Whenever sales start for a new Disney Vacation Club resort, it doesn’t take long before someone asks “How is the new resort selling compared to other resorts?”
Sales for the newest DVC property, Disney’s Riviera Resort, officially started on March 27, 2019. It was another 16 days before the first deeds completed closing and were recorded with the Orange County Comptroller. Allowing some time for the deeds to be recorded, the Riviera sold 187,336 DVC points by May 30, 2019, a period of 65 days from when sales started.
How does that compare to the early sales for the three DVC resorts that debuted right before Riviera?
As shown on the chart below, Riviera sold more points in its first 65 days than Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows (126,382 points) or Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (64,999 points) did in their initial 65-day periods. But the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the clear leader in this category with 280,991 points sold in its first 65 days.
Grand Floridian sold 11.1% of its 2.5 million points in its initial 65-day period from May 23, 2013 to July 26,2013. Riviera Resort, with over 6.7 million points, sold only 2.8% of its total points. The Polynesian, which trailed Riviera in the number of points sold, actually sold a higher percentage — 3.1% — of its 4 million points in its initial period than did Riviera. Copper Creek sold only 2.0% of its 3.3 million points when it started up.
Can these early sales numbers help predict Riviera’s future sales? Probably not. Copper Creek had the weakest initial sales, both in terms of points and percentage of total points sold. But during the 26 months that it was actively marketed by Disney, it outperformed both the Grand Floridian and Polynesian. Copper Creek averaged 111,139 points in monthly sales during its active sales period, edging out the 110,688 points averaged by the Polynesian during its active sales period. Grand Floridian averaged only 104,595 points per month while it was being actively marketed.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when looking at these early sales numbers:
- When the Grand Floridian debuted, its base price was $145 a point and was quickly increased to $150 a point. However, Disney never offered any incentives for the resort, not even to Disney Cast Members. Riviera started at $188 a point but with incentives it could be purchased for less than $165 a point. How much higher would the Grand Floridian’s initial sales have been if Disney offered incentives like it had for other previous resorts?
- When sales began for the Polynesian in January 2015, Disney was not licensed to sell it in several States. Residents in some States, such as California, could not purchase Polynesian points over the telephone or mail; they had to physically be in Florida in order to buy DVC points for that resort. The time it took to resolve those licensing issues may have been responsible for pushing some of those early sales past the first six weeks.
- Copper Creek averaged 111,139 points a month during its 26-month active sales period. But initial sales numbers were rather modest. In its first nine months, Copper Creek averaged only 57,025 points a month and saw only 75,576 points sold in its best month (October 2017). If its sales had remained at that depressed rate, Copper Creek would not sell out until December 2021. Once the calendar turned to 2018, it was a different story for Copper Creek. The resort went on a streak of 16 consecutive months where its monthly sales exceeded the 100,000 point mark. From January 2018 to May 2019, Copper Creek averaged 139,788 points a month, almost 2.5 times higher than its average over the first nine months.
Given all of these factors, it is difficult to draw conclusions based upon such a small sample of any resort’s total sales. The coming weeks and months will provide a clearer picture of how Disney’s Riviera Resort will ultimately fare in comparison to other recent Disney Vacation Club destinations.
Wil Lovato is a contributor to DVCNews.com and has been a Disney Vacation Club owner since 2009. His DVC Home Resorts include Bay Lake Tower, Animal Kingdom Villas, and Aulani. He can be found posting on many Disney discussion forums under the username of “wdrl.”