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dancnorris
08-18-2011, 08:51 PM
According to DVCNews, DVC has now declared 100% of the BLT inventory for use by owners, and it has also declared the TOWL as part of the BLT leasehold. This should mean that BLT owners will permanently retain use of the TOWL, which is somewhat unexpected and good news. According to DVCNews:

"By declaring these commercial phases for the DVC inventory, DVD is formally submitting them as part of the Bay Lake Tower leasehold condominium that belongs to the DVC membership. The space being occupied by Cove Bar and the Top of the World Lounge are now considered part of the common areas belonging to all Bay Lake Tower owners."

http://www.dvcnews.com/index.php/resorts/bay-lake-tower/news/1681-100-of-blt-declared-including-top-fo-the-world-lounge

DHar
08-18-2011, 08:53 PM
does this mean BLT is sold out?

fitzpa
08-18-2011, 08:53 PM
Glad we own there!

dancnorris
08-18-2011, 08:56 PM
does this mean BLT is sold out?

No. At last count I think they have sold 90.6% of the points. This means that all units are now available for booking by the DVC members, including the units that were previously used for the sales center at BLT.

Maistre Gracey
08-18-2011, 09:09 PM
Just curious... Does it say anything about guaranteed staffing, with a full bar and munchies??
Declaring the property is one thing, but the services are another.
I really hope it does..

MG

RachaelA
08-18-2011, 09:29 PM
According to DVCNews, DVC has now declared 100% of the BLT inventory for use by owners, and it has also declared the TOWL as part of the BLT leasehold. This should mean that BLT owners will permanently retain use of the TOWL, which is somewhat unexpected and good news. According to DVCNews:

"By declaring these commercial phases for the DVC inventory, DVD is formally submitting them as part of the Bay Lake Tower leasehold condominium that belongs to the DVC membership. The space being occupied by Cove Bar and the Top of the World Lounge are now considered part of the common areas belonging to all Bay Lake Tower owners."

http://www.dvcnews.com/index.php/resorts/bay-lake-tower/news/1681-100-of-blt-declared-including-top-fo-the-world-lounge

Ooooh! Good to know!

JWG
08-18-2011, 09:35 PM
Awesome news about TOTWL. Was definitely assuming this would go to private events. Look forward to checking it out in October.

Now, will our wait list come through with this last declaration? ;)

Alice-in-wonder
08-18-2011, 09:56 PM
Yay!!

wdrl
08-18-2011, 10:01 PM
"By declaring these commercial phases for the DVC inventory, DVD is formally submitting them as part of the Bay Lake Tower leasehold condominium that belongs to the DVC membership. The space being occupied by Cove Bar and the Top of the World Lounge are now considered part of the common areas belonging to all Bay Lake Tower owners."

The operative word is "space." DVD has declared the space occupied by the Top of the World Lounge and the Cove Bar as common elements for the BLT condominium. There is nothing that requires Disney to continue operating these spaces as a lounge and pool bar.

DenLo
08-18-2011, 10:02 PM
Just curious... Does it say anything about guaranteed staffing, with a full bar and munchies??
Declaring the property is one thing, but the services are another.
I really hope it does..

MG

No, it doesn't. In fact we don't know what it means. It's labeled as a commercial unit. What does that mean for us? I don't know.

Sammie
08-18-2011, 10:04 PM
I hope it remains part of DVC but wasn't the attic at BWV the same situation and then later removed from DVC member use.

supersuperwendy
08-18-2011, 10:16 PM
Will that mean those of us who don't own there but are staying there on points won't be able to go up there anymore?

dancnorris
08-18-2011, 10:27 PM
While the space is all that is gauranteed and not the operation of the lounge, I think the worst case scenario is that the BLT owners are charged to operate the lounge through their dues. Still, I think the incremental cost per member in dues to operate the TOWL would be insignificant. I would much rather pay slightly higher dues than not have access to TOWL at all. Prior to this declaration, Disney could have excluded members once BLT sold out and used TOWL for private parties. That would seriously impair the quality of staying at BLT. Given the alternative, I still think this is good news.

castleri
08-18-2011, 10:32 PM
Will that mean those of us who don't own there but are staying there on points won't be able to go up there anymore?

