I want to clarify some things. I used to work at a timeshare resort in the Dells and I am also very familiar with the product at the Club at Chula Vista. I also own a timeshare. So let's just say, I am a vacation club/timeshare expert. I was never a salesperson, I did the legal contracts.
Myth #1. This is a timeshare. This is not a timeshare at all. There is a small annual fee if you want the ability to go to various resorts. There is no maintenance fee. When you select a resort to go to, you pay their nominal fee to stay there. For instance, if you choose Orlando and there is a $500 fee, then you pay that. The reason I say this is nominal is because for a night in a 2 bedroom with kitchen and living space, you would probably pay at least $250 per night. This $500+ is for the whole week. By having a kitchen, you save money on some meals where you would have had to have eaten out.
Myth #2. You have to trade a specific week from Chula to exchange for somewhere else. Not at all. What clubs offer you the benefit of doing is using up an exchange company's unused inventory. There is no trade but you only have the rights to what someone else doesn't want. That being said, with planning, there is usually enough inventory to get where you want and when you want it. You just need to have some flexibility. Saying you want to stay at ABC Resort on July 5, 2013 in Orlando, FL may not work, especially when you wait until June to book. You have to look for a 4 star in Orlando and suburbs "around" that time and probably months in advance. Trust me, I have been successful 100% of the time with this approach.
Myth #3. You have a cancellation period. There is no cancellation period for a product like this. In fact their contract reads that you understand the terms and can not cancel. There IS a cancellation period for real estate. This is not real estate, you do not own anything. You have a huge discount program at your disposal and depending on how you use it, it could benefit you greatly.
Truth #1. There is a gigantic benefit if you like Chula Vista. With this package, you get discounts to the resort - major discounts so use them. I hate to say it but many benefits are offered with the understanding that most people will only take advantage of them slightly. That being said, you have every right to use them to their full extent.
One major benefit to this is the fact that you do not "own" anything. For instance, my father has a great timeshare that we vacationed with for years but he can not simply get rid of it or stop paying maintenance fees. It is still a steal of a deal and his maintenance is low but he is pretty old and can't use it anymore. He would love to just give it away but it is difficult. With this product at Chula Vista, when you are done using it, you are not obligated to it. And in fact, they would love for you to stop calling them and asking for huge discounts to their resort and amenities. Also, since the Club is only roughly 3 years old, I am sure when some of their memberships start to expire, they will offer a renewal for much less than what the original package cost. I don't know this for sure but because I know how this works, that is what makes sense to me.
I am no advocate of Chula nor am I against them. I am simply knowledgeable about this stuff. I work in a completely different industry now but think that when people invest in a plan to take vacations, that is phenomenal. As a contract person for a few years, I watched many kids' and parents' lives change after starting to vacation. You just have to find the right place that works for you and the right product for you.
If you have any questions, please ask me. I love to help and will give you the truth that you may or may not hear from the sales person. Unfortunately there are some "interesting" ones out there.