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Jackson Hole timeshares - Teton Club?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
It's time to make a purchase. For 15 years, my wife and I have been *this close* to buying a timeshare at a ski area. We've looked at several but always found a reason not to buy it. The main reason we've not bought one is because we didn't like the idea of being "confined" to one ski area for our annual trips. Even the units we looked at in Tahoe and Summit County, which offer access to several different resorts, seemed restrictive.

Well after skiing JH, we know we could ski and vacation there exclusively for the rest of our lives and be content. It's time to buy.

We spoke with a lot of locals on gondola and tram rides about properties. Everyone mentioned the Teton Club and suggested that recent financial problems have created some pretty good deals. We didn't look at the units while we were there but know where they are. The location is perfect. Before I call Sales, can anyone offer any other suggestions for JH timeshares? Also, does anyone with timeshare experience know what happens if the management company goes bankrupt or folds?

TIA
post #2 of 20

depends on your portfolio

The prices I heard kicked about for the teton club were high enough to make one consider buying a smaller less nice unit outright. The Teton club is nice, no doubt and ski in ski out, but I think you have to pay and pay lots for that convience. I'd find a good real estate agent and full ownership properties.

Nothing says you can't rent it out six months a year. If you want a low pressure agents name pm me, I am not affiliated he is just an old buddy who shares some of the same bad habits
post #3 of 20
Take this advice for what it's worth......

While nothing will happen to your "ownership" per se, just pray that that doesn't occur. If it does, and the company bankrupts or folds, get ready to pay up for what they call "assessment fees." In otherwords, another company will move in and buy up both your resort and the ownership base. In doing so, they'll "assess" the value of the resort, repair (or not repair) damages incurred during the bankruptcy, and will subsequently charge you for the work. Thus, you'll either receive a bill charging you a fee for the assessment (which is typically outrageous) or you will notice steep increases in your annual maintenance fees. That's the thing about timeshare ownership, esp in ski towns where winter fees add up quickly, while at first it may seem economical, it can become a financial burden. That's why educating yourself pre purchase is really important.

Before you even consider buying, do extensive research on the company you plan to buy from. Look at the reviews at www.rci.com. Are they a reputable player within the industry (such as Marriott or Disney Resort)? How do their properties trade across the industry, not only within their internal system? etc... Also, look into the resale market before you put yourself through the agony of a timeshare sales presentation. Ebay, for one, is reknowned for having incredible deals on timeshare resales. Lastly, if you do go through the typical sales process, know your facts. Don't let them finagle you with promises and freebies.

Any more questions let me know. As you can probably tell, I have first hand experience with the pitfalls of timeshare.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Mike
post #4 of 20

Timeshare vs. fractional

Unless it has been changed since I looked at the Teton Club, it should be called a Residence Club rather than a Timeshare. The differences may be technical but the real estate agents (salesman) will stress the difference. Typically, the annual dues/owner's association dues will be MUCH higher for a fractional residence club than a timeshare. You also will not usually get the same week year in and year out. There is usually some sort of system to assure that the same owners do not get the same prime weeks year after year. At the Teton Club they used to require any potential owner to buy a week in "shoulder season" in addition to any winter or summer season. (Also known as mud season.)
The actual units in tha Teton Club are beautiful--probably alot nicer than you will find in a typical timeshare. They are either 2 or 3 bedroom and literally steps away from the tram and the gondola. They have several nice hot tubs and a nice exercise facility. They used to include 2 lift tix for the week that you were "in residence" as well as including golf privelages at Teton Pines while you were "in residence" in the summer. I don't know if they still offer that perk.
But you have to realize that you will be paying for the convenience of ski in/ski out at one of North America's finest ski mountains. You could typically take a luxury ski vacation each year for what the DUES will run you annually. And you could choose from any resort in North America rather than being limited to JH. JH is great but every place runs into a warm or dry season now and then and unless you are willing to eat the cost of your annual dues, you'll be "forced" to ski there when other parts of the continent have much better conditions.
On to resale value--I'm sorry to hear that Teton Club is having $ trouble. But you have to ask what will your investment be worth 10 years from now. Perhaps after the developer has sold all of the available inventory the value of your investment will rise. But until that happens, the developer will typically meet any offer on the resale market just to get out of the project, especially as they get down to getting rid of the last few weeks. If you are really interested in Teton Club you might want to look at the resale market--you might find a great deal.
I bought into a residence club (at another resort) and I'm still very happy with it but I could have saved $$$$ if I would have looked around for a better deal rather than trusting that everything that the agent (salesman employed by the developer) told me. The reason that I finally took the plunge was that I just got tired of renting a condo or hotel room for a week that invariabally was not what I was led to believe. I'm sure you know what I mean--"walk to the lifts"=3 to 4 block walk; "at the base of the mountain"=3 to 4 blocks away; "recently remodeled"=old and beat up; etc., etc., etc.
I believe that if you go in fully informed you will be happy with your purchase but you have got to do your research. Good Luck
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wow! great info, thanks everyone.

