Now that timeshare companies are looking to maximize future earnings, the race for the biggest pool of aspiring travelers has begun. Since the beginning of 2021, we’ve already seen Wyndham merge with Travel + Leisure and Marriott’s PR acquire Welk Resorts – even while timeshare owners struggle. This past week, Mark Wang, the President and CEO of Hilton’s Grand Vacations (HGV), made an announcement of his own.
The Rallying of HGV Timeshare Owners.
In a March 10th letter, Wang started off by thanking HGV’s timeshare owners for their loyal payments and trust. The revenue really aided Hilton Vacation’s ability to sustain during COVID. Despite his announced appreciation, the CEO went on to explain how the brand’s success and ability to provide “world-class destinations, services and experiences” will depend on owner commitment.
In other words, the introduction of the letter appears to be trying to convince disgruntled owners their patience was not in vain. At the same time, their reward for doing so isn’t exactly clear. While Wang promised to “continue making strategic decisions for [our] sustainable, long-term growth,” it lacked any mention of hardship that some are facing just to keep up with payments.
Nonetheless, once the letter wrapped up its condolences, Hilton Grand Vacations informed owners they were in the process of acquiring Diamond Resorts (DRI). The remainder of the announcement focused on rallying owners behind the decision.
HGV Expects Owners to Be Excited About the Future.
Throughout the letter, Hilton Grand Vacations overly communicates that the best interest of timeshare owners is at the forefront. “This transformational combination will widen our product offerings, more than double our resort locations and enhance experiential offerings,” it insistently read. Unfortunately, the letter doesn’t provide much background information on Diamond Resorts.
HGV simply claims they’ll be able to “create one of the largest” timeshare networks with “the strength” of their brand and “this leading independent vacation ownership company.” Those that look past the pander will find DRI has really struggled to satisfy their owners as of late – according to online complaints (like those on the BBB).
In fact, the AZ Attorney General even filed a class action complaint against DRI recently. When you think about it, teaming up with Hilton Grand Vacations (an entity that isn’t in as much hot water) has got to be an ideal move for their sinking ship.
Building Excitement Around the Possibilities, Again.
Whether our suggestion is projection or not, Wang’s letter went on to plead for trust. “I want to assure you that your ownership rights and access to your Home Resort will not be changed or diluted,” he wrote. “Club Members will continue to have access to the Club exchange system [and] there will be no changes to any 2021 Club Dues or maintenance fees.” But what happens if owners desire some sort of change?
Even though HGV claims their “commitment to owners” is their “top priority” – the past year of ownership hasn’t exactly been advantageous during a pandemic . Most timeshare owners can’t even reserve their paid vacations with the travel industry being halted by the disease. So when they say something like: “What’s Not Changing: Putting You First” – how do they expect buyers to react?
Hopefully the wait proves to be worth it and this change will benefit their client base. A positive evolution for vacation owners, as a whole, is long overdue.
HGV CEO Wants Owners to Adopt His Optimism.
Wang went on to reiterate his confidence in the move before sharing “some of the many reasons” why the acquisition will benefit timeshare owners. After reading through his reasoning, we truly hope recipients of the letter do their research. An increased range of destinations, points and “offerings” doesn’t always equate an improved experience in the timeshare industry.
In reality, more money is usually the prerequisite for further resort access. Therefore, it’s best not to make rash decisions that involve contractual obligations or large financial commitments. Instead, take your time to make informed one. This involves thinking for yourself and not leaning on those that aim to profit.
How Will the Change Impact Buyers?
“Together, we will provide the broadest range of offerings [and] expand HGV’s footprint,” the CEO continued. But will owners that are already struggling under perpetual obligations ever get to enjoy it? It’s hard to say, but HGV and DRI want owners to know they have common ground.
“We have a shared vision for success,” says Wang. “Thank you for your continued loyalty and for helping HGV achieve this milestone” – in advance.