Sunday, December 16, 2007


Heather, Anna, and I just got back from visiting with my father and step-mom at Myrtle Beach, staying at the South Beach Resort at Myrtle Beach. My father used RCI to trade in some of his timeshare to go to another. Here Heather, Anna, and I are at the South Beach Resort:

This past trip, combined with memories from my last Myrtle Beach trip, had me thinking about timeshares. Two years ago Heather and I went to Myrtle Beach with our close friends Aaron and Suzanne in December. We had decided to go to the Dixie Stampede for their Christmas show. (Very good show incidentally. Everywhere in Myrtle Beach seems geared to sell you a timeshare, from Malls to restaurants, and unfortunately Dixie Stampede was not different. We were offered a free drink and appetizer during the preshow for filling out an information card. It wasn't surprising to us that Heather and I, being young DINKs (dual income no kids), hit their target market for anything they wanted to sell us. Well, they offered us a couple hundred dollars and breakfast if we spent a couple of hours the next day at the Sheraton Broadway Plantation timeshares. We didn't have any plans, so we said sure its worth a couple hundred dollars to us to check it out. So, we took the tour and enjoyed the place. Since I was familiar with Hilton Grand Vacation Club, I knew much of what this was all about. We enjoyed it and seriously liked the place. A 2 bedroom unit at the time would cost $18,000 and also need $750 maintenance per year. To Heather and I, that is not something we can make a quick decision on, and things then started to get bad.

The sales guy who was previously very nice to us, turned very rude when we said we were not interested in making a decision that day. Apparently, he thought we really were wasting his time. He badgered us a bit and we told him we definitely were not going to buy. Another person came over who we complained to (complaints on deaf ears) and we walked away with our couple hundred dollars, but very angry.

Since then, we have had other offers for free weekends or other things if we sit through timeshare pitches. I think that the experience was so bad, unless we were really interested we would never do it.

Incidentally, I loved the Starwood Vacation Ownership, even though I don't think I could ever buy into it because of that sales guy. I think Heather and I will just scrimp and save and hope we someday can buy a lakehouse. We may be turned off from timeshares forever...but we can still enjoy our parents like we did this weekend :-)

We liked the South Beach Resort, things seemed in good repair although the amenities were the bare minimum. They had cheap linens and an unimpressive workout facility and lazy "river" as well as some poor customer service. Maybe I will blog another day about the problems with many of these places as I have been to enough. Starwood solves many of these problems, too bad that bad taste will never get out of my mouth!

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