RESERVATIONS – A “Musical Chairs” Experience
By Doug Wilcox, Vice President of Resort Management, Trading Places International
Remember the fast paced childhood game of “Musical Chairs?” We cheered when we got a seat before someone else, and we jeered the person left standing. I hated to be the last person standing; I felt I had as much right to one of the chairs as anyone else, even when I was too slow or out of position to grab one when the music stopped. “So what does this have to do with my timeshare vacation at XYZ Resort?” you may ask.
The “Musical Chairs” comparison applies because XYZ is primarily a “floating week” resort. Float week owners must contact Trading Places International (TPI), the resort’s management company, to make a reservation every year. Because weeks are not automatically assigned to each member it is possible that some weeks will go unreserved. When that occurs, that vacation week use is lost forever. However, even though that week has passed and no one will be able to use it, there still remain the same numbers of owners who need to make a reservation. Thus, the “Musical Chairs” syndrome…
When a week passes without anyone making a reservation for its use, it is like removing a chair from the circle. The same numbers of members are dancing around the chairs, vying for the limited number available. When the music stops, someone is going to be left standing. Similarly, as the year goes by there will be fewer and fewer weeks to schedule with the same number of members vying to schedule a vacation.
How can you be assured that you will not be left standing without a vacation week available for your use?
- Plan your vacation early. Refer to your resort's rules and regulations for reservation lead times.
- TPI will attempt to salvage weeks that may go unreserved by keeping track of those weeks. Each month TPI will identify vacation intervals that, from its experience, will not be reserved, and make a substitute reservation for those weeks. TPI will then provide those unreserved weeks to the exchange programs. These weeks will create a pool of “banked weeks” which a member will then have an option to use whenever they call and cannot secure a week they prefer. In this manner, weeks will not go by unused, and members have an alternative to not being able to reserve a week of their preference.
- TPI will do its best to constantly remind members to make a reservation.
- When the annual assessment statement is sent to each member, there will be a “Use Form” attached to the statement. We strongly advise that you declare your preferred vacation weeks for the ensuing fiscal year and return with your payment.
- Each newsletter will have an article reminding members to complete their reservation.
- TPI will also make follow-up calls to those members who have not completed their reservation.
Please remember, it is your responsibility to secure your reservation. You are competing with other members. When you cannot reserve the vacation week you prefer, TPI will offer you an exchange week so you will not come up empty. PLEASE DO NOT BE LEFT STANDING WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS.