I.I. Most units in PT's only exchange as the full two bedroom unit at this point while a few units (Great Divides Plus) will exchange both the one bedoom and studio LO portions. Of course, if you own a one bedroom the numbers would never work out as you could only exchange that one bedroom unit.

On the other hand an owner of the standard two bedroom unit could stretch their usage to two exchanges a year using SunOptions points and I.I. With SunOptions you're in a points based exchange system and I.I. takes your points for the exchange rather than your unit. It takes 6,500 for a peak season 5 star 2 bedroom unit and 5,500 points for a 1 bedroom high season 5 star unit. Owners that could not exchange that studio unit in the past were only getting the one exchange out of their unit plus the AC I.I. had been offering (added fee's to exchange those). It's a high price to pay to get that extra exchange from I.I. IMO but I can see some owners finding value in doing that rather than buying another timeshare and paying additional MF's on that new timeshare.

I had been leaning heavily against making the change but, in the end we decided to go ahead with it. There were several reasons for making the change

1. We havnen't stayed at our units in PT's for 2 or 3 years and don't plan on staying there anytime soon. We've been exchanging the units.

2. If we end up with to much timeshare and not enough time off to use it, I can exchange our points to pay our MF's. It still comes up a a little under $100 short of paying both MF's (as they stand now) but it's easier than trying to rent those units to cover MF's. It would be a last resort type of move but, if there's no other option at least I wouldn't be out the full $1,559 in MF's I pay every year (Fee's conversion for 26,500 points would be $1,550 plus the handling fee)

3. SunOptions offers services such as cruise exchange and airline miles. Again not a great deal money wise but could help offset traveling expenses if I didn't need to use all my points for my exchanges. I looked at all the personal usage and exchanges I've made since first purchasing in '98 and, if the option had been there then I've left at least 4 round trip airline tickets lying on the table.

4. It turns our fixed week into a floating week (Suites only. Villa's already float). When we originally purchased that week 36 it looked like it would work for us. In the end, construction delay's and a changing lifestyle made it so we've never actually set foot in that unit. It use to be PT's would let us float that week more than 59 days out but that stopped when the resort reached build out state and many owners wanted to reserve their week. So we've been exchanging that week for the last several years.

The one major draw back for two bedroom owners is that they won't be able to effectively split their week and get two weeks vacation at Polo Towers. While suites weeks are given 12,000 po0ints for their unit, to reserve a 1 bedroom unit and a studio unit seperately would cost 15,000 points. Owners that have succesfully splitting their units or two weeks vacation at PT's in Vegas will lose that ability.

Likewise for those that have been using the split week option for a weekend stay and a week night stay. That option may still be available under SunOptions but it's at a premium. Although SunOptions generally allows for nightly stays for as little as 10% of the the amount of points required for a weekly stay (1,200 points/night). the rub is for weekend nights (Fri, Sat) it would take 3,600 points. You wouldn't get a full 7 nights out of you points unless you were able to only use your unit on weeknight (Sun-Thurs), which, because of were we work we can.

For some owners it would never work out but for others like us I can get better usage by gaining flexibility. I don't see that I'm ever going to save enough to cover the full $2,995 conversion fee within the near future but the added flexibility ended up making it worth it for us.

The big item that pushed us towards the change though was how the exchange companies suddenly feel it's in their best interest to take deposits made for exchange and rent them out for profit rather than put them into the exchange pool. RCI has been going big guns with this lately and I fear that I.I. may follow their lead. At least with the mini-system of Sunterra I have the ability to do internal exchanges and not worry about what any exchange company might start doing in the future. If not for what RCI has been announcing (theri great rental program of timeshare units to the public) I might not have made the change. If I.I. moves in that direction my PT's units would become essentially worthless to me.

Avatar for Doug P. Doug P.

12 years ago
Sep 07, 2007

By Steve P.

We just converted because we wanted the option to break up the week into two long weekends. Under the old PT system you only got two weekend days for the whole week now I can go for a three day weekend and a four day weekend.

Avatar for Steve P. Steve P.

11 years ago
Nov 19, 2007

By Patricia T.

