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Are DVC Annual Dues going to rise dramatically?

Property taxes are a large portion of annual dues

One of the obligations Disney Vacation Club members have is to pay annual dues to cover the operating costs and upkeep of their resort. Real estate taxes (ad valorem property taxes) make up a large portion of the annual dues – in the range of 20-30% of the dues for a resort.

Property taxes are a primary source of revenue for local governments. They’re also a significant expense for real estate owners, year in and year out.

Battles over property assessments

Property taxes are based on the assessed value of a real estate parcel, and a property tax rate. The Orange County appraiser determines property assessments.

Over the years, there has been a never-ending battle over how much taxes the theme parks and resorts should pay. Trying to get land values reduced is not new for businesses, including theme parks. Every time the assessed values have risen, Disney has challenged the increases in assessed values of their properties. Some companies have filed lawsuits year after year.

In the past, these differences in opinion over assessed valuation have been resolved through creative tactics or negotiations. Traditionally, the parks have gotten tax bills totaling tens of millions of dollars lowered through appeals to a property value adjustment board or negotiations with county officials.

The prior Orange County Appraiser, Bill Donegan, favored negotiated settlements. “My goal was always to come to a consensus because when you go before a judge … you don’t know what he’s going to do,” Donegan said. “We tried to come up with a compromise that both of us can live with. … I tried like heck to stay out of court.” The end result was the county’s value adjustment board reduced the assessed values.

Orange County Appraiser more willing to fight?

Rick Singh, who was re-elected last year to a second four-year term as Orange County Appraiser, calls that attitude playing “the game, Let’s Make a Deal.” Singh has been with the property appraiser’s office for about 20 years, working his way up in the agency, rather than coming in the side door via a career in politics.

Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh
Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh

Singh takes a different approach than his predecessors. Rather than basing assessments on what the multi-billion-dollar corporations have been paying, or would like to pay, he employs the latest technologies to make property value assessments efficient and accurate. And doesn’t avoid challenging the way things have always been.

Singh explained that the real issue here isn’t how high he values them now, but how low they were assessed before he took office.

“Let’s put things into historical perspective. I am the first state certified, qualified appraiser in the history of the Orange County office”, said Singh. “I look at this with a professional appraiser’s eye. Perhaps it has never been looked at with the eyes of an appraiser. This office has been functioning in a level of what I consider to be unconscious incompetence. They didn’t know that they didn’t know. I’ll give you a great example; when the entire theme park of Magic Kingdom is assessed less than the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, that’s a problem. The entire theme park, the land, and all the improvements. Picture that for a minute, and that speaks volumes.”

Singh said his methods for assessing properties are no different than those of his predecessors — except when looking at resorts and hotels. Then, he considers their income statements and the local “bed tax” paid by hotel customers, which he said his predecessor didn’t use. Income isn’t considered when assessing theme parks.

“It’s a matter of being fair and equitable,” Singh said. “If the single mother who is working two jobs has to be held accountable to pay her fair share, so should everybody else.”

Singh said he is more willing than his predecessors to fight in court rather than reach a compromise. “Some entities are not going to be happy because they’ve been getting away with murder,” Singh said.

Under Singh, appeals to the value adjustment board have generally been unsuccessful, and Singh said he is more willing to fight disputes in court than predecessors. He noted some companies have filed lawsuits year after year.

Disney sues over property tax assessments

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are suing over their property tax assessments from 2016, calling them “excessive.” Disney filed nearly a dozen lawsuits at the end of last month in Orange Circuit Court, arguing the assessments by Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh exceeded their properties’ fair market value and incorrectly “included the value of certain intangible property in the assessments.”

“The increases in the assessments of our property are unreasonable and unjustified,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. “Similar to other property owners in Orange County, we have no choice but to take action to dispute these errors by the property appraiser. We look forward to presenting our case in court.”

Singh vowed to fight them in court at the time, saying, “We hold their feet to the fire.”

Disney is asking for “proper” fair market and assessed values to be determined so it can receive a new tax bill in addition to reimbursement for courts costs.

Will DVC Members see annual dues rise?

The difference between Singh and prior Orange County Appraisers, is that Singh doesn’t look to be backing down. Singh could just be posturing for his constituants and may still decide to settle as his predecessors have done.  We don’t know if a settlement is likely, or what decision a judge may issue on the matter.

Could DVC members see large increases in their annual dues as a result? Only time will tell. We have seen the annual dues for Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins have the highest taxes per point of all the other resorts.

DVC marketing of Copper Creek Villas emphasizes Choice

Disney Vacation Club’s marketing of it’s latest DVC resort – Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – is in full swing.

DVC said the new resort is the culmination of listening to it’s members – particularly the breadth of accommodations. Offering five accommodation options, including Deluxe Studios, 1- and 2-Bedroom Villas, 3-Bedroom Grand Villas and waterfront Cascade Cabins, Disney is emphasizing choice in accommodations.

This is in direct contrast to it’s last DVC development – Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – where the “villas” consisted of only studios. Disney got some feedback from many members complaining about the lack of choice of accommodation types at the Polynesian villas.

