Friday we arrived early afternoon, spent a couple of hours soaking in the tubs. Had a conversation with a guy who retired to Mammoth Lakes, got hired to do dinner shows as a magician there, then moved up here and does magic shows in the various casinos in this area. He turned the conversation to self-protection, and how since he moved to Nevada he and his wife got concealed carry permits, and how all of these various incidents "made you think..."
One of his examples was how he was out in his barn and this van came driving fast up his driveway and these "big hispanic guys" got out and he wasn't carrying so he felt very vulnerable. The "big hispanic guys" were roofers, late to show up for work on his neighbor's house. "... But what if they weren't?"
Time share presentation was... almost hilariously bad. I mean, the salesguy was totally personable and made Wilford Brimley seem rough and unapproachable, but he was working with material that was just so totally not targeted towards my demographic it was sad. I enjoy seeing a master at their work. I've even spent way too much money to reward that behavior. This was not that, and largely because the material he had to work with was pitiable.
Things Charlene and I both noted when we talked about it later:
- I'm not used to the top tier in "household income range" on questionaires being... I dunno, like a third of where we are. Usually I'm used to being a tier or two from the top.
- One of the justification numbers was something like "if you spend $X on vacations every year and there's 10% inflation...". This is not the late Carter/early Reagan administration. You can talk about ~10% ROI and opportunity cost, but don't be asking me to assume 10% inflation generally.
- When he did the grand reveal of the numbers at the end, the sheet had a total, a downpayment, an interest rate, blablabla, and a monthly payment. The interest rate would have made any credit card company blush. If you're gonna show a loan rate to two people with credit scores in the 800+ range, for an amount that could be "write a check" to those people, that number should be sub 5% or you're signalling that the company trying to sell this to me doesn't think it's a good investment.
- I expected the numbers at the end of the pitch to be roughly half again to double what the used market was. They were well in excess of this. When I mentioned this, sales manager dude who'd come over to give us the "today only we can make you an offer of ..." pitch, he said "oh, yeah, that was before Summerwinds took it over, you can get those for a few hundred bucks." Okay, if you've just spent an hour and a half telling me how a timeshare is a lifelong investment...
And the comped hotel was awful, in a "wow this was an anthroplogical experience" sort of way. The whole place smelled of smoke, even the non-smoking room we were in. I hate the practice of using unfitted bottom sheets. It was only 3 floors high, but both the stairs and elevator were at the far end of a long hallway, and the stairs were carpeted, which made me wonder what fire code the place was built under. We did manage to turn the $25 in "e-cash" the Casino gave us plus a dollar of seed money into $13.05 in an hour or so, but I don't think we actually know anything more about playing slot machines now. The two hours of bowling was nice, though we quit after two games (I broke a hundred both times, which kinda makes me feel good, but mostly is probably that I found a decent 13 lb ball with the right hole spacing).
And I don't care how nice your northern Nevada restaurant is, it has to be literally world class to compete with a figuratively world class Sonoma County one. If you're dousing your steaks in blue cheese, or butter, you're trying to cover up inferior meat, and vegetables should be a part of the dish, not an add-on that may as well have come from a freezer bag.
But it's been a fun weekend with much hot springs soaking. In just a moment Charlene will come out of her massage and we can point the car west and hope we don't get caught in too much post holiday traffic coming back through Sacramento.
Anyway, the experience has been a good incentive to finish our swim spa and think about landscaping... Part of the challenge of trying to sell us on a "getaway" is that... well... we have a house with nice amenities that's walking distance from a very touristed downtown.
And we logged some very nice hot tub time, had a great time hanging out, so it accomplished the goals.