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Thread: Newbies guide to the Marriott Resort System

  1. #1

    *NEW* FAQ and Newbies guide to the Marriott Resort System

    First, some terms/acronyms you might see here on TS4M's....

    Interval or week = a measure of timeshare ownership. Most ownerships relate to "weeks", with Marriott anyway.

    Deeded = A timeshare deeded much as normal real estate is deeded

    RTU = Right to Use. Some Marriott timeshares only convey the right to use the facility for a specified period of time, after which there is no expectation of further use, but sometimes might still be.

    MVCI = Marriott Vacation Club International. This is who operates the Marriott timeshare business. Link to MVCI owner's home page

    II = Interval International, an exchange company with whom Marriott contracts for their intra-system exchanges. Web site link

    MR points (or MRP's) = points one earns and receives when participating in the Marriott Rewards Points system.Link to Marriott Rewards Often given as incentives for developer timeshare purchases and sales presentations.

    MF's = Maintenance Fees one pays each year to maintain and utilize their timeshare interval. Billed by MVCI and can be paid by credit card online. Owners currently get 3 MR points for each dollar paid with the MR VISA. Typically, fees become due and payable early in the year.

    Resort Designators, like MGC, NCV, etc. = Three letter identifiers for the Marriott timeshare resorts. Over time, one learns them, or at least some

    Resale = a previously sold interval (week) of timeshare ownership purchased from a number of sources, which can include the original resort or MVCI.

    Developer = The selling resort or MVCI. Buying these intervals is generally considered buying "new".

    Floating interval "season" = a period of time in which an owner "owns" their interval(s) and during which they can reserve them each year, or other year. Generally, a floating season is for a period of months, sometimes with specific days excluded. Typically, at a Marriott resort where ownership is deeded, the purchase documents will indicate a specific week and unit number for deed purposes. This in no way limits the owner to any specific unit (though perhaps a "view", if so purchased) or specific week of their "season".

    Fixed interval = a specific period of time which the owner purchases, generally a week. This week is taken at the same "time" every year (or perhaps every other year), and is designated by the week's "number" on a chart for each year.

    EY = every year ownership, in which the owner uses their interval week once per year.

    EOY = every other year ownership, in which the owner uses their week every other year. Typically, EOY ownerships are designated as "even" or "odd", referring to the last numeral of the year.

    ROFR = Right of First Refusal, which is a clause written into many, but not all, MVCI timeshare contracts, giving Marriott the right to examine each subsequent sale of it's timeshare intervals and determine whether they wish to purchase it/them at the agreed-upon sales price. This helps support the pricing structure of the resorts, as well as can be profitable for MVCI. The trick is determining how low you can go on an offer without Marriott exercising ROFR.

  2. #2

    Question: Under what circumstances can I make a reservation 13 months in advance?

    Answer: If the weeks are annual (or both even or odd EOY's), in the same season, and the reservation are made for concurrent (2 villas for one week) or consecutive (1 villa for 2 consecutive weeks), a member may make their reservations 13 months in advance of the earliest week of occupancy. At this juncture, AFAIK, this type of reservation can only be made on the phone with an agent.

    Currently, ownership of such two (or more) intervals need not be at the same MVCI resort, but this is subject to change, and has been debated, due to the governing documents of some MVCI resorts being at odds with the multi-resort policy. Carried to the extreme, if one owns 2 odd EOY intervals at different resorts but in the same season (or where seasonality overlaps), they may utilize the 13 month rule during said period (season or overlap, whichever is applicable)

    Additionally, if you own intervals such as described above at the same resort in two seasons which abutt, you can make consecutive week reservations, only for that confluence, 13 months in advance of the earliest week.

    IIRC, there is also a policy, if the member cancels/changes one of the weeks so made under the 13 month rule, the entire original reservation is cancelled. Perhaps someone with experience can update on that nuance.

    One strategy:

    I'll use my owned resort as the example....

    Platinum season at Newport Coast runs from early June to Christmas, with the exception of July 4th week, which is fixed, and, increasingly, summer reservations (July/August) are getting problematical for single interval owners, and even resales of NCV platinum are getting expensive, currently pushing up to about $20K.

    Alternative: Buy a resort which has a similar season which is unpopular and cheaply priced. All we need to do is look a couple hundred miles to the east, into the California desert resorts near Palm Springs. The best of these, IMO, is Desert Springs Villas 1 (MDS), which was the first Marriott developed in that area. It's older, has larger units than the new developments, guests have access to the JW Marriott there which other timeshare guests don't (for free), the units lock-off, and, best of all, there is no ROFR, which means Marriott can't come in and steal your good deal. A blue summer week can be had dirt cheap, sometimes in the low 3 figures, and MF's are relatively reasonable. Trade power is reasonable, especially if you stay within the Marriott system or trade into another season at the same resort.

    Such a unit can work for nearly any Marriott where the summer season is popular. Alternatively, some of the ski resort summer weeks can be analyzed in a similar fashion.

    Similar strategies can be forumlated for nearly all Marriott resorts which have a problematical reservation season or seasons.

  3. #3
    How to exchange a Marriott interval:

    1. In most cases, with floating week resorts, reserve the most popular week in your season at your home resort. It pays to research this as the most popular weeks sometimes aren't the most obvious. Things like special events often trump holidays/seasons for popularity. See reservation strategies listed elsewhere in the guide.

    2. Decide how and with whom to exchange. There are a number of options.

    a. Interval International - affiliated with nearly all Marriott resorts

    b. RCI - affiliated with a few Marriott resorts

    c. Independent exchange companies, like Dial-an-Exchange, SFX, HTSE, Trading Places and others

    d. Direct exchange bulletin boards - OwnerTrades (which is accessible only to Marriott owners) and Redweek are examples of sites which offer exchange listings along with sales/rentals. TUG and TS4M's also facilitate similar direct exchanges in their ad pages. There are others but these are the ones I use most.

    3. The Process:

    With "exchange companies", one "deposits" their reservation or "requests" an exchange, promising/agreeing to deposit their reservation if the exchange company finds what one wants.
    With direct exchange facilitators (where one posts advertisements for exchange and completes the transaction directly with the other owner) the process is merely the posting of the ad, saying what one has and what one wants, and then weeding out the responses. More so than with an exchange company, an element of trust is involved in this method, as owners are essentially swapping reservations. A contract can be used, similar to a rental agreement.

    With both approaches, it's more complicated than that in some cases, but that'll be covered later with exchange strategies.

    I personally prefer to reserve my best weeks and then proceed, but some owners like to "reserve to order" when doing direct exchanges, to more easily facilitate the transactional party's requests. My reasoning is that reserving the best weeks keeps all my options open, from occupancy to rental to exchange (preserving exchange company trade power, which is another subject). I can always find another potential exchanger, but can't always find the better week.

    To be continued.....

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