We obviously need to do some deeper research. Trouthead, I'll pm you for your friend's name and number.

Thanks again!
post #6 of 20
i was just in JH last week with two of my co-workers/friends. One of them felt the same as you did; he was ready to buy the ski home, and decided, for many of the same reasons you did, that JH was the place. He got some info from the Teton Club.

When you take the cost of each "fraction" that they're selling (I believe they were selling two week fractions, and, therefore, 26 fractions, in the case of the unit he looked at) and multiply that times the number of fractions each unit contains, you'll see that they are asking an absurd price for each unit.

A friend, who has some experience in the area of JH real estate suggested that prices might be more reasonable on the secondary market. So I guess what I'm saying is I agree with the above responses.
post #7 of 20
Hi, KevinH.

Sorry for taking so long to reply to this. I've been skiing the last few days and not checking Epic very much.

You've already received a lot of good advice, but I'll chime in as well because I actually sell real estate here in JH. As a matter of fact, part of what I do is in competition with the Teton Club. I work for the Four Seasons and we offer outright ownership of several kinds of condos (price range $1.95 to $5.4 million) as well as fractional ownership of furnished two and three-bedroom condos (fractional prices range from $169,500 to $469,00).

Having gotten that out of the way, I'll make a couple of comments.

First off, I think fractional ownership at Teton Club (or Four Seasons, for that matter) is a very smart way to go for a certain kind of buyer. The units at Teton Club are very, very nice and the building is very convenient to the JH slopes.

Fractional ownership is all about amenities and thought-free vacations. In most of today's lifestyles, vacation time is so precious for many families that it can be a huge issue to have to worry about all the things that go with outright ownership of a second home (condo or freestanding). Mechanical, plumbing, roofing, maintenance, snow-removal, etc can all place a pretty significant burden on the owner and have a very negative impact of the enjoyment of the vacation.

Fractional ownership takes almost all of those issues away. You figure out when you're going to visit and someone else takes care of all the day-to-day management issues.

That freedom comes with a price, of course. Teton Club has an excellent location, great condos, and lots of nice amenities that make your visit more comfortable. Our property has spectacular outdoor pool and hot tub areas, aerobics machines, weight room, exercise classroom, three onsite restaurants/bars, 24-hour room service, ski concierge, kids' game room, world-class spa, and a location that is literally steps from the main lifts. All of that (in both properties) can add immeasurably to the enjoyment of a ski or summer vacation, but it costs a lot of money to provide.

Many people who are unfamiliar with the concept will run some math in their heads and decide the concept is not for them. They don't need the perfect location or the added amenities. That's fine, nothing wrong with that. But other families will look at how relaxing and refreshing a vacation like this can be and decide that there's a lot of value to the fractional concept.

Going back to the Teton Club, you may or may not be aware that they *already* went bankrupt. They operated under Chapter 11 for about a year and have now come out of bankruptcy well-funded and without significant "special assessments" on the existing condo owners. During the entire time they were in bankruptcy, they were operating as usual and their owners and guests were experiencing great vacations. I have several friends who own interests at Teton Club and they love it.

So, how do you decide if you're the "right kind of buyer"?

Think about how much time you want to spend in Jackson Hole and during which seasons. The exchange options that Teton Club (and Four Seasons) offer are a nice perc, but you should really be thinking that Jackson Hole is your preferred destination for most of your time at a property such as this.

Think about how important the location and amenities are to you. Trouthead's suggestion of outright ownership of a condo here is JH is certainly a good one to consider. To get the kind of amenities and location you're looking at, however, you'd be looking at some very expensive condos. Most of the condo projects in JH don't offer the kind of amenities available at Teton Club or Four Seasons, and most projects are *far* less convenient in terms of how you get to the lifts.

Think about how inclined you are to deal with the upkeep and upgrade issues of owning a condo outright. If you own it, are you going to try to rent it while you're not here? If you rent it, are you going to do short-term or long-term? If you do short-term, are you *truly* aware of how much abuse a property like that gets from ski vacationers? Also, if you do short-term, do you understand that the times you might really like to use it yourself (say, Christmas and President's week and kids' spring breaks) are exactly the times it's most likely to be rented. I ask these not so much to discourage you as to help make sure that you would know what you're getting into. Also, be very, very wary of rental income projections on a condo you would own outright. Typically, you wouldn't want to count on too much net rental income to help pay the mortgage/taxes/condo fees, etc.