I wouldn't think so - I take it to mean it is officially part of BLT DVC and not owned by the developer or Walt Disney World. It would not be a good move to limit to only BLT owners as it is apparently underused at present already even with people who own other resorts staying there.










v

hakepb
08-18-2011, 10:37 PM
I think this is good news.

The cynic in me wonders why did they wait until now? Is this is a token due to something Jim left behind (ie BLT's capital fund too small?).

BBG-BLT
08-18-2011, 10:41 PM
This is great news - we wn at BLT and I'd like to see it actually opened to all DVC members (Members - not just staying on points) so it gets more of a party atmosphere :thumbsup2

wdrl
08-18-2011, 11:16 PM
While the space is all that is gauranteed and not the operation of the lounge, I think the worst case scenario is that the BLT owners are charged to operate the lounge through their dues. Still, I think the incremental cost per member in dues to operate the TOWL would be insignificant. I would much rather pay slightly higher dues than not have access to TOWL at all. Prior to this declaration, Disney could have excluded members once BLT sold out and used TOWL for private parties. That would seriously impair the quality of staying at BLT. Given the alternative, I still think this is good news.

I'll need to check my references in the BLT Master Declaration, but I believe that the BLT owners are not charged with the operation of the commercial units. As owners, we don't pay to maintain a restaurant, nor do we share in the restaurant/bar profits or losses. The TOWL and the Cove Bar are just like the Turf Club at SSR or Sanaa at Kidani Village: they are separate entities that are operated by Disney separate from the DVC. It might be that Disney pays a fee to the DVC resort to rent the space, but I'm not sure about that.

jdubs808
08-18-2011, 11:25 PM
Great news! I'm looking forward to visiting the TOWL when we visit next June! :cool1:

disneynutz
08-18-2011, 11:54 PM
I think that it's a bit premature to get excited about the TOWL until we get a clarification on what this means to the BLT owners. Why did Disney add the commercial space to the leasehold? Will the Bar and Viewing Deck stay open? What are the costs and how much will BLT owners have to pay?

:earsboy: Bill

dvcblt93
08-19-2011, 01:39 AM
I hope it remains part of DVC but wasn't the attic at BWV the same situation and then later removed from DVC member use.

Not really. The attic never produced revenue, they just put out free punch and cookies. TOWL is a revenue producing unit, so it's a whole different ballgame. Someone is making a profit, not sure if its WDW or DVC. :confused3

disneynutz
08-19-2011, 05:29 AM
Not really. The attic never produced revenue, they just put out free punch and cookies. TOWL is a revenue producing unit, so it's a whole different ballgame. Someone is making a profit, not sure if its WDW or DVC. :confused3

Based on several visits there, I don't think that it is making a profit and if it was, Disney would have kept the commercial property. I do know that they have trouble keeping servers because there isn't enough business to generate a fair tip for the CM"s.

:earsboy: Bill

toniosmom
08-19-2011, 06:07 AM
Based on several visits there, I don't think that it is making a profit and if it was, Disney would have kept the commercial property. I do know that they have trouble keeping servers because there isn't enough business to generate a fair tip for the CM"s.

This is exactly the reason why I believe it should be open to either all BLT owners or all DVC members staying on points, regardless of which resort they are staying at. I'm surprised they haven't expanded the member use at TOTWL due to slow business. I can't imagine it is operating in the black at this point. I mean, if you can't keep a server because of low tips, that's a giant red flag, IMO.

WilsonFlyer
08-19-2011, 06:19 AM
I never said anything about this before but I will now. Because of the somewhat unique construction of BLT, they really couldn't have ever used it for anything commercial (non-DVC). Think about the security implications. There's really only one way up there, and the entire facility is SUPPOSE to be secure at that (at least much more so than most other DVCs). It really would have been impractical and probably a nightmare to try to secure the members' areas from the non-members (to the satisfaction of the membership) visiting the TOTWL, IMO.

