Monday, June 29, 2015

What Changes Can Starwood Timeshare Owners Expect?

You've probably heard the news that Starwood (HOT) expects to "spin-off" its timeshare division in the near future.

While this may have significant affect on the stock value of both Starwood and the new entity, to be called Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc., we here at the timeshare blog are more interested in the affects to individual timeshare owners.

We posed some questions to Starwood and received these answers from someone who wants to be identified as "a spokesperson for Starwood Vacation Ownership":

·         For an average SVO current owner, what changes can they expect?

o   For our average current SVO owner, the new standalone company will explore new development and growth opportunities to offer more options and flexibility to owners and enhance their vacation experiences.  We have a rich 35-year history in the vacation ownership industry and expect to bring new and exciting opportunities to our owners in the future.

·         Will there be changes in exchange company?

o   No, there will be no changes in the exchange company.

·         Will all of the existing resorts continue to operate under the new Vistana name or it is expected that some will leave?

o   From a naming convention, all resorts will continue to operate as they do today.

·         On the flip side, are there new timeshare resorts expected to join?

o   Yes, 5 assets will transfer to the new company.  Additionally, we could possibly add The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, our newest purpose built resort on Maui which is opening in 2017.

·         I know that SVO owners have the option of using their ownership as SPG points on an every other basis.  Will this continue?

o   Yes, subject to the terms of our agreements with Starwood, all current and future owners will continue to enjoy privileged access to the SPG program. 

·         What changes will be made to the timeshare properties’ HOAs?

o   Our corporate identity may be evolving, but our vision will remain the same: to be the premier provider of outstanding personalized experiences, giving our vacation Owners, Members and Guests—a better way to see the world®. 

·         What impact will this have on expected annual fees at each of the resorts?

·         The annual maintenance fee assessments are already approved and billed to owners for 2015 and we expect there to be little to no change to our future budget processes.
Thoughts?  What do you foresee?  If you're a Marriott owner what changes did you encounter once they "spun-off"?


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