The video below (“Something for Everyone) stresses the breadth of accommodation types.

Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge opens on July 17, 2017.

DVC on-demand webcast covering Copper Creek Villas

Disney Vacation Club has an on-demand webcast available for viewing by both members and guests to watch that covers Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

It’s titled “Makings of a New Frontier” and it’s hosted by Sabrina Soto, an interior design expert. After you watch the video, you can enter a contest to win a 5-night stay in a 1-bedroom villa at Disney’s Copper Creek Villas & Cabins.

The webcast is available at: makingsofanewfrontier.com

Copper Creek Cabin Porch
Copper Creek Cabin Porch
Copper Creek Cabin Spa
Copper Creek Cabin Spa

 

Virtual Tour Of Copper Creek Villas

Disney Vacation Club has added virtual tours of the rooms at the new Copper Creek Villas at it’s disneycoppercreek.com site. You can navigate around the rooms, in some cases with a 360-degree view. It’s almost as good as taking the tour of the model rooms at the DVC sales center at Saratoga Springs Resort.

Here are the links to each virtual tour:

Deluxe Studio

One-bedroom villa

Two-bedroom villa

Tours have not yet been posted by DVC of the Grand Villas or the Cascade Cabins.

Why are Copper Creek Dues So High?

When the cost, points chart, and annual dues for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins were released on March 1st, many people were surprised by how high the annual dues are. Copper Creek annual dues are $7.3296 per point, making it’s dues higher than all other DVC resorts – except for Vero Beach.

Let’s breakdown the annual dues into the various components and compare them to all the other DVC resorts. The definition of the various components is available here.

Click on an image to view a larger version.

Here is a high-level summary of the 2017 dues:

2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Dues Breakdown
2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Dues Breakdown

As you can see, Copper Creek Villas (CCV) has the highest taxes per point of all the other resorts. This seems to be the main reason why the Copper Creek dues are so high. This is an estimated figure, so if actual taxes are less, owners at CCV can expect a refund to be applied to next year’s dues.

The operating budget seems in line with the other resorts. You would expect the costs to be not too different than Boulder Ridge Villas, and they are pretty close.

2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Costs
2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Costs

Here is a graphical breakdown of the operating costs for Copper Creek. The main items are housekeeping, administration & front desk, and transportation.

DVC 2017 Resort Budget for CCV: Operating Costs
DVC 2017 Resort Budget for CCV: Operating Costs

Looking at the capital reserves budget, Copper Creek has the highest figure at Walt Disney World. It is surpassed only by Vero Beach (VB) and Hilton Head Island (HHI). Why is this?

2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Capital
2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Capital

Finally, looking at the revenue portion of the budget, Copper Creek looks to be in line with other resorts.

2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Revenue
2017 DVC Resort Budget Comparison: Revenue

So, in summary, the reasons the annual dues for Copper Creek are so high are taxes and capital reserves.

The DVC resort budget for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins is broken down here. All the resort budgets (including history for the past several years) is available here.

Copper Creek Reservations Begin

Today, booking for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins opened up for existing DVC members who added-on points at the new resort.

As the day started, members had to call DVC Member Services in order to book. Online reservations using the member web site should be available fairly soon. Until then, members are advised to book via the telephone.

These members can book for dates starting July 17 out to 11 months (so, February 21 if booking today).

Copper Creek Reservations Begin
Copper Creek Reservations Begin – DVC Members who added on

Reservations also opened up for the general public to book via a cash booking.

Copper Creek Reservations Begin
Copper Creek Reservations Begin – Cash

New Members purchasing Copper Creek Villas & Cabins on or after April 5 can book accommodations starting April 19. All other DVC members can book accommodations starting April 26, out to 7 months in advance.

Copper Creek Villas Model Room Photos

Here are some photos taken of the model room for the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge resort. The 2-bedroom lock-off model room is located at the DVC Sales Center at Saratoga Springs Resort. A 2-bedroom lock-off can be used as a 2-bedroom villa, or subdivided into a Studio and 1-bedroom villa.

You can click on a photo to view a larger version.

Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room
Copper Creek Villas Model Room

Thanks to Lori (Disney13) for the photos.

Disney Vacation Club Announces the Start of Sales for Copper Creek Villas

Today, Disney sent out the following press release:

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge offers families a new frontier for magical vacations with a wide-variety of deluxe accommodations

CELEBRATION, Fla. (March 2, 2017) – Disney Vacation Club recently announced that sales for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the latest resort in its growing portfolio, will begin on March 8 for current Disney Vacation Club Members with general sales following on April 5.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins offers guests a new frontier for magical vacations where the comforts of home and the wonders of the wilderness are deeply rooted in the magic of Disney. Inspired by the legendary mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest, guests will come “home” to rustic elegance, where cozy touches mix with modern designs to create a tranquil retreat.

“We’re excited to introduce Copper Creek Villas & Cabins to our Members and guests,” said Ken Potrock, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. “Whether it’s a quiet night spent in a cabin unwinding by the living room fireplace or venturing out into the endless action of nearby Magic Kingdom Park, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins is the perfect place for families to embrace the simple joys of nature and reconnect with each other for a lifetime of memories.”