I'm not sure they really wanted to do this as much as it may have been the most practical answer to THEM. Let the members maintain it since we really can't figure out a way to secure it anyway.

hakepb
08-19-2011, 08:44 AM
I would not mind if DVC gave additional TOWL access to the high points members, as long as it includes the current rule, too. (Members staying on points @ BLT).

ffcheff
08-19-2011, 09:10 AM
Good news. I use it on every trip and encourage all owners too also. I know from speaking with the bar tender that they switch between TOWL and pool bar. as for the servers all I can say is be a generous tipper. Lets hope we do not lose a great perk.

frkyfst
08-19-2011, 09:22 AM
It seems to me that this means members now pay to maintain and refurbish this area going forward. That will impact the dues. How much remains to be seen. TOWL is not like the Turf Club. The Turf Club is a full Disney restaurant not declared into the Saratoga Springs condo assn. so members don't pay dues towards that. General common area costs are allocated between the hotel operations and the membership based on percentage of use. It looks like now the entire cost of TOWL will be covered by members in the dues. As far as opening it up to members staying at other DVC resorts, the concern was always capacity and having to turn members away at the door. I think if they had some type of true reservation system and stuck to it, they could work it out but then it would have to be first come first served for all members across Disney property or keep it just those staying at BLT. Maybe they could let those staying at BLT book earlier as a perk. I guess we'll see what happens.

OrangeCountyCommuter
08-19-2011, 09:55 AM
Not really. The attic never produced revenue, they just put out free punch and cookies. TOWL is a revenue producing unit, so it's a whole different ballgame. Someone is making a profit, not sure if its WDW or DVC. :confused3

Based on everything I have read this is NOT a good assumption.

I think it's more likely this is running at a LOSS and no one is making a profit.

So perhaps Disney is moving the "loss" to the members.

drusba
08-19-2011, 10:04 AM
I have not seen the actual filed documents that made the designation for Cove Bar and TOWL but the announcement states they have been designated as commercial areas that "are now considered part of the common areas" of the DVC resort.

Understand there is a big difference between a "Commerical Unit" at a resort and what is instead designating an area as a limited common element that can be used for commercial purposes. A Commerical Unit is what one would believe that it is: a place where the owner of the unit (e.g., Disney) can stick (either itself or through lease to others) a restaurant or other commercial operation open to all and the owner pays some designated portion of the annual dues (it is really small) but is responsibile for all maintenance, repairs, and upkeep and services at the unit, i.e., there can be no charges to members for the upkeep or operations of the unit, and the owner of the unit keeps all profits. The owner of a commercial unit can choose who it will allow to use it (the Attic at Boardwalk was a commercial unit).

That is not what the announcement indicates has been done with TOWL and COVE. Instead it appears they have been designated as part of the common elements and can be used for commercial purposes,. In that case, all the maintenance, upkeep and repairs of both the real and personal property (the bar, the chairs, etc) in the unit are things that can be included in your dues. Also, the cost of operation over above any costs covered by income from the operation can be included in your dues. This is similar to AKV concierge where the concierge lounge costs are part of dues although the hotel, since it also uses it, pays a share. Moreover, if that is the nature of the designation then you are looking at an area that Disney cannot close off to members staying at the resort without an amendment removing it as a common area and thus it appears Disney does not have the intent to take away members use of it although there is no guarantee it will continue the current operations. Note the costs of a change in operations, such as changing TOWL into a full service restaurant open to all that requires a major reenovation, cannot be passed onto the members and likely, if such a change were to be made, there would be amendment making it an actual commercial unit rather than a common element.

BrerNashville
08-19-2011, 12:30 PM
Will that mean those of us who don't own there but are staying there on points won't be able to go up there anymore?

And, will BLT owners staying elsewhere on points (or cash) have access to the TOWL now, unlike historic practice?

hakepb
08-19-2011, 12:44 PM
And, will BLT owners staying elsewhere on points (or cash) have access to the TOWL now, unlike historic practice?

BLT owners do not have BLT pool access when staying elsewhere.

I realize this is somewhat different, and think it would be OK to allow other BLT owners (up to a certain % of occupancy) access. to TOWL.

drusba
08-19-2011, 01:14 PM
And, will BLT owners staying elsewhere on points (or cash) have access to the TOWL now, unlike historic practice?

That TOWL is or is not designated as a common area for commercial purposes at BLT has no impact one way or the other on whether those not staying there can come there. Those staying at the resort are entitled to use of the common areas and if you are not staying there, even if you own there, does not mean you can use the common areas. That is true for all the DVC resorts. Whether they will ever allow persons not staying there to use TOWL has to do with policies they want to follow in having outsiders not staying at BLT come on the property and not TOWL's common area designation.

