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Thread: DVCNews Debates: Budget Tightening

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  1. #1
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    Default DVCNews Debates: Budget Tightening

    Disney Vacation Club has released the annual dues amounts for 2018. As usual, costs are up with some resorts rising more than 7% over 2017. Property taxes continue to drive many of the increases, and those figures are largely out of Disney's control. However, Disney can (and does) seemingly help to soften the blow by reducing operational costs. It isn't uncommon for resorts to experience slight declines in expenses like housekeeping, front desk, utilities or transportation.



    Topic: If Disney wants to reduce costs at DVC resorts, what expenses do you think they should consider reducing / eliminating?

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  2. #2
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    Disney Magical Express that has to really up the transportation budget. Of course this will never happen until Disney does away with it for the cash resorts.
    --Denise

    Scheduled upcoming Disney trips:


    11/30/17 - 12/14/17 - Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort
    03/01/18 - 03/08/18 - Copper Creek at the Wilderness Lodge

  3. #3
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    I can't think of where cuts should be made to the DVC budgets. Every time I think of a reason to cut something, I also think that the savings would be minuscule or it would cut something that a segment of the membership really enjoys. For example,

    Pool Parties -- If DVC resorts eliminated the afternoon pool parties, it would save a few dollars on Cast Member salaries. It would also make the pool areas a little more quiet, which would please a number of guests. But I've seen a lot of little kids enjoying themselves at these pool parties. So, is it worth cutting back in this area?

    Compensation gifts -- I occasionally read posts from guests who say that they had a problem with their room, or they had a transportation issue, or their MagicBands didn't work properly, etc. To appease the guest, Disney gives them some compensation, such as a cash credit or a free meal. Of course, nothing is 'free' and the compensation is actually being paid by the DVC condo association. I don't know how often these compensatory situations arise, much less how much they cost the DVC membership, so I have no idea how they impact each resort's budgets. But I also think that there are situations where compensation is well deserved, such as when there is a clogged toilet that takes maintenance most of the day to repair. So, is it worth cutting back in this area?

    Management Fee -- Fee paid to DVCMC for providing management services to the Association according to the Property Management Agreement. The fee is equal to 12 percent of the total Operating and Reserve Budget exclusive of real estate taxes, transportation fees, and the management fee, itself. I have never compared DVC's management fee to other timeshare operators, so I don't know whether it is high, low, or about average. I also don't know exactly what we receive from Disney in exchange for that fee, but I assume it covers the cost of the Member Services operation, including the online booking system and the DVCMember website. I don't know where we could make cuts in these areas.






  4. #4
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    Default Budget Tightening

    First thing usually done in corporate america is to look at the overhead organizations and either (or both) cut back (nice word for layoffs) or vendor certain organizations. For example, I'm not sure if the Security personnel in Disney are still Disney employees, but if they are, that's one group which could be vendored out. Another (if not already) could be procurement, facilities, maintenance, etc. That's where you get the bang for your dollar. Each employee cost the employer in not only salary, but the benefits they also receive. That being said, the importance is to obviously pick the right vendor and not just the low bidder or you may compromise quality. Case in point, mousekeeping, which in my opinion has had their share of issues.

  5. #5
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    Default Budget cutting

    If DVC cut little bits out of everything, it would save. One thing that always bothers me is the housekeepers leaving their carts open to any to grab stuff off the cart. Or a guest tips them and they leave handfuls of shampoo, soap, etc. The large dispensers might cut out that extra cost. Eliminate towel animals (I thought they had already done that but still see some from time to time). Guests think the towel animal is a gift to them and they take perfectly good linens home with them. They already cut out free soda by chipping mugs. I do like the idea of cutting way back on the pool parties. We've never used Magical Express, so a smaller charge for that might be worthwhile. Not as much as an independent costs, but still not totally free. I also like cutting out the automatic $200 to a guest who complains. Fix their problem right away and they will be happy. Shoot, we had $50 thrown at us because we had to wait a while at check in when we arrived late at night. We hadn't even said anything about the wait. Yeah, we were tired and wanted to go to bed, but after driving for 14 hours, we weren't going to go to bed right away anyway.