Hi. I'm in agreement with Marty on not converting. Have not had any problems with renting Polo Towers-covering MF only. Hefty sum on top of renovation fee. Pt needs to recover their purchase price. Look on any Redweek site and you will find owners trying desperately to sell points they were unable to use. I also agree with Doug. If flexibility is important factor to you, then perhaps the conversion is the way to go but we definitely feel that PT, especially with the new renovations is easy to rent and/or exchange so if it's not broke, don't fix it. We own both the suites and villas and have decided to keep it just the way it is.

Avatar for Patricia T. Patricia T.

11 years ago
Nov 19, 2007

By Doug P.

Before deciding to convert both out Suite's and Villa's units I calculated what our Sun Options points usage would have been had we had that option from the beginning. We purchased our original unit in 1998, purchased a Skyview unit in 1999 and upgraded our original tower 2 unit sometime later to a Villa's unit.

Based on past personal usage and exchanges, if we had the availability of using Sun Options points we left 39,500 points on the table. That's the equivilent of 4 round trip tickets on AA plus a 3 bedroom exchange with 1,500 points left over. Or, if you're just looking at exchanges that would be 6 additional 2 bedroom exchanges we could have had since 1998.

I think if I only had one unit or if I used my units for personal usage I would never have converted. But having two units made quite a bit of difference in my decision to convert. At this point from my conversations with a few other PT's owners it appears that maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the owners are making the conversion.

Like I said multiple week oweners come out better than single week owners. One conversion fee for all the weeks owned makes it more palitable plus, you get to Sunterra's Silver Elite status which gives you a few extra's that make it a little better of a deal.

Avatar for Doug P. Doug P.

11 years ago
Nov 22, 2007

By Diva D.

dougp43 wrote:
Before deciding to convert both out Suite's and Villa's units I calculated what our Sun Options points usage would have been had we had that option from the beginning. We purchased our original unit in 1998, purchased a Skyview unit in 1999 and upgraded our original tower 2 unit sometime later to a Villa's unit.

Based on past personal usage and exchanges, if we had the availability of using Sun Options points we left 39,500 points on the table. That's the equivilent of 4 round trip tickets on AA plus a 3 bedroom exchange with 1,500 points left over. Or, if you're just looking at exchanges that would be 6 additional 2 bedroom exchanges we could have had since 1998.

I think if I only had one unit or if I used my units for personal usage I would never have converted. But having two units made quite a bit of difference in my decision to convert. At this point from my conversations with a few other PT's owners it appears that maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the owners are making the conversion.

Like I said multiple week oweners come out better than single week owners. One conversion fee for all the weeks owned makes it more palitable plus, you get to Sunterra's Silver Elite status which gives you a few extra's that make it a little better of a deal.

Converting to "The Club" ownership instead of the fixed week is a HUGE deal! It is a HUGE benefit for those who DO NOT use their home resort every year and for those who want to learn how to milk/use the system FULLY. Look into it if you have not looked into before. It is NOT Sunterra any more it is Diamond Resorts International and there are 112 resorts in the INTERNAL system NOW! Just added 14 resorts in the RainTree system. There are NO exchange fees to use any of DRI's resorts, no banking and waiting, ever. NO exchanges with RCI anymore, I.I. is far better! IF you want to exchange in the II system points go twice as far, so the $139 exchange is pennies compared to the level of resorts available in the II system. Go stay at Hyatt or Marriott's, or Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton's, Westin's and not have to pay THEIR PRICES for their ownerships. Have up to 10 times as many resorts in the DRI system as any other company out there. The upgrade for PT owners is equivalent to a $60K ownership purchase price at the current pricing tier structure for a DRI presentation. A friend of mine works at Hyatt and a 2 wk diamond package in Sedona is $56K.... compare those14,500 pts for that $2995 to that and if you know how to use the system I can get you as much as 6 WKS of RED TIME in a 5 star in II per year! The value is huge when you sit down and figure out how to really use that DRI system. The club select feature is huge too! just so many ways to make pts work better than fixed week, if you do not use your home resort every year! I am so glad I made the switch!! two weeks in Poi Po on Kauai this year in a 2bdrms for 12,000 pts! and one week in Mexico for 2000 pts on Club Select inventory! then toss 500 pts at my maintenance fees and I am a happy camper!!