JWG
08-19-2011, 01:14 PM
Let's be honest, the only time TOTWL is close to or at capacity is during Wishes. Otherwise, all reports are it's a ghost town - hence people concerned dues will need to subsidize the place.

There are a few ways to address that:
- Lounge is only open say 90 minutes prior to and 30-60 minutes following the fireworks (when people care).

- Lounge is only staffed (bar and food only available) as above, but open to use such as Community Hall other times

- Lounge is open to all DVC members until 90 minutes prior to Wishes and again 30-60 minutes after. This way, it's used more often, but still available to BLT members on points for Wishes as intended. If people really want to show up 90-120 minutes before just for wishes, more power to them. I'd just go to the park if I wanted to do that.

And finally,
Be less concerned about members' guests. If I'm staying at BLT on points and have a friend staying at the campground, let me bring the friend up with me as the hotel guest. Because we own DVC, we often visit with friends from NC who either stay with their parents in Lakeland or at the campground (parents are RV'ers).

dizfan
08-19-2011, 02:15 PM
I have not seen the actual filed documents that made the designation for Cove Bar and TOWL but the announcement states they have been designated as commercial areas that "are now considered part of the common areas" of the DVC resort.

Understand there is a big difference between a "Commerical Unit" at a resort and what is instead designating an area as a limited common element that can be used for commercial purposes. A Commerical Unit is what one would believe that it is: a place where the owner of the unit (e.g., Disney) can stick (either itself or through lease to others) a restaurant or other commercial operation open to all and the owner pays some designated portion of the annual dues (it is really small) but is responsibile for all maintenance, repairs, and upkeep and services at the unit, i.e., there can be no charges to members for the upkeep or operations of the unit, and the owner of the unit keeps all profits. The owner of a commercial unit can choose who it will allow to use it (the Attic at Boardwalk was a commercial unit).

That is not what the announcement indicates has been done with TOWL and COVE. Instead it appears they have been designated as part of the common elements and can be used for commercial purposes,. In that case, all the maintenance, upkeep and repairs of both the real and personal property (the bar, the chairs, etc) in the unit are things that can be included in your dues. Also, the cost of operation over above any costs covered by income from the operation can be included in your dues. This is similar to AKV concierge where the concierge lounge costs are part of dues although the hotel, since it also uses it, pays a share. Moreover, if that is the nature of the designation then you are looking at an area that Disney cannot close off to members staying at the resort without an amendment removing it as a common area and thus it appears Disney does not have the intent to take away members use of it although there is no guarantee it will continue the current operations. Note the costs of a change in operations, such as changing TOWL into a full service restaurant open to all that requires a major reenovation, cannot be passed onto the members and likely, if such a change were to be made, there would be amendment making it an actual commercial unit rather than a common element.

Here's a link to the OCC document (http://or.occompt.com/recorder/eagleweb/viewDoc.jsp?node=DOC827S33241)

Interestingly, it clearly states the room and elevator area as CE "common element". The bathrooms that TOWL uses are designated LCE "limited common element". The lounge, deck, covered walkway are not given such wording.

Correction, just noticed this wording...Phase 93 contains one(1) commercial unit

disneynutz
08-19-2011, 02:24 PM
The amendment is dated June 30, 2011, that's before Lewis got fired. Should we be worried? :scared1:

:earsboy: Bill

dizfan
08-19-2011, 02:28 PM
Let's be honest, the only time TOTWL is close to or at capacity is during Wishes. Otherwise, all reports are it's a ghost town - hence people concerned dues will need to subsidize the place.

I don't believe it's all that much per point to subsidize it.

If I remember right, the hours are 5-12 and there are up to 5 employees (2 downstairs, 1 bartender, and 2 waitstaff).

Here's a stab at the cost...
5 (employees) * 7 hours (5-12) * $12/hr (likely high) * 365 (days/year) = $153,300.
Let's assume another $46,700 for operating expense.
Roughly $200,000 to operate annually.

I believe there are approximately 5.67 million points at BLT.

That would come out to 3.5 cents per point.

If TOWL stays available to members, that seems like a bargain for exclusive access to a place with some of the best views.

dizfan
08-19-2011, 02:34 PM
The amendment is dated June 30, 2011, that's before Lewis got fired. Should we be worried? :scared1:

:earsboy: Bill

That might end up being a good sign.

