We're kicking off our Old Key West review series with a historical perspective with an interview, community Q&A with Sue Saunders. Sue is DVC Member #158 and is very proud that she bought DVC on the very first day it was offered to the public. Tune and join the conversations as we look back at Sue's wisdom from 30 years of membership and her 10+ year career working for Disney, including time as a DVC sales guide. Episode 166
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Normally, we start a resort review series with a history show. However, Midway to Mainstreet has a video out that perfectly recaps the history of Disney Vacation Club. Old Key West is not the original name of the resort. It was just called “Disney Vacation Club” when it opened. They didn't make any promises that more resorts would be opened up after the original. Instead of rehashing that content, I've put a link in the show notes.
Key Points from the history video: DVC Came about in the Eisner Era and the Disney Decade. DVC, DCL, and the Disney Store, and numerous other branches came about during this time. Eisner had a mindset – if other people were making money from being associated or around Disney, they wanted to enter that business and do it better. Orlando was a hot spot for Timeshare sales because it was near Disney. One of the founders said they wanted DVC to be judged by its performance. (That’s exactly what we do on this podcast. We’re the Amazon reviews for DVC.)
In lieu of a traditional history show, we're talking with a member who bought into DVC the very first day it went on sale. Sue Saunders eventually went on to work for Disney in Organizational Development. From OD, she worked on a project for DVC and was recruited to get her real estate license and become a direct guide with Disney Vacation. After she retired from Disney, Sue joined DVC Resale Market where she currently works today.
Chad does a brief interview ith Sue Saunders, who has contract number #158 and bought DVC on opening day to get her perspective on the 30-year membership.
Tell me about your family and Disney vacation style before buying into DVC.
There weren’t podcasts, social media, internet, etc back in 1991.
How did you first learn about DVC?
What was built when you signed up?
What were the developer incentives back then?
Lauren Rice-Springs: What did you think DVC could be like in the future? Say 30 years from when they bought it.
Mark Koeppel: Why didn't you call me and talk me into buying?
Kate Becker: What perk do you miss most?
Cherrill Scuderi Morrison: What was the unexpected benefit? What was the biggest regret future DVC buyers could avoid?
Cynthia Kearns: Did you add on as the family grew? In-laws. Grandkids.
Paul Schlaack: What is your formal ranking of all current DVC resorts? You can only rank those resorts at which you have stayed at least seven nights.
Derrick Birdsell: What will Disney do when the contracts expire? Tear down or massive refurb and start over? Redo the point charts and jack them way up?
Mary Anne My question is related to Derrick's. What are you going to do when facing your points expiring?
Susan P Warren: I've always wondered what the contract numbers started with. Not looking for anyone's specific number. Just wonder if they actually started with number 1, or maybe 1000.
Tim McDonald Jr: How many times did your mind change during the 30 years of the contract? Maybe we want to add on for whatever reason. Maybe we should sell bc of a negative reason that happened. Maybe we want another home resort.
Sandy Symianick: What non-Disney locations have you used your points at (if any)?
Dan Austin: What has changed over the years that have made the membership the most valuable to you? If you could choose the next DVC location, theming, and perks what would they be?
Andy Berry: What made you decide to buy DVC when all you could see were dirt fields where the resort was being built?
Brian Flock Do you feel like a genius. Because you are. Hands down.
Sing Wong If you had to swap your home resort, where would it be?
Nikki Lawrence What was your first DVC stay like? What is one of your favorite memories from the first few years of being a member?
Kathy Elliott If when you purchased it was in weeks what was the conversion when it went to points?
Carlie Froemke How has the increase in dues over time “felt”
Lisa White How are you adjusting to a resort as you age that does not have elevators in each building?
Roxanne Roux Steele Over the years did you stay in every DVC resort or mostly your home resort? Do you agree with “buy where you want to stay”?
Kathy Henderson Oldmixon. How has DVC changed your vacation habits?
Lisa Willcox How much of a risk did it feel, buying into an unknown, untested, concept of DVC?
Laura Hayes Harris. Do you feel that, over the years, your points buy less now than they did at the beginning? By the way, congratulations on a great purchase
Michael Johnson Sue is an awesome person!
BethAnne Reidy DiFonso What are your thoughts on the conveniences and discounts that have been eliminated for DVC members?
Jessica Bolt What are some of the best and worst perks she’s seen come and go through the years?
Dan Verdi Do you feel the customer service level for DVC Members has changed over the years (i.e. dealing with any room issues you might have had, being courteous and friendly around the resort, how your queries have been handled over the phone, etc.)? I’ve got another one: Did you end up buying the extended deed to OKW?
Estrada Carranza Dear Sue, you are one of the most knowledgeable people that has shared so many of your experiences as a long-time DVC Owner. I have so many questions for you. 1. How many contracts have you owned, how many total points, and what properties? What was the price you paid per point? I would love to hear your story on how you purchased at the Grand when it first opened and what was the price per point you paid at the time. Last how many points have you sold as of today and if there is one contract you could keep forever which one would it be and what’s the story behind it? Thank you, Sue!
Kristen Duncan. How many points do you have today?! Do you feel that the perks of being a direct owner have gotten better or worse over the years? Examples would be helpful. Thank you!
Joshua Waire: I want to know her favorite resort other than OKW. Has she been to Aulani, HHI, or Vero? Which resort does she think is the best value for resale purchasers now based on price and point charts?
Sue can be reached after this show by email: Sue@DVCResaleMarket.com.
Photo used under a Commercial Creative Commons license granted by CL Photography.
Today's show was produced by Sandy Symianick, edited by David Kluver, audio engineering, and show notes by Chad Pennycuff.
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