Avatar for Diva D. Diva D.

11 years ago
Mar 27, 2008

By Casandra O.

Hello, I am going crazy trying to get a straight answer. I just got off the phone with a very matterfactly salesman from the DRI Lake Tahoe Resort. We are current timeshare owners with Diamond Resort. We are looking to add more points. I asked them about the conversion fee. This was his respone: "Diamond Resorts will not convert for $2995 any more. We will require you to purchase more points at retail." I asked him what is the minimum number of points we would have to purchase, he responed 4,000 at a cost of $20,000. Wow, what a great deal!! I would really love to prove him wrong and have heard many responses that differ from his, but I have not received an official response. I called corporate. The women I spoke to said that she did not think we would have to purchase any more points to convert because we already have an account. She then gave me the number of the sales department, at corporate mind you, so they should be able to give me an anwer in stone - if their is such a thing - Corporate won't be in until Monday. I will call back. I am very interested in someone's opinon about all this. Thanks! cjkkobrien@comcast.net

Avatar for Casandra O. Casandra O.

11 years ago
Mar 29, 2008

By Diva D.

casandrao wrote:
Hello, I am going crazy trying to get a straight answer. I just got off the phone with a very matterfactly salesman from the DRI Lake Tahoe Resort. We are current timeshare owners with Diamond Resort. We are looking to add more points. I asked them about the conversion fee. This was his respone: "Diamond Resorts will not convert for $2995 any more. We will require you to purchase more points at retail." I asked him what is the minimum number of points we would have to purchase, he responed 4,000 at a cost of $20,000. Wow, what a great deal!! I would really love to prove him wrong and have heard many responses that differ from his, but I have not received an official response. I called corporate. The women I spoke to said that she did not think we would have to purchase any more points to convert because we already have an account. She then gave me the number of the sales department, at corporate mind you, so they should be able to give me an anwer in stone - if their is such a thing - Corporate won't be in until Monday. I will call back. I am very interested in someone's opinon about all this. Thanks! cjkkobrien@comcast.net

Chuck I do believe that CURRENT owners have a lesser point "purchase" requirement to be able to upgrade NON points based properties, so how much you can purchase at one time is based on what you own now.

I do believe that you need only purchase the minimum number of points for "current DRI owners" which is 2000 pts to just add to your portfolio... but you would need to purchase more points than that f you want to convert something that is a standard week of time share into "FULL CLUB ownership" and I do think that is 4000 pts based on the new price matrix that Diamond has put out, but I could be wrong...

now, we had no trouble at the Summit Sales center in Sedona, Arizona. Each sales center is unique and has their OWN rules.

So, I recommend calling the Sedona, Arizona sales center called "The Summit" and ask for Phil Jackson or Rick Schaatz (both are sales managers) and tell either of them that a "former sales consultant" named Diva Denissov sent you to speak to them about upgrading and or adding points to your portfolio! :) the number for the resort is: 928-204-3100 press 3 for sales center.

See what they say...and let me know? I am sure they will be more than happy to work with you on ANY size points package purchase that you would like to make. :) let me know? Diva

Last edit by divad2 on Mar 29, 2008 02:01 PM.

Avatar for Diva D. Diva D.

11 years ago
Mar 29, 2008

By Doug P.

What I am told is that DRI is moving to a one fee ($2,995) for anyone to join THE Club. DRI is trying to simplify their system and it's to their advantage to have as many units in THE Club as possible. At $2,995 they're making money and customers are getting something worth their money. At this point it's unclear to me if that fee will be for each contract or if you can own several weeks and get all of them into THE Club for one fee.

I'm also hearing that those the buy direct from the developer will get 10 years of Interval Gold thrown in, even if they don't buy enough points to reach silver elite level.