Wasn't it around the start of July when they stopped sales for Aulani?

Maybe they realized someone realized missed some wording in the docments and changing it's member access would result in legal issues. (We can hope)

scroot
08-19-2011, 02:39 PM
Great news. Love visiting there when staying at our home resort. Have been worried about trying to get in some evening and being told there was a private party as happened to me once at another locale.

drusba
08-19-2011, 02:54 PM
Here's a link to the OCC document (http://or.occompt.com/recorder/eagleweb/viewDoc.jsp?node=DOC827S33241)

Interestingly, it clearly states the room and elevator area as CE "common element". The bathrooms that TOWL uses are designated LCE "limited common element". The lounge, deck, covered walkway are not given such wording. The page with the TOWL shows "CU-2" which seems to generally indicate "Commercial Unit". However, I don't see the wording of "Commercial Unit" used for TOWL.

On the other hand, the Cove Bar is designated "Commercial Unit 1" and the diagram labels it CU-1.
I


What that is showing me is that the initial report stating they will be common elements is wrong. TOWL and Cove Bar are Commerical Units, which are not common elements and the BLT DVC members do not have any ownership interest in them as common areas or otherwise. They are self-sustaining units required to maintain themselves and the owner, Disney, covers all costs of maintenance and operation. The units will have token dues to pay (it is at most dollars not hundreds) The things designated as Limited Common Elements are actually what are called Commercial Unit LCE which is like a common area but a little different. It is an area appurtenant to a Commercial Unit that the association, i.e., the members through dues, will have the responsibility for maintaining but the owner of the commercial unit can make use of it and make changes to those areas at its own expense. Disney, if it wanted to, could turn TOWL, since it is a commercial unit for which the owner of the unit gets to control the use, into something not useable by DVC members. This designation is not a surprise, and does not reflect anything monumentally new and is something that probably could have been done in the original filings but they just waited until final designation of all units to add those in as commercial units. In other words, nothing has really changed.

spiceycat
08-19-2011, 04:29 PM
yea!

to me it has changed because I expected Disney to take it away and use it for rental only.

now hopefully DVC member at BLT can kept it. so no longer can see Wishes from here next year - but for many to come.

Harlemgirl720
08-19-2011, 04:43 PM
This is interesting news. Not sure I fully understand it. It does get crowded before wishes and empties out right afterwards. If they do decide to raise our MFs to help with operations of TOTWL then I say as a owner, I should be able to visit if I stay at BLT or Kidani or any property.

wdrl
08-19-2011, 11:45 PM
It think drusba is correct and sums it up succinctly:

In other words, nothing has really changed.

I've read through the BLT Declarations on commercial units and, drusba points out, the space occupied by the TOWL is not owned by the BLT owners. Disney can do what it wants with the space; it can keep operating it as a lounge or modify its operation however it desires.

DebbieB
08-20-2011, 12:47 AM
I don't believe it's all that much per point to subsidize it.

If I remember right, the hours are 5-12 and there are up to 5 employees (2 downstairs, 1 bartender, and 2 waitstaff).

Here's a stab at the cost...
5 (employees) * 7 hours (5-12) * $12/hr (likely high) * 365 (days/year) = $153,300.
Let's assume another $46,700 for operating expense.
Roughly $200,000 to operate annually.

I believe there are approximately 5.67 million points at BLT.

That would come out to 3.5 cents per point.

If TOWL stays available to members, that seems like a bargain for exclusive access to a place with some of the best views.

The sales should offset that. But I doubt DVC is actually operating it. They are probably renting it to a division of Disney to operate it. There should be a profit, not a dues charge, or at least break even with upkeep.

Snurk71
08-21-2011, 05:46 PM
This is interesting news. Not sure I fully understand it. It does get crowded before wishes and empties out right afterwards. If they do decide to raise our MFs to help with operations of TOTWL then I say as a owner, I should be able to visit if I stay at BLT or Kidani or any property.

Curious - do you also think BCV owners should be able to go to SAB any time they're staying on property? I think that's a reasonably equivalent situation. After all, BCV owners are paying for a part of SAB with their dues - just like we (I'm a BLT owner too) could be paying for TOWL with our dues.