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TimeSharing Today

to all these resorts as well. (They of course have their normal exchange fees)

To obtain the full “Timeshare Ex- perience” at a cost below most resales, it is hard to beat this unique Owner- ship Plan. In points clubs as in con- ventional timeshares, you get what you pay for but this one has a lot of ben- efits at a very low acquisition cost. If you can’t get your money’s worth out of this one you just aren’t trying.

RiverPointe Napa Valley

This is the only timeshare to ever obtain approval in the Napa Valley (California Wine Country). The points system allows the use of larger and/or higher season space at higher points values and smaller and/or lower sea- son space at lower points values on a completely flexible basis as little as two nights at a time.

There are two classes of Mem- bership, Platinum and Gold. Platinum allows a head start at making reser- vations and precedence use of particu- larly desirable times, such as holidays and established events. Membership also includes some access to two other properties, namely Vista Mirage in Palm Springs and the Gaslamp Plaza in San Diego.

The Exchange Companies are In- terval International and San Francisco Exchange. One hundred two bonus resorts are also included through the Resortime system. Cruises are in- cluded through the International Cruise and Excursion Gallery (I.C.E.).

The Developer has maintained ownership of the property but has pro- tected the Club Members by means

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of a recorded land lease that has about 33 years to run. Pricing reflects the “Right to Use” (Limited term) nature of the offering. There is protection of the real estate for the Owners, but only for the life of the lease. All in all it is a very reasonable offering and the only game in town for Napa Valley. If you like the romance of the wine country this is as close as you can get.

Monarch Grand Vacations

This relatively new upscale prod- uct from Pacific Monarch is certainly selling well and has for the last three years. It is a points system that al- lows stays in their core Interval In- ternational Five Star resorts located in California and Nevada on a very flexible basis. The points are awarded every two years and may be used any time within that follow- ing two-year period.

To get an idea of the power of their system go to their website at www.monarchgrandvacations.com. The resorts included so far are Riviera Shores and Riviera Beach & Spa next door to each other in Capistrano Beach just south of Newport Beach, the Riviera Oaks Resort in the San Diego back country (gorgeous but still close enough to San Diego and its at- tractions), the Palm Canyon Resort & Spa in Palm Springs and the new Cancun resort in Las Vegas.

The points may be used for stays of as little as one night at a time. They could also be all blown on a big family reunion over a weekend in the Pre- mium Season in several two-bedroom units. All seasons are included, with high seasons and larger units costing more points than low seasons and smaller units. Additional points may be purchased as needed. This is the flexibility that the points systems al- low.

Their 40,000 or so Owners so far seem to be well pleased with their pur- chases. One drawback is the fact that

Jul/Aug, 2002

all Owners have the privilege of day use (the use of the facilities when not staying there) that leads to overcrowd- ing on some days (holidays in particu- lar), to the detriment of the resident Owners.

On all points systems, it is impor- tant to watch the real estate owner- ship. If you were to buy a points based system where the Developer retained the real estate ownership you might find yourself having promised reser- vations in properties that simply don’t exist for you any more. (This has hap- pened) In Monarch Grand Vacations, the real estate ownership is with the Owner’s Association that consists of all the Points Owners so there is a true real estate base to the Points Owner- ship.

This offering has the ability to be a strong and successful points con- tender particularly for people that like the West Coast. It can also be traded for other Five Star Resorts in the In- terval International system.

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