So, my conclusion would be that you should at least consider fractional ownership at the Teton Club. Check to see how the pricing works, what times you would have to use your residence, what sorts of amenities are provided and how much the annual homeowners' fees have increased over the years. Compare what you get with what you might have if you purchase a condo outright. Give a lot of thought to how much you and your family will visit Jackson Hole and how that pattern might change as the years go by. One strategy or the other will eventually become obvious.

And lastly, I can also make a suggestion on a real estate broker here in Jackson (other than me, of course - I would only be in the picture if you wanted to look at something in the Four Seasons). He's a third-generation Jackson Hole native and knows as much about property in this valley as anyone. He acts as a Buyer's Broker, which can be a very significant advantage to you as the buyer. I refer a lot of people to him and they've been very happy with his integrity and professionalism. That, and he can ski like almost no one you're ever seen. :

So, good luck with the process. I always love to see people making that leap to become property owners here in Jackson Hole.

Bob
post #8 of 20
Are timeshares really ever worth it? Most of them cost a lot to begin with then have significant annual fees on top of the initial purchase price. Plan on spending anouther couple of hundred $'s if you want to exchange for another local some year. Also, many of them have fixed lives (E.g., 20 years). Why not just invest the money you were going to use on the timeshare (you're not going to finance one at their ridiculous rates, are you?) and stay at the Four Seasons if you're looking for luxury?
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldsbar
Are timeshares really ever worth it? Most of them cost a lot to begin with then have significant annual fees on top of the initial purchase price. Plan on spending anouther couple of hundred $'s if you want to exchange for another local some year. Also, many of them have fixed lives (E.g., 20 years). Why not just invest the money you were going to use on the timeshare (you're not going to finance one at their ridiculous rates, are you?) and stay at the Four Seasons if you're looking for luxury?
Goldsbar:

First off, neither Teton Club nor our project at Four Seasons are timeshare. We (Four Seasons) are fractional ownership, in which you have deeded and recorded fractional interest in a specific residence in perpetuity (that means forever).

Not speaking for Teton Club now, I'd be delighted to sit down with you and walk through the numbers on fractional ownership at the Four Seasons. The conclusion might be very surprising to you. It depends entirely on the type of property and accomodations you prefer while on vacation. Our hotel rents three-bedroom residences that are essentially identical to what we sell in fractional interests. They *rent* for $2,800 to $3,000 per night during the ski season. That's in 2005. Who knows what it might be in 2025.

Given those kinds of numbers and the quality of property we have here, it becomes fairly easy to cost-justify a fractional ownership. As I said above, it's certainly not for everyone. Relatively few people stay in accomodations that expensive on a ski trip, but the number is probably much higher than you might think. And fractional ownership makes it possible for that number to be higher still.

Bob
post #10 of 20
Bob - You obviously know real estate, especially that in JH. I'm still not sold on "fractional ownership" as I would like to own the "whole thing" when I buy my vacation home, so that I could eventually live there part of the year (maybe as much as six months). The idea of buying your 2025 vacation lodging at 2005 prices is an excellent point. So I guess if you just want a few weeks a year, then "fractional ownership" would make sense.
post #11 of 20
We have been toying with fractional ownership in Vail (Austria Haus). Does the Four Seasons (or Teton Club) have the option for the owners to stay for free, space available, anytime in addition to the scheduled weeks? We would tend to use the place at off-peak times, and as much as possible on top of our scheduled weeks.

Since we are in Denver and can get to Vail easily/last minute, it seems like that would be a good way to do it. But I don't know how many owners (9 per unit, 4 wks a year) are local (am I able to find out? will they tell me the breakdown?). If it were a bunch of New Yorkers, I would feel okay about being able to use the space-avbl option. I understand JH wouldn't have that characteristic, as it's not near a major city like Denver.
post #12 of 20
Last year I exchanged a New Zealand timeshare week for a Jackson Hole week, with the exchange company RCI. Our week was at the 'Jackson Hole Racquet Club', located at The Aspens, which we found really convienient with a vehicle. It is not ski in, ski out and you are 4 miles from the ski area. But a free bus went right past our front door. We did not take our vehicle cause it costs money to park, so used the bus. The Aspens has a general store, liquor store and a couple of restaurents so you don't need to go into town to get the basics. Plus Bob Peters lives in walking distance so it must be good :-)

I bought my timeshare week in NZ really cheap, a capital cost of around $2000 USD. Excluding my capital cost, the week in JH cost me $500 USD , which is my annual maint fee and exchange fees. The unit was one bedroomed but spacious and slept 6 or more. At the moment our NZ dollar is strong against the US at 72 cents, but in the past it has been 40 cents. At least the timeshare gives me hedged accomodation cause I am paying my fees in NZ dollars.