Offering one of the widest ranges of accommodations found at Walt Disney World Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins features 184 modern, nature-inspired vacation homes, including Deluxe Studios, one- and two-bedroom Villas, and three-bedroom Grand Villas, which sleep up to 12. Each unit is thoughtfully designed with today’s families in mind and offers added convenience and many of the comforts of home, such as well-appointed kitchen areas, expanded storage space for belongings and private patios or balconies with scenic views.

Natural finishing touches throughout add a sense of nature to each room. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins also includes 26 all-new luxurious waterfront cabins. Sleeping up to eight and featuring two bedrooms, two baths and large dining and living room spaces, the cabins’ floor-to- ceiling windows, exposed wooden beams and interior-exterior stone-hearth fireplace bring the beauty of the outdoors in, offering plenty of room for families. After an exciting day at the nearby theme parks, guests can return to their porch to take in the fresh air and relax in the built-in hot tub, and for some, enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant on Bay Lake and firework views from the Magic Kingdom.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, currently still under construction, is scheduled to open for guests and Members on July 17. This will be the 14th Disney Vacation Club development and the second at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, conveniently located just a water-taxi ride away from Magic Kingdom Park.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins

Additional Resort Enhancements

While staying at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, guests will have shared-access to all of the amenities and activities available just steps away at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Geyser Point Bar & Grill
Geyser Point Bar & Grill

The recently opened Geyser Point Bar & Grill offers picturesque views of Bay Lake, as well as explorer-worthy feasts and trails-end spirits in an open-air lounge. The unique menu highlights an array of flavors from bison burgers with Tillamook cheddar and a house-smoked salmon BLT with lemon-caper mayonnaise to innovative small plates, craft beers and signature cocktails in the lounge. Roaring Fork, the resort’s original quick-service restaurant, will reopen later this year with a refreshed look and expanded outdoor seating.

Boulder Ridge Cove Pool
Boulder Ridge Cove Pool

Later this summer, guests will enjoy the laid-back relaxation of the new Boulder Ridge Cove Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This modern-day swimmin’ hole set within a spectacular backdrop features a zero-depth entry point.

Those in search of extra pampering will want to stop by the all-new Salon by the Springs for pool-side manicures, pedicures and hair services. Additionally, a brand-new sports court, BBQ pavilions and a refurbished fire pit and movie area also join the lineup of resort amenities all slated to open in the summer.

Copper Creek Resort Map
Copper Creek Resort Map

When can members start booking reservations at the new resort?

  • Existing Members adding-on points at CCV can book accommodations starting March 21.
  • New Members purchasing CCV on or after April 5 can book accommodations starting April 19.
  • All other DVC members can book accommodations starting April 26.

DVC is offering the Guaranteed Weeks option for purchases. An explanation of that is found here.

To learn more about Copper Creek Villas & Cabins and Disney Vacation Club Membership, visit DisneyCopperCreek.com.

Copper Creek Cost, Points Chart & More Revealed

Disney Vacation Club has revealed the cost, points chart, and opening timeframe for Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Current DVC members will be able to add-on points at CCV on March 8, while sales to the general public will start on April 5th.  The resort is scheduled to open on July 17, 2017.

The cost per point is $176, exclusive of any incentives (the same cost as the Polynesian Villas). DVC is offering members  incentives of $1,000 off an add on of 150 points or more (offer available March 8, 2017 – May 31, 2017.). The annual dues will be $7.3296 per point.

Also revealed were the 2017 points chart and the 2018 points chart.

When can members start booking reservations at the new resort?

  • Existing Members adding-on points at CCV can book accommodations starting March 21.
  • New Members purchasing CCV on or after April 5 can book accommodations starting April 19.
  • All other DVC members can book accommodations starting April 26.

Here are the rooms:

Copper Creek Villas Studio
Copper Creek Villas Studio
Copper Creek Villas Studio
Copper Creek Villas Studio
Copper Creek Villas 1-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 1-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 1-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 1-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 2-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 2-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 2-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas 2-bedroom
Copper Creek Villas Grand Villa
Copper Creek Villas Grand Villa
Copper Creek Villas Grand Villa
Copper Creek Villas Grand Villa
Cascade Cabin at Copper Creek Villas
Cascade Cabin at Copper Creek Villas
Cascade Cabin at Copper Creek Villas
Cascade Cabin at Copper Creek Villas
Copper Creek Resort Map
Copper Creek Resort Map

DVC is offering the following incentives:

Incentives for member add-ons

DVC is offering the Guaranteed Weeks option for purchases. An explanation of that is found here.

Want to know the rack rates if you book a stay using cash with Disney?

Cash rates for Copper Creek Villas
Cash rates for Copper Creek Villas

Visit DisneyCopperCreek.com for more information. You can join the discussion in our forum.

Boulder Ridge Villas vs. Copper Creek Villas
Boulder Ridge Villas vs. Copper Creek Villas