Since we're only a few thousand points shy of being gold elite and if this is true then I could find myself in the market for a few more points. As it is right now I don't believe the word has gotten around to everyone yet. I do know that one person I've seen post on another forum had to push the salesman to get his manager before they admitted that anyone could convert their week into THE Club for the $2,995 fee. The salesman, of course, was pushing for a minimum purchase of new points when the owner didn't want or need any additional points.

Avatar for Doug P. Doug P.

11 years ago
Apr 03, 2008

By Diva D.

dougp43 wrote:
What I am told is that DRI is moving to a one fee ($2,995) for anyone to join THE Club. DRI is trying to simplify their system and it's to their advantage to have as many units in THE Club as possible. At $2,995 they're making money and customers are getting something worth their money. At this point it's unclear to me if that fee will be for each contract or if you can own several weeks and get all of them into THE Club for one fee.

I'm also hearing that those the buy direct from the developer will get 10 years of Interval Gold thrown in, even if they don't buy enough points to reach silver elite level.

Since we're only a few thousand points shy of being gold elite and if this is true then I could find myself in the market for a few more points. As it is right now I don't believe the word has gotten around to everyone yet. I do know that one person I've seen post on another forum had to push the salesman to get his manager before they admitted that anyone could convert their week into THE Club for the $2,995 fee. The salesman, of course, was pushing for a minimum purchase of new points when the owner didn't want or need any additional points.

get down to your nearest sales center and do the upgrade purchase to Gold elite.... prices are slated to go up in mid May again and then again in December. The Raintree acquisition of the newest 14 properties bringing the total amount of resorts up to 112, has kicked in a price increase. Get your self up to Gold Elite and full club roll over before the price increase. Prices are up 50% already in the past 3 yrs and now with DRI take over and plan to enlarge the Club Network to the largest in the world and resorts slated for radical improvements and restaurants being added to many resorts over the next couple years, prices are GOING UP! The Club is the largest by two times its nearest competitor of Wyndam, the prices are still a great deal, with so many 5 star resorts in the Club! Gold elite is great, platinum elite is the best of course! with unlimited room upgrades for life and no FEES to upgrade,by far the best deal in time share out there. Get onboard to do an upgrade before May when the prices go up again!! it will not be a huge price increase but all in all less cost is always better! since you plan to go to that level anyway, get in line now to get more points before they raise the prices again! they are up 50% in 3 years now...the club is growing fast and more resorts are lining up to add to Diamonds huge collection of 4-5 star additions! Just an FYI!

Avatar for Diva D. Diva D.

11 years ago
Apr 03, 2008

By Vicki R.

We own a 2 bedroom unit at the Polo Tower Suites. We went through the sales presentation of Diamond Resorts. This is what we ended up with after a full day of negotiating.

1. We signed over our Deeds to two or our Five */Gold Crown resorts in Southern California, both two bedroom units. One is in Palm Springs and the other is on Capistrano Beach in Orange County. They in turn credited our account $4,500 x 2 = $9,000, towards the purchase of $3000 and the conversion to Club points system. The total cost, including all fees, to convert prior to credits was over $16,000.

2.We use our Polo Towers Unit every year. We own 13 weeks of timeshare in the US and Mexico. We also own rental properties in Maui at the Royal Kahana Resort which is full ownership, not a timeshare property. Of course, we are both retired and travel constantly.

3. We put $7500 on our credit card to pay the balance.

As I am writing this, I realize that we should have said NO to all of this. What do you think?

Vicki

Avatar for Vicki R. Vicki R.

10 years ago
Dec 31, 2008

Message deleted.

By Vicki R.

Vicki here. I need to make corrections to my reply. The actual amount we are being charged is $19,219. I assume that we also signed over our Polo Towers Deed to Diamond Resorts. Therefor, three weeks of timeshare were transferred to THE CLUB. Diamond Resorts owns them now. I payed $7,500 to do this process. My annual maintenance fee to DRI is over $1900 vs the fee to Polo Towers of $926. Yes, I now have 2 weeks worth of points. I no longer have to pay the maintenance fees of the three weeks of time share that I signed over to DRI. I also end up with one less week of two bedroom week use.

Avatar for Vicki R. Vicki R.

10 years ago
Dec 31, 2008

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