First off, let me clarify what I am not referring to when I say “point inflation”. I am not referring to Point Reallocations.
I understand that costs rise, so the cost to construct a new DVC resort goes up over time, so I would expect the direct sales price of a new resort to cost more than the original sales price of an older resort (reference: History of DVC direct sales prices).
I can also understand why the maintenance fees (annual dues) rise year after year, as the cost of maintaining a resort rises (reference: History of annual dues).
But why do the points required to book a particular room size generally keep rising for each new resort built?
I’m not talking about a reallocation of an existing points chart for a resort to balance usage/demand, where the overall number of points at a resort remains the same. I’m talking about the newer resorts generally taking more points, so the total number of points at the newer resorts is generally greater than the older resorts (across an equivalent number of rooms).
As an example, let’s assume I built 3 very tiny DVC resorts, each containing just 10 studios. The first resort had an average of 10 points per night – some nights more, other nights less, for a total of 36,500 points. The second resort had an average of 15 points a night, for a total of 54,750 points. The third resort had an average of 20 points per night, for a total of 73,000 points. That is what I mean by point inflation in this post.
You might notice I used the word “generally” when referring to this phenomenon. That’s because it’s not strictly true that each new resort costs more points than the prior one. However, I think the premise is generally true in most cases – particularly when looking at BLT and beyond.
Some may say that the newer resorts are in prime locations and should take more points (“location, location, location!”). But why wouldn’t Disney just raise the sales price per point when selling the new resort?
Is it mostly to keep maintenance fees down? If you have more points per room, then you have more points to spread the cost of maintenance across.
In the past, DVC had increased the overall cost of a resort by merely raising the sales price per point. Recently, starting with BLT, DVC has also increased the number of points to book a stay. Is it a marketing ploy to hide the price increases of the newer resorts? Is it a way to make the cost per point of new resorts more competitive with the cost of older resorts on the resale market?
Let’s take OKW out of the equation, as Disney learned a bunch with their first resort and started to adjust point charts (and room sizes) in later resorts. But after OKW, things started to settle in and we had a string of subsequent resorts built with similar points charts.
But then came BLT, VGC, Aulani, VGF and PVB. I think this new tier of resorts has point inflation when compared to the prior tier.
As new resorts get built with bigger point charts, it becomes more difficult for owners at the older resorts to get similar stays at the newer resorts, as their “buying power” has been reduced. Is another possible reason to encourage point add-ons by older members?
Take a look at these charts for studios, 1-BR, 2-BR and 3-BG GV, of example.