Much like its competitors Marriott Vacations Worldwide has also been making strides in consolidating the timeshare market. As our Consumer Protection Attorneys have spoken about before the timeshare industry is seeing a dramatic shift as a few big spender competitors have begun buying up all the smaller resorts and associated companies. This has namely included the recent acquisitions of Apple Leisure Group and Diamond Resorts, but Marriott has also been a participate over the recent years. Just a few years ago the Marriott conglomerate purchased ILG which is the parent company to Sheraton Vacation Club, Westin Vacation Club and St. Regis Residence club. They did not stop there, just earlier this year Marriott Vacations Worldwide acquired a luxury line of timeshares in Welk Resorts. Closing the door in April it was the first of the major mergers to finalize this year and paved the way for the big changes that have come so far.
The acquisition of Welk Resorts is just one of the most recent moves in the changes to the timeshare market. While there are still many small resorts out there, the huge portion of the timeshare industry has been concentrated in Wyndham, Hilton Grand Vacations, and Marriott Vacations Worldwide. Chances are if you own a timeshare their name is in some way associated with it, especially if you include booking which is increasingly more consolidated through “RCI” (owned by one of the Big Three).
The questions lies for lawyers and owners alike now: what do these changes mean for the industry? While the real changes will only reveal themselves over time, we can ascertain a few things from the mergers. The first is that after some time, acquired companies will start to use and implement the same systems as their parent company. This means your current Welk, may down the road use the Marriott sharing system, even if it keeps the Welk name. The second is that owners will likely see changes in availability. We have seen mergers like this not boding well for owners in the past and even leading to litigations against the resort, but sometimes it means new benefits. Overall, it means that now a Marriott owner may be able to book at a previously inaccessible Welk Resort. Meaning some owners may lose the uniqueness of their resort ownership and it will just come down to “booking power”.
If you are concerned about your rights as an owner or are just seeking to get out of your timeshare, give our Law Firm a call at 360-918-8196, or visit us at TheTimeshareLawFirm.com. We offer no cost consultations to evaluate your case and inform you of your rights regarding your timeshare.