How do destination clubs balance the requests of their members to reserve homes during the most popular holiday periods?
The major holidays see some of the highest occupancy rates at destination club homes, as members want to take their vacations at times that coincide with work vacations or their kids school holiday/vacation dates. Each of the clubs has their own way of sharing the use of homes amongst their members during these popular periods.
One popular structure that many clubs use is to give each member a certain number of holiday reservations each year. The number of these reservations usually varies by membership plan, so that plans with more overall days also have more holiday reservations. As an example, the Ultimate Escapes 42 day Platinum plan has two holiday reservations, whereas the 21day Silver plan has one holiday reservation.
Another structure is a points based system, where holiday dates are valued at higher points levels. Both Botiga and the Hideaways Club use this sort of structure.
A third structure is to charge extra for plans that have holiday reservations. Under Exclusive Resorts new plan structures the basic membership plans do not include any holiday reservations and members can choose if they want to pay extra to be able to reserve the peak times. Quintess also offers a series of lower priced plans that do not include any holiday reservation times.
Some of the clubs, including LUSSO, Equity Estates and M Private Residences use either a lottery and/or a rotating priority group to share out the peak weeks amongst members.
The other key point to look at in reviewing how the clubs handle holidays, are the dates in the year that each club refers to as a holiday. While all clubs consider Christmas and New Year as holidays the other dates vary. The table below compares some of the leading clubs.
|Christmas||New Year||Presidents Day||Spring Break||Memorial Day||July 4th||Labor Day||Thanksgiving Day||Other|
|Distinctive Holiday Homes||X||X||X|
|Hideaways Club||X||X||X *||X||X|
|High Country Club||X||X||X||X||X||X|
Peak dates vary by property and by season. Each property has approximately 18 peak and 22 off peak weeks per year. Peak time is classified as time that is in greatest demand - when competition between members for that time is at its highest and this will often mirror school vacation periods. Peak time commands the highest point values. As examples, for ski properties, Christmas, New Year, February break and Easter are peak times, while for Mediterranean properties June, July, August, February and Easter break are peak times. Only "Charter" members have access to peak weeks.Distinctive Holiday Homes
With its global portfolio and membership, holidays reservation dates vary by country, location and state in which they have homes. An extra advanced booking credit is needed to reserve homes during a holiday period ie a member would need to have two advance reservations in their membership plan to reserve a holiday date.Equity Estates
Peak Holiday time is allocated by a lottery process. Equity Estates divides the year into two cycles with each owner member offered the opportunity to enter one of the cycles. The clubs home in Deer Valley is classified as holiday time during the Sundance Film festival.Exclusive Resorts
The key difference in terms of making reservations for these holiday times is simply that members cannot make reservations over holiday periods without having purchased the appropriate priority holiday reservation token.
Members can purchase either "Select" (Spring Break, 4th July, Thanksgiving) or "Peak" Holiday (Christmas, New Year, Presidents Day plus "Select" dates) access (or both if they want extra holiday access). Holiday access is only available for purchase to members with membership plans that include at least 20 days of usage per year.Once a member has purchased holiday access, reservations over holiday periods can be booked in two ways:
In purchasing access to holidays, members also gain the ability to make reservations over holiday periods using only a standard Advance Reservation (without the holiday token, assuming it's been used for another reservation already) once the holiday period in question falls within a six-month booking window. This is separate to the standard space available window for any membership - the six-month holiday booking window is specific to members who have purchased holiday access under the new membership plans.The Hideaways Club
When becoming a member of The Hideaways Club you receive a set amount of points - these points are used annually and are deducted every time a member books a trip to one of the homes. The allocation of points varies according to membership levels.As examples of the points:
Priority Weeks are New Year, Easter, Major sporting or cultural event weeks, February skiing, Christmas
Peak Weeks are School holiday periods (excludes Christmas, New Year, Easter and ski properties during February half term).
In order to book a reservation that is greater than 120 days in advance and covers one of the peak holidays, you must have a "Long-term Holiday Reservation" in your membership plan. Holidays may be booked under 120 days in advance and do not count as using a "Holiday Reservation".LUSSO Collection
Holidays are divided into three groups: Group 1 - Christmas & New Year's, Group 2 - President's Day and 4 weeks comprising Spring Break (fluctuates from year to year), Group 3 - Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. When Members join LUSSO, they are assigned a rotation schedule to cycle through the three holiday groups. So in one year they will be in the priority group for Christmas/New Year (i.e., Group 1), next year they may be in the priority group for Spring Break, including Presidents' Week (i.e., Group 2) and the following year they may be in the priority group for other Secondary Holidays (i.e., Group 3). Members are inserted into the rotation when they join and remain in that rotation thereafter.
Reservations for holiday periods will still be on the basis of availability but by using priority groups, only one third of the Club membership will be eligible to make reservations when the priority grouping is released. Other members can make reservations after the priority group has had the first chance.M Private Residences
Similar to the LUSSO system, M Private Residences assigns members to one of two rotating priority groups (Blue and Green) when they join the club. The club also operates two priority booking windows of one week each - one in April and one in October - with different holiday periods available during each priority period. The ranking of the priority groups alternate every year so that the priority group ranking ahead will have priority for either the April or October booking periods for that calendar year.
In addition to Christmas, New Year and Spring Break the summer months at certain properties are also considered peak weeks.Quintess
Members enjoy the number of "Advance Holiday Reservations" specified within the membership plan that they joined under. Plus they can reserve additional holidays with base plan nights within the short-term window (180 days or less), subject to availability. Advance Holiday Reservations may be made up to 365 days in advance and can be made from for 3 to 10 nights.Solstice
All membership plans provide access during the four designated holidays of New Year, Spring Break, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Reservations during the holidays are decided through a lottery system, which gives all members an opportunity each year to participate. There is a surcharge for Christmas and New Year, but not the other two dates.Ultimate Escapes
Members enjoy the number of "Advanced Holiday Reservations" specified within their membership plan. Plus they can reserve additional holidays with base plan nights within the space available window (180 days or less), subject to availability. Advanced Holiday Reservations may be made up to 2 years in advance and can be made for 2 to 7 nights.