July 25, 2014 — A press release I read recently asserted that in Las Vegas, Nevada the “average” nightly rate in 2014 for a standard hotel room for two (2) adults is about $128.00. The PR didn’t specify if that included the room taxes or other charges so excluding any of those add-ons a week’s vacation in the bustling 24/7/365 Sin City for two adults would run about $900.00 for an average-size, most likely ‘no-frills’ hotel room on the Strip.
So Here’s The Scoop: Conversely, in Vegas there are many off-strip properties that are much less desirable and can be rented for a much lower average nightly rate; but averages are sort of misleading because in Las Vegas suites at some of the top Casinos run many hundreds and thousands of dollars per night – if not being comped to the ‘whales’ (high rollers).
While I was once again sliding down the rabbit hole this week I also came across a very interesting online source that provided real time nightly rates with reservation capabilities and I discovered that for two adults in cities and countries all around the planet there is a plethora of other hotels where that average nightly rate for just two adults is two, three and more times higher than the Vegas $128 average nightly rate.
And that started me thinking and comparing modern day timeshare accommodations with all their bells and whistles Vs hotels/motels. And those thoughts led me to again claim that IMPO, as a global industry we do a fairly poor job selling what is otherwise a very fine product (accommodations) and hospitality service.
To understand my madness, think of it this way.
When John Q. Public checks into a ‘No Tell Motel’ John is treated in a certain hospitality manner by the staff. If Mr. Public checks into a low cost Brand or non-brand Hotel/Motel – another hospitality standard normally applies. And when Q checks into a mid-priced Hotel or Motel – yet another standard is present, and so forth up the nightly rate ladder charge to the very best of the best properties – where the staff rolls out the proverbial red carpet treatment for all their guests staying at that property.
Excluding the top of the line hotels that cost a thousand dollars or more per night, over my decades of traveling worldwide I’ve stayed in all manner of timeshare resorts and in all other hotel/motel categories (rates) at one time or another; and yes, during my single days of youthful indiscretion that included a stay or two in one or more of the ‘No Tell Motel’ variety.
What I can confidently report all those many ‘keys’ later — as others might agree — is that from the mid-priced motel/hotel categories (rates) and upwards the overall hospitality service at those properties can be superior to many of the timeshare resorts in our global industry.
And there is something terribly wrong with that picture, regardless if the timeshare property is small, older and sold out or if the timeshare resort is part of a colossal corporation growing in leaps and bounds with resorts here, there and everywhere.
On the upside, I have stayed at some timeshare resorts where they, too, rolled out that red carpet hospitality treatment. But overall there are more than one or two TS resorts in our system whose hospitality service is lacking and surely isn’t equitable in terms of the huge and mostly upfront costs the average TS owner shells out for the lifestyle they’ve been sold — not to mention the additional ongoing costs that run in perpetuity (aka: forever and forever) for the ‘privilege’ of being an owner/member.
And that’s part of the rub, so to speak, because after 50 years and millions of owners, members and guests who’ve stayed at timeshare resorts, their comments to their families, friends, neighbors and co-workers over the past five decades should have become something like ‘…while we stayed there the experience was par excellence (aka: Quintessential, preeminent, the best of the best; to pamper, indulge, spoil, coddle; treat like royalty).
Timeshare resorts should treat all their clients like other travelers are treated when staying at high-end non-timeshare properties – aka: renters, many of whom are eagerly paying up to the following nightly rates at some of the world’s finest hotels, staying in the best accommodations (rooms or suites) each hotel has to offer.
Claridge’s Hotel, London 8,000 Euros (€) per night; Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Moscow 9,200 €; Lemuria Resort, Seychellen 12,000 €; Four Seasons George V Hotel, Paris 12,600 €; Le Richemond Hotel, Geneva 13,500 €; Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Resort, Dubai 14,200 €; Ritz-Carlton, Berlin 14,500 €; Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia 17,000 €; Four Seasons Hotel, New York 26,862 €; and the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva a whopping 42,000 € (est. $57,000 USD) ‘per-night’!
Now I don’t know about anyone else – and having never had the pleasure of staying at that caliber of a hotel etc. but I’d bet anything that when those guests check in whether for a night or two and/or a week or longer they are treated pretty darn well – which is the mindset our industry needs to implement across the board when ‘catering’ to our
vacationing customers clientele.
Sure, those hotels are extremely expensive but I submit they are a fair comparison in terms of the overall hospitality mindset that our industry needs to adopt.
And while I’m at it, that hospitality frame of mind would serve our industry very well by incorporating the same way of thinking in our ‘reps’ as they interact with all prospects being invited to a sales presentation as well as during the presentation — and at the end of the presentation regardless of the outcome of the ‘..Informative 90 minutes…’
Yes, it is said (and there is some truth to it) that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick, but when it comes to selling slices of Paradise on those magical little round tables developers need to insist that their sales trainers add an intricate aspect to their training curricula, which is ‘teaching’ the full scope, reality and depth of the actual TS vacation lifestyle and experience Vs the open rental market.
Additionally, and unlike the predecessors to today’s sales reps, the training needs to make this new generation of professionals honest to goodness 100% believers in what they are actually selling.
That representing our industry’s accommodations, hospitality services and vacation lifestyle is not comparing apples to oranges but apples to apples and that our global system is a far better choice and value – specifically when compared to similar high-end upscale accommodations around the world that millions of travelers are eagerly and enthusiastically renting without being beaten into submission.
And it is that comparison – apples to apples – where more sales guests will see, appreciate and acknowledge the real value of being an ‘owner/member’; and that translates into more sales and revenue for ‘all’.
Naturally there are those in the ‘biz’ who’ll disagree – and that’s fine; but keep in mind that the hospitality industry is constantly changing and there is an ever increasing number of upscale accommodation and hospitality choices worldwide that are a mere ‘click’ away for all travelers — and many of ‘THEM’ already know that, my friends.
Good luck out there!
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services — and, of course, all the ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’.
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