Crazy prices

Forum: Sheraton Vistana Resort

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By Betsy G.

Crazy prices

WE have been owners for over 20 yrs. We do not use the timeshare much at all. We either trade it in for other vacation spots or we let family use our week. I am really upset about the price of the refurbishment. I know I could refurbish it for less then half the price we are required to pay. I wonder, Do you think someone is pocketing the money or are they using a family or friends' business to hike up the prices to get a kick back? My husband and I are retired and do not have this kind of money to throw away. WE also will not donate it to a charity. We want our investment back! When we bought into Vistana we thought all removations and furniture replacements came out of the maintenance fee. What gives? $1500. x 52 weeks =$78,000. I know that that is an inflated price! For a 2 bedroom are we crazy!!!!!!

Last edit by betsyg12 on Feb 24, 2009 12:50 PM.

Avatar for Betsy G. Betsy G.

10 years ago
Feb 24, 2009

By Leonard B.

The amount of the special assessments are actually not outlandish when you consider that most contractors will charge $10-15K for a bathroom renovation and $15-25K for a kitchen renovation. Add in carpets, furniture, and beds and I'm not surprised at all at the $70K total. I've heard the renovations in the Fountains section (where I own) are quite nice, although I won't see in person until next year when I plan to stay there for the first time (I bought my 2 br unit sight unseen on eBay for $650). Maybe the resort will get its Gold Crown rating back when all the sections are renovated. We can only hope.

What is very wrong is that they levy big special assessments to cover this sort of predictable periodic renovation. The maintenance fees should be increased to the point where special assessments are not necessary. Don't hold your breath for this to happen, however. I hear that some resorts deliberately charge less in maintenance fees than necessary to cover refurbishments so that they can keep the maintenance fees artificially low. This helps their sales forces sell more units. They can say to their potential victim: "See how low our maintenance fees are for this fabulous place?" No doubt they don't tell their victims that they'll be hammered with a big levy every few years to make up for the fact that the maintenance fees are too low to cover periodic refurbishments. Maintenance fees really should be AT LEAST $100 per year higher than they are now so that these "special" assessments are no longer necessary.

Avatar for Leonard B. Leonard B.

10 years ago
Feb 24, 2009

By Karen N.

I'm angry about the cost of these "renovations" as well. This is a terrible time to access these kinds of fees. I just think the amount is outrageous. My thinking is that we, as paying timeshare owners, may be paying for all those who have defaulted on their maintenance fees, etc. because they can no longer afford to keep them. I seriously believe we are taking up the slack.

Avatar for Karen N. Karen N.

10 years ago
Jul 24, 2009

By Debbie R.

We just returned and did see for ourselves why the refurb was so expensive. They are replacing the steps, all the outide wood on the outside of the building, railings, the walls inside and the ceilings inside! I thought it was just the carpet, cabinets, countertops, etc. The new units are beautiful! I actually brought my camera into the Palms model and took pics. The Palms will not start until 10-10, so we have one more year of the old stuff :o)

Avatar for Debbie R. Debbie R.

10 years ago
Jul 29, 2009

By Dennis S.

Apparently they did use the lowest bidder. Think how much $20,000 could buy in the largest unit you could own... would that more than replace everything? Would the upgrades be cheesy? Maybe not gold plated faucets and someone to cook for you. Now divide $20,000 by 50 (weeks per year assuming there are 2 weeks per unit where no-one picks up the maintenance tab) and it seems like Starwood is making $2600 per week or $135,000 per year per unit for renovations beyond the maintenance fees. The maintenance fees are supposed to cover renovations on an annual basis. Figure each unit for 1 week receives $300 in maintenance fees x 52 weeks/year=$15,600/year per unit. Now figure true weekly costs for the unit= (2hrs wages @ $20/hour=$40/week); (Laundry not including pool laundry $20/week); (Lawn and Garden $20/week); (Pool Fees $30/week); (Weekly wages for other employees $30/week); (Fees for misc. broken dishes, dead TVs, etc. $30/week; (Yearly upgrade of pillows, sheets, curtains, wall pictures $30/week); (Annual future maintenance stockpile $100/week) Total=$300/week or $15,600/year. Are these quotes generous enough? The company needs maintenance fees to operate. It is not supposed to make money on the maintenance fees beyond costs. Figure each building at Myrtle Beach has 40 units. $15,600x40=$624,000 per year. Multiply that x 10 buildings=$6,240,000/year in maintenance recuperation. Remember there are at least 7 more buildings on the property and the company does not build until each unit is sold. 6x624,000=3,744,000 $3,744,000 per year in maintenance fees that go where? Now consider in 10 years you will pay a hidden fee of $3000/unit for Upgrade fees. At 10 buildings that is: $62,400,000 to upgrade all units in 10 buildings. This is a ridiculously conservative estimate. NO WAY!