For me it is the most affordable way to ski overseas and I had no problems getting the weeks I wanted but I did book early, 8 months out.

The Racquet Club is not brand new, units are getting a bit older but I thought they were well equipped, had everything we needed. And they had a real ski lodge ambience to them. Plus waking up one morning to find a moose in your front yard was a bonus. I have no idea what it costs to purchase a week, but I'd be more than happy to stay there again.

In NZ it is much cheaper to buy weeks in existing resports that have been around for a while, cause resale values are not always the best. I bought through the management company of the resort so you don't need to worry about wether or not the existing owner has paid the maintenance fees due.
post #13 of 20
Just as a side note on the Teton Club, The Parant company also has the Miners Club here in Park City at the Canyons resort. I understand that you do have exchange privileges between the two. i have seen the Miner clue and it is very nice. While doing the tour. I was told the Teton Club was a an even a better property.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrjax
Bob - You obviously know real estate, especially that in JH. I'm still not sold on "fractional ownership" as I would like to own the "whole thing" when I buy my vacation home, so that I could eventually live there part of the year (maybe as much as six months). The idea of buying your 2025 vacation lodging at 2005 prices is an excellent point. So I guess if you just want a few weeks a year, then "fractional ownership" would make sense.
ldrjax:

Given your situation, you probably wouldn't be in that category of buyer for whom fractional ownership would necessarily make the most sense. That's why we sell outright ownership as well. Defferent buyers are looking for different things.

Having said that, I can tell you that a number of families who have purchased Four Seasons fractions from me actually do plan to find themselves in your situation long term. They see themselves buying something outright within 5 or 10 years. They've purchased a fractional interest here so that they have a beautiful place to come to several times a year *while* they are familiarizing themselves with the various neighborhoods and developments around Jackson Hole. At some point, they'll probably buy a permanent second home, but they're taking their time and learning the community before they do.

There are lots of different ways to approach these things.

Bob
post #15 of 20

Fractionals seem to make so much sense.

Unless you are independently wealthy, or can spend at least 4-6 months at your vacation home, fractionals make sooooo much sense. This is especially true when you see what kind of $$$ these places or places of similar quality and size would rent for by the night or by the week. Agreed, they often come with sizable dues but when you balance that with the incredible convenience of this type of ownership, such as no maintenance hassles or worries about up-keep, it is almost a no brainer. Don't completely discount the idea, just make sure that you do your research.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
We have been toying with fractional ownership in Vail (Austria Haus). Does the Four Seasons (or Teton Club) have the option for the owners to stay for free, space available, anytime in addition to the scheduled weeks? We would tend to use the place at off-peak times, and as much as possible on top of our scheduled weeks.

Since we are in Denver and can get to Vail easily/last minute, it seems like that would be a good way to do it. But I don't know how many owners (9 per unit, 4 wks a year) are local (am I able to find out? will they tell me the breakdown?). If it were a bunch of New Yorkers, I would feel okay about being able to use the space-avbl option. I understand JH wouldn't have that characteristic, as it's not near a major city like Denver.
Hi, segbrown.

I don't know about the Teton Club and space available time.

Here at Four Seasons, we do allow it - with some restrictions on how many reservations you could make and under what circumstances, etc. Also, we have a nightly charge for space available nights because any owners who stay with us have full access to all of our amenities. It costs money to heat the pool and the hot tubs, provide daily maid service, etc.

I would say that the property you're interested in should DEFINITELY be able to tell you what their owner mix looks like. We're very happy to share that information with prospective buyers. I'm sure the Vail market is different since Denver is so close, but exactly *none* of our owners are from Wyoming, or even Colorado for that matter. Almost all are from metropolitan areas on east coast, west coast, or midwest.

My general impression would be that if you want to use off-peak time, you would probably be able to very easily, but this is also a question you could ask the sellers. How do they allocate space-available time? How early before your desired arrival can you make a reservation? Can they give you the names of a few (don't accept just one) existing owners you could call for input and testimonials.

Also, I can't quite figure out how they can let you use the condos on a space available basis for *free*. Doesn't someone have to come in and clean the place before and after you leave? Aren't there any staff on hand to attend to basic services. Are there standard amenities like lounges or hot tubs or pools or anything? It seems strange to me that there would be no charge at all. You might want to clarify that.