    Big one, though, charge guests for the damage they do in the villas. Tell them any damage will be charged to the card they leave on file. If the damage occurred before they arrived, they need to mark it on a form that they turn in by the next morning. Many timeshares do have checksheets that guests mark down any problems in the units. Put a specific number of pool towels in each unit (make them a different color than the bath towels, or a beach towel sized pool towel). Remove the towel bins from the pools. How many guests take these towels to their units to use instead of purchasing a towel pack (and if they purchase the towel pack, charge them for that). Our other timeshares always put towels in the unit (so many towels based on the sleeping spaced in the unit). We can swap them out every few days if we want clean towels. Just take the towels to a staffed laundry area where you swap out your towels. Maybe even eliminate trash and towel service and only offer full cleaning on the same schedule ( on day four for eight nights or more, none for stays of seven nights or less). You take your trash to the trash room. You swap out your towels at the laundry area (and they mark your towels and only give you what you returned). Offer a starter of shampoo, soap, toilet paper ( only enough toilet paper to last at least the seven nights you don't get any service) and you provide your own if you need more. That would eliminate guests taking so much home with them to use in their guest bathrooms (yeah, I've seen that multiple times on various sites).

    Timeshares are not hotels and there isn't any need to provide the owner with everything they need for their stay.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb & Bill View Post
    Big one, though, charge guests for the damage they do in the villas. Tell them any damage will be charged to the card they leave on file.

    Well....prove I did it!!

    If people were to be charged for damage to a room, every check in would require the guest and a CM to inspect EVERYTHING in the room and write down extensive details. Upon check out, a similar inspection would be required so the guest is protected from a "Surprise" on their credit card statement.

    Next you need to determine what is chargable, what is routine wear and tear. Your room may have a coffee table with so many scratches you would deem it ruined. But who pays? Do you buy a new table if you put one scratch on it? Chances are the ruined table is a result of one scratch a week for the last 26 weeks.

    Bottom line is that the administration of such a program would cost more than the savings.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by delaneyc52 View Post
    First thing usually done in corporate america is to look at the overhead organizations and either (or both) cut back (nice word for layoffs) or vendor certain organizations. For example, I'm not sure if the Security personnel in Disney are still Disney employees, but if they are, that's one group which could be vendored out. Another (if not already) could be procurement, facilities, maintenance, etc. That's where you get the bang for your dollar. Each employee cost the employer in not only salary, but the benefits they also receive. That being said, the importance is to obviously pick the right vendor and not just the low bidder or you may compromise quality. Case in point, mousekeeping, which in my opinion has had their share of issues.
    I'm not sure whether taking the vendor approach would necessarily improve quality or cost. If DVC and Disney has issues with Housekeeping, then we need to battle with the vendor to get things fixed. To me, that just adds a layer of bureaucracy that complicates arriving at solutions.

    I have to admit that I'm prejudiced against vendors coming in and taking over operations. Too many times I see new vendors taking over part of a business operation and firing existing employees and then rehiring them at a reduced salary structure or by removing or reducing benefits. Maybe that works out great for the DVC members who reap the benefit of reduced Housekeeping charges, but its a benefit that is paid by the workers.






  8. #8
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    The toiletries and coffee service provided in the Villa's could be eliminated. I think most bring their own. We don't but it would not be hard to add to our packing.

    Removing transfers from MCO to WDW would be a pain but the expense of paying for that separately is low and the service faster.

    Personally, I don't understand why Bay Lake needed their own Check-In area - it's not like the Contemporary is a huge hike. There are plenty of DVC venues that share their Check-In areas. Now I think the GF is a huge hike so eliminating their Check-In would be a definite negative.

    The mid-stay mouse-keeping visit could be eliminated - possible reduction of hours work need.

    Both of my sister's timeshares do not provide any of the services listed above.

    If Disney could get the unions to agree, FT positions could be reduced and more part time hired to save on benefits. Or, as mentioned, out sourced.

    With all the Walk-in Clinics and Urgent Care facilities springing up, the medical benefits could be reduced and HSA instituted, which have the added attraction of being a federal tax deduction.

    Frankly, I wouldn't like any of these cuts but they are possible. How much are lower dues worth?

    Janet & Dan


  9. #9
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    Default Not Magix express

    Quote Originally Posted by denlo View Post
    Disney Magical Express that has to really up the transportation budget. Of course this will never happen until Disney does away with it for the cash resorts.
    Magic express I would personally disagree with. it starts and ends my vacation right. I've never had an issue with it. I tried uber once and wouldn't go back. It's an amazing perk and I use it every trip (several times per year) and always look forward to that bus ride.

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