In June 2010, Marriott Vacation Club introduced its point based program called Marriott Vacation Club Destinations. The vacation ownership program is a significant departure from Marriott's original floating week concept. The program is considered somewhat controversial as it creates two pools of inventory for two different timeshare owner bases. Floating week (often referred to as Legacy) owners that primarily have fee simple title to their timeshares still enjoy the 50+ vacation properties developed by Marriott Vacation Club over the last twenty five years with very little change in use features.
Marriott Vacation Club Destinations owners buy into a real estate trust in which points (beneficial interests) are assigned to the Marriott owner. The points are mainly assigned from seven or eight Marriott resort properties purchased by Marriott for timeshare development at the peak of the real estate market in the 2004 - 2006 timeframe. While Marriott promotes the idea that Destinations points may be used at all Marriott Vacation Club resorts - in reality this may be somewhat problematic in that the easiest use of the points exist inside the seven or eight properties that reside in the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations real estate trust. Conversely, the most difficult properties to use Destinations Points in may be the 50+ timeshare properties that comprise the floating week "Legacy" resorts.
Marriott Destinations Exchange
With over 425,000 Marriott timeshare owners and 550,000 weeks residing in the floating week "Legacy" pool, Marriott recognized it needed this significant owner base to participate in the Marriott Destinations Point program. It was at this point that Marriott Destinations Exchange was introduced.
During the original introduction of Marriott Vacation Club Destinations, existing Marriott Legacy week owners were provide an opportunity to join Destinations Exchange. In joining and paying a membership fee, Legacy owners that bought directly from Marriott and in the secondary/ resale market would have the additional option to assign their floating week timeshare for Marriott Destination Points. Much like using Interval International as an option each year, Marriott Legacy owners decide annually if they wish to have their week assigned to Marriott Vacation Club Destinations for points.
It's important to note that there exists a subtle but distinctive difference between the two - Marriott Destinations Exchange and Marriott Vacation Club Destinations.
Marriott Vacation Club Destinations is the point based vacation ownership product whereby points are assigned out of a real estate trust comprising a nominal number of resorts at the current time.
Marriott Destinations Exchange is an exchange option (think Interval International) for floating week owners. Legacy / floating week owners can assign weeks to Marriott Vacation Club Destinations in return for points that may be redeemed for timeshare properties residing in the Destinations Point inventory / pool.
Marriott Destinations Exchange (floating week) owners still own fee simple interests in their specific resort during the their chosen season - and do not have in any ownership interest in the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations program.
At this point, Marriott Legacy week owners have been somewhat reluctant to embrace the Marriott Vacations Club Destinations program. Most notably are the membership fees to join the Destinations Points program - and the fact that when an owner elects to use Marriott Destinations Exchange - the points assigned for the 8 day / 7 night floating week segment have a discounting mechanism that only provides the Legacy week timeshare owner with points that are the equivalent of a 6 day/ 5 night segment. This particular feature is one that has made the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations program most controversial with the Marriott Legacy week owners.
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