One other sort of general suggestion. I think it's not a bad idea to ask many of these questions via email rather than in person or over the phone. This is purely a generalization, but some people might tend to consider their answers a bit more seriously if they're putting them down in writing. If you already have the name of a salesperson at the project, email them with your questions. That way, you have a paper trail if there are any misunderstandings down the road.

Good luck,

Bob
post #17 of 20
Unlike others on this thread, I know little about real estate and timeshares. However, I did recently learn a hard lesson.

My wife and I sat through a Trendwest presentation (owned by the largest timeshare corp in the world - RCI - owned in turn by Cendent, which owns a large number of Fortune 500 travel a leisure companies).

Trendwest sell "credits" used in timeshares, rather than actual weeks. Regardless, it's a related concept.

The point is, after being heavily incentivized to buy now, we finally signed on the deal.

The next day we discovered the same "credits" selling on ebay for less than 50% of what we just paid. There was a highly liquid secondary market for this product, at a fraction of the original cost.

Chastened, we immediately cancelled the deal and were lucky enough to have the funds refunded (Trendwest had been stung 2 years previous for $millions in a court settlement for not processing refunds within the "cooling off" period").

Therefore, in support of comments made above, be sure to check ebay and other sources for re-sale prices on the fractional ownership. You may find that buying directly from the Teton Club doesn't make the best financial sense.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
....Also, I can't quite figure out how they can let you use the condos on a space available basis for *free*. Doesn't someone have to come in and clean the place before and after you leave? Aren't there any staff on hand to attend to basic services. Are there standard amenities like lounges or hot tubs or pools or anything? It seems strange to me that there would be no charge at all. You might want to clarify that.
Oh, I didn't really mean FREE free. There is a housekeeping fee. But it isn't $850 a night, like the hotel costs.

Quote:
One other sort of general suggestion. I think it's not a bad idea to ask many of these questions via email rather than in person or over the phone. This is purely a generalization, but some people might tend to consider their answers a bit more seriously if they're putting them down in writing. If you already have the name of a salesperson at the project, email them with your questions. That way, you have a paper trail if there are any misunderstandings down the road.
That's a good idea. We're still leaning toward buying a "whole" place, but the ease of a fractional is tempting. I'm still trying to get ONE house under control, much less two.

And the prices in Vail ... sheesh. One-brs not even in the Village are $300K and more. But on the other hand, investment-wise, how can you miss with Vail? We don't even ski there that much (although it wouldn't kill me to do so), but it's only 20 min to Copper, and it's our favorite summer and fall place.

But ... on the other hand (there's always another hand!) ... it's fun to spend the money going to different places. It's just the investment part. Interest rates are so low, and prices are going up, and areas are getting built out ... I can't think of many "safer" places to put a chunk of money and use it at the same time.
post #19 of 20
My own fractional ownership at the Teton Club it's very wonderful to go every year because the service is impeccable and you feel like a billionaire when you stay there. My only advice to you when buying any timeshareis to look at the history of how they raise the maintenance fees. The Teton Club has been very reasonable however many places are not. Another big piece of advice is to buy a fixedweek.The problem at any of these resorts is inventory and reservations are a major stressor and unless you know you own the week and do not have to call-in I would not recommend any timeshare.at the Teton Club the winter two weeks are not too difficult as long as you are not looking for a holiday. You can buy holiday week which is a good idea. In the summer it's mayhem becauseto get an actual summer week you must call along with thousands of others who want the same week. It was set up where September and October are considered summer weeksand nobody wants those summer weeks so that is my only regret. If you're looking for winter at the Teton Club you'll be fine but summer unless it's fixedI would not recommend the purchase of a float in summer anywhere.in addition the four seasons from what I understand has a rotating message of obtaining the better weeks every five months years you have the ability to get the best weeks I don't knowwhy this was their method of choice but it did not work for me because I needed some holidays and did not own fixed they also require that you own and pay for several undesirable weeks.The Teton Club only requires that you won't two weeks of any type.
post #20 of 20
I am the owner of the Teton Club that spoke above I wanted to add that I only asked for a space available once and I received it it was wonderful I only paid $100 for the whole week. I believe many weeks are available like that in the lower seasons I think November and May are good times to try for space available in the Teton Club it's clearly written in the bylaws so there should be no confusion. I have not tried space available for many years I just use what I own and have enjoyed itI may try November in the future because that's the season the L come down to the feeding grounds and that's what I saw was a child. It's on my bucket list owning and Jackson Hole Wy is not just about the skiingthere is so much more to the area it has the national Park short drive to Yellowstone I have done it year after year for the past 20 years and it never gets old. My guess is a park city or steamboatwould not be comparable.
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