Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Westin Resort and Villas Joins Time Share Trend, Converting 108 Rooms

Since owning real estate on St. John today has become cost-prohibitive for most people, timeshare ownership is becoming the latest Love City trend.

The Westin Resort and Villas’ vacation ownership villas have been so popular, management is now offering more than 100 additional guest rooms at the resort as time shares, according to the Area Managing Director Graeme Davis.

“We are taking 108 of our guest rooms and turning them into vacation ownership villas,” Davis said. “We’ve had extremely successful sales over the past five years with our vacation villas sold in weekly intervals.”

“We decided to add more because we’ve had such great success and such great demand,” he added.

108 Rooms To Be TimeShare Units

Although 108 rooms will be used for the timeshare conversion, two or three of the rooms will be converted into one timeshare unit, Davis explained.

“We will gut out the interior of the rooms and cut through the walls,” he said. “The rooms will then be joined together to create the time share unit. We’ll also be adding kitchens to the units.”

“If you take three hotel rooms you create one two-bedroom villa,” Davis continued. “The middle becomes the living and kitchen areas and the two bedrooms are on the sides.”

$20,000 to $140,000 Price Tag

Prices for the timeshares vary greatly depending on the size of the unit and the time of year.

“The current pricing ranges from $20,000 to $140,000 for lifetime deeded ownership for a week,” said Davis. “The pricing is for the new and the old — it’s a combination. To buy a week in a studio in the off-peak season will run about $20,000.”

“A three-bedroom villa during Christmas week will probably cost about $140,000,” Davis continued.

The hotel rooms slated for conversion are currently in buildings 24 through 27, located on the main hotel side of the Westin property. The rooms are on the hillside above the pool and restaurant.

Rising real estate prices on the island are contributing to the increased popularity of vacation ownerships, according to Davis.

“I think it’s popular because if you look at the home prices on St. John they average around $1.2 or $1.3 million,” he said. “People who want a second home usually won’t use it all year. What better way to own a property on St. John than to just buy one week or two weeks, and be able to walk away?”

The Westin’s amenities and reputation contribute to the strong time share sales as well, Davis added.

Guaranteed Electricity, Water

“People feel good knowing that they have a strong brand like the Westin looking after their property,” he said. “When they come down they are guaranteed electricity because we have our own power plant, and guaranteed water, because we have our own desalination plant.”

Timeshare sales enhance the property and buffer any economic downfalls that might occur, Davis explained.

“First of all, you have guaranteed return visitors,” he said. “Even if there is a down-turn in the economy, it won’t affect us. We’ll always have the occupancy numbers up here at the Westin.”

“We’ll always have people who have an affinity for St. John,” Davis continued. Timeshare owners have the ability to trade their week at the Westin St. John for a week at any of the Westin’s timeshares throughout the world, or at a differnt company’s properties across the globe.

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