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The Westin Verasa Napa [Master Thread]

The Westin Verasa Napa [Master Thread]

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Old Aug 17, 06, 11:58 pm
  #1  
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Arrow The Westin Verasa Napa [Master Thread]

http://www.westinnaparesidences.com/index.asp

I saw an ad for these in today's newspaper. It seems like they have licensed the Westin name for marketing these hotel/condos - but I wondered if there was any word that there will be associated hotel rooms. The area could sure use it.
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Old Aug 18, 06, 9:37 am
  #2  
 
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Not surprising that this is an Intrawest development. This is the extent of what Intrawest's site seems to say:

The Westin Verasa is the first 4-star branded condominium-hotel in the Napa Valley. The riverfront property is at the heart of a city revitalization that will encompass the creation of a river walk connecting the river to many of the sights and attractions of the city’s downtown core. As part of the Westin family, the Westin Verasa will be the epitome of effortless style and gracious attitude – an ideal home base to plug into the town and begin an adventure in the valley.

A project plan presented in March to the City of Napa Planning Commission presents a lot more information. The 3-story property is to be located at 1314 McKinstry St and is to have 160 rooms (20 of which offer lock-out rooms).

From the project plan to deviate from an earlier 2001 hotel-condo application for this site:
This application by Intrawest Napa seeks approval to modify the site plan and building plans and establish a 160 room condominium hotel (condo-hotel) at 1314 McKinstry Street. The revised design utilizes essentially the same building footprint, orienting the hotel to the river and utilizing Craftsman-style architecture for the buildings. The hotel amenities will include an outdoor swimming pool, bocce ball courts, several courtyards and terrace gardens, a porte-cochere, a 233 space subsurface parking lot and fully landscaped grounds. No additional square footage is proposed: however the spa component has been removed and replaced with additional meeting/conference space. This hotel project is being developed in conjunction with Copia and is to be operated as a four-diamond hotel. The operational aspects regarding its proposed status as a “condominium-hotel” are addressed separately in this report.

Significant to most of us here on FT:
8. Use of Units. Owners’ use of their condo-hotel unit shall be limited to fourteen (14) days per calendar year. The City may approve additional usage in the Use Permit, but the total number of days of owners’ use approved by the City shall not exceed twenty-nine (29) days per calendar year. Owners may delegate their right of use and occupancy directly or through an exchange program. At all other times, units shall be used for transient occupancy purposes only; units may not be rented to any person(s) for more than twenty-nine (29) consecutive days.

Consistent with the provisions of the Condo-Hotel Ordinance, the applicant has requested the City to approve the owners’ use of their unit for up to 29 days per calendar year. Staff has a difficult time supporting this request without some modification. The City’s primary concern is to make sure that the hotel rooms are available for the tourist community. Assuming that there is a pool of 2,240 days that are exempt from Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) (14 days x 160 units), staff would be supportive of this set number of days available for the personal use of any owner – up to a maximum of 2,240 days.
In addition the final CC&Rs shall provide that the units may not be rented to any person(s) for more than twenty-nine (29) consecutive days.

9. Compliance with Law. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant for a condo-hotel to comply with the requirements of Title 16 (subdivisions) of this Code as well as all other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

The applicant has agreed to operate the hotel consistent with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
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Old Aug 23, 06, 2:04 pm
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Owners’ use of their condo-hotel unit shall be limited to fourteen (14) days???

Does that make this a timeshare? I got something in the mail that said the prices start in the low $400s. that's an awful lot to spend for 14 days a year. Is this another timeshare deal? And if so, will it be a part of the Starwood Vacation Network?
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Old Aug 23, 06, 2:35 pm
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This is not a timeshare, but is similar in some ways. Basically you could buy a particular suite in the hotel, and you have deeded rights to that unit. You can sell it, will it, whatever. But you also get rental revenue from it. Likely (it was this way for the Westin Trillium House in Collingwood, ON) the revenues are pooled each night and each owner gets a percentage of the total take. The hotel keeps a sizable percentage (50% or so) as their share and the owners get the rest, split up on a predetermined percentage.

When the owner wishes to stay there (max 14 days per year in this case) there are no charges other than a nominal cleaning charge on departure. However, they do not share in the rental pool for those nights. The owner would always stay in his own unit.

It ends up being a win-win situation. Starwood benefits by having others fund the construction and maintenance of the property. The owners get a rental revenue stream that quite possibly covers their costs of ownership - mortgage payment, condo fees, insurance and the like. They get to have a real estate investment (hopefully it appreciates in value) that they can also enjoy.
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Old Aug 23, 06, 3:04 pm
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The above sound simliar to the arrangement Starwood has with The Atlantic in Fort Lauderdale and Hilton with the Conrad Miami where suites are sold and the owners have the option of using them at times and at other times they become " part of the Hotel"

mike
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Old Aug 2, 07, 12:15 pm
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Owners are actually entitled to use their suites for up to 28 days/year. I have been told this is due to the lack of hotel rooms in the town of Napa, which according to what I paid recently for a 3* seems to be true.
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Old Aug 2, 07, 10:09 pm
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I live in the bay area and had read about the Napa Property in the spring. It's not a timeshare, and as others have stated is a condo hotel. I called to inquire about the property costs etc. Evidently the first phase sold out the first day back in December. The second release was maybe late spring. A studio started originally at $410,000. By the second phase I believe it was mid to high $400's.