Avatar for Dennis S. Dennis S.

5 years ago
Jul 28, 2014

By K. K.

I had a long talk with a vistana rep about options. Hmmm. Purchase a dedicated unit assigned to dedicated week dedicated unit not assigned, but floating floating unit but assigned to a specific week floating unit not assigned but floating time as well

Purchase from a private owner in a private transaction from the vistanas home owners association which has periodic resales. directly from Starwood

if you like the week and the unit location, you know exactly what you'll be getting and where you'll be each time you go. They cannot randomly assign you something else which may be inferior in size or location. If you decide not to use the week you can try to rent yourself or exchange in RCI or Interval type groups (membership required) If you buy through starwood you will be enrolled in their program giving you access to their 19 properties. You will also pay a membership fee for the priviledge (about 134). this is in addition to normal maintenance fees. (remember to budget for 15 year renovations or thereabouts) We've owned for nearly 25 years and have had only one renovation assessment about 3 years ago. And it is gorgeous! Older unit smolder unit! Bah on the critics of this. The units are bigger, better located often, those such as ours totally refurbished, and did I mention biggger? Beware -- if you own a specific week and specific time already and purchase additional time through starwood your week that you already own will be automatically enrolled into floating time --so I was advised! For us not an option. We will not convert our week. It is true that if you purchase time other than directly through starwood your week will not have access to their network. So if you want to be a part of the starwood network you must buy your time directly from them. You will pay more. Check out the after market sales. Particularly if you want more than one weeks time. Buy your week privately. You can always buy an additional week through starwood and the other week will be collapsed into the system. So I was advised. Hope this helps.

Just understand that with companies like rci, interval, and pages like redweek that you are never just "locked in" to a specific travel week and destination. There are fantastic places that you can exchange into overseas as well. Good luck.

KK

Avatar for K. K. K. K.

4 years ago
Nov 10, 2014

By Deb B.

Over $800 in Annual Fees, Crazy Renovation Fees, Cheap low standard replacement furniture & no playground at Casscades

I have been an owner at Sheraton Vistanna Resort for more than 30 years. I loved the original patio furniture when we first purchased. It was beautiful and elegant and made of fiberglass with a glass top. The replacement patio furniture can be purchased at Walmart for $9.99 per chair. The replacement patio furniture is substandard for a resort atmosphere. There is no way that the replacements cost were as much as we were charged. The only pieces changed in the Master bath was the shower. The original toilet and vanity are still in place. Where is the old patio furniture? As an owner, I would have loved to have first dibs on purchasing it? Who got it and how much did they pay for the old furniture? That should be factored into what we as owners pay as well. Sell the old stuff and off-set the renovation costs. I suggest that a legal investigation begin into the handling of our maintenance fee funds. Who can we call to get an investigation started? I would love to see the report.

In addition, the bedding was of a much higher standard when we first purchased. The thin and substandard bedding is not even close to the quality of the original bedding. Also, the Master Bedroom originally had a lounge chair, which I loved, and always used during my stays. Now, all that is offered in the Master is a cheap low cost chair, which is so uncomfortable I do not use it. There is more cheap, low cost examples that I could continue; however, I will stop here....I think my point was made.

Last edit by debb190 on Feb 01, 2016 10:37 AM.

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3 years ago
Feb 01, 2016

By Debbie R.

Over $800 in Annual Fees, Crazy Renovation Fees, Cheap low standard replacement furniture & no playground at Casscades

When we bought at Vistana you could NOT RENT, it was not a HOTEL. I think this is where our annual pricing has gone up. People RENTING (not other owners trading in) do not care for or value this resort as if it's their second home, as an owner does. I really feel they should have to put a bigger chunk of these rentals into the "pot" for repairs and rehab.

Last edit by debbier189 on Feb 03, 2016 04:52 AM.

Avatar for Debbie R. Debbie R.

3 years ago
Feb 03, 2016

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