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Monday, October 16, 2006

The Timeshare Explosion at WDW

Several folks in the Internet community are up in arms that DVC is expanding to Animal Kingdom Lodge. I think this is because AKL is seen as private and exclusive, while DVC is somewhat akin to the McDonald's and Wal-Marts of the world (and less expensive than AKL).

While that might be true, the company has been marching toward this goal for some time now. Saratoga Springs hasn't stopped construction yet, for instance. And a brand new tower will go up next to the Contemporary Resort (completely ruining line of sight from Tomorrowland, some say).

What's behind all of this? Extremely simple: money. Or more accurately, short-term money. DVC involves booking a ton of money at this exact moment (in the current quarter) and then reaping only a steady stream of money later on. It's like selling hotel rooms for a guaranteed price every year... only the price is quite a bit less than you would have gotten for "rack rate." The two upsides are a big addition to the bottom line in the current year, when the DVC membership is first purchased, and then a better occupancy rate in future years.

No doubt in my cynical mind that the motivation here is the short-term profit. It's how the publicly-traded Disney company works these days, alas.