The owner can only stay in the unit 28 days out of the year. That is because the city of Napa wants to collect the hotel tax all of the rest of the year and they have the right to do so because it is still a "hotel".

I had inquired about another Westin Residence in St. Lucia and learned that the owner actually ends up with very little of the rental money. If the Napa property has the same rental agreement as St. Lucia , the owner would end up with 30% or less. You have to pay for a quarterly deep cleaning of the unit. There's also a percentage taken out of the rental for a general maintance fund ( replacing dishware etc.) and on and on. Also there is a monthly maint. fee like homeowners dues which is very high. In St. Lucia is was .80/ft. Which means if your unit was 1,000 sq. ft. you also had to pay $800/month homeowners/maint. dues!...every month.

Aslo, very often,(like in St. Lucia) Starwood has the right to give away 7-10 nights/year.

If one has extra money to throw around...it would be great!
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Old Jun 17, 08, 6:05 pm
  #8  
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Starwood issued a press release about this hotel (whose costs seem to have been footed by bubble-chasing real estate "investors" according to prior posts) stating that it will open on 18 September.

However, I cannot seem to find the property on the website (for reservations: put Napa, and you get a listing starting with the Sheraton in Petaluma), and to make things very confusing, another part of the website contradicts the press release by stating a January 2009 opening date.

What gives?
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Old Jun 17, 08, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
Starwood issued a press release about this hotel (whose costs seem to have been footed by bubble-chasing real estate "investors" according to prior posts) stating that it will open on 18 September.

However, I cannot seem to find the property on the website (for reservations: put Napa, and you get a listing starting with the Sheraton in Petaluma), and to make things very confusing, another part of the website contradicts the press release by stating a January 2009 opening date.

What gives?
Hi,

I would advise you that the dates released at our website is much more reliable.

There might be changes but right now, the actual opening date is January 2009.

[email protected]
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Old Jun 18, 08, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
I would advise you that the dates released at our website is much more reliable.
Thanks...but both dates are from your website!

Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
There might be changes but right now, the actual opening date is January 2009.
Thanks.
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Old Jun 18, 08, 1:27 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
Thanks...but both dates are from your website!

Thanks.
Well, one is from a press release from some time ago. I don't know what normal practice is for most publicly-traded companies, but I've never seen us update a press release once it's been issued. Publish an update? Perhaps closer to when the hotel is going to open.

So, I would use the other part of the web site for the most up-to-date data on new hotels.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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Old Jun 18, 08, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
Well, one is from a press release from some time ago.
William, the press release is dated June 11, 2008, which according to my calendar is exactly a week ago! From reading FT, the January 2009 expected opening date on the other part of the website predates this press release by months.

My assumption, therefore, is that the press release is more accurate (being more current), but am puzzled that the other part of the website hasn't been updated--and that a press release would be issued without first ensuring that the property would be bookable such that the demand generated by it could be captured.

Any further info would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 18, 08, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
William, the press release is dated June 11, 2008, which according to my calendar is exactly a week ago! From reading FT, the January 2009 expected date predates this press release by months.

My assumption, therefore, is that the press release is more accurate (being more current), but am puzzled that the other part of the website hasn't been updated--and that a press release would be issued without first ensuring that the property would be bookable such that the demand generated by it could be captured.
LOL. Yes, that is curious. Obviously, I never saw the date and made an assumption there. Maybe they just made a mistake on the date issued in the press release then, or things have speeded up and we are waiting for the new properties list to be updated instead.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Last edited by Starwood Lurker; Jun 18, 08 at 1:54 pm
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Old Jun 18, 08, 7:39 pm
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I was informed by an owner that they are closing on their condos in September. I can't imagine why they would postpone the hotel's opening when many of the owners are anticipating room revenues to help offset their costs.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 12:04 pm
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OK, so the truth appears to be that the press release was sort-of right, and that Starwood isn't coordinated at all: the website currently reads "Now accepting reservations for arrival on or after September 26, 2008", although in practice it seems that arrivals prior to 28 September are inhibited.

Weekday rates in early October, which is still peak season due to grapes being crushed, start at $281.07 ($20 "amenity fee" and tax inclusive, AAA rate, 2 day cancellation), and weekends require 2 nights minimum stay (!) and start at $444.54 per night ($20 "amenity fee" and tax inclusive, AAA, 2 day cancellation); slightly lower non-refundable rates are available as well.

There doesn't seem to be any launch-related special rates.

Moderator please update thread title with new opening date.

Last edited by hillrider; Sep 6, 08 at 1:58 pm Reason: Added moderator plea; added "amenity" fee
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