I just got home from a 2 week vacation with my family. We drove 2,800 miles across Oregon, California and Nevada and got to see some of the most diverse geography in the world, from the Redwood forests of the California coast to the hottest and lowest place on earth (Death Valley).
One place we stayed on this epic adventure was Las Vegas. I am not much of a gambler but the scene in Sin City is pretty amazing and if you haven’t been you really ought to try it sometime. Plus, we got to stay in a five star condo resort on the strip for free! Read on to learn how…
It all started when my wife received a phone call from Hilton Grand Vacations . Hilton bills it as a “travel club” but its basically a condo timeshare program.
They invited us to stay in their newest project on the north end of Las Vegas Blvd for two nights. Initially they told her the price was $190 but she did a great job of negotiating them down to only $50 for the 2 nights and we also received $50 in cash by simply going to the Las Vegas Hilton and redeeming a coupon at the casino cashier’s window!
The property we stayed at has 2 towers completed and a third in progress and the amenities were really top notch; we really enjoyed our stay in the one bedroom condo with complete kitchen, laundry facilities in the room, flat screen TV and DVD players in both the living and bedroom.
In return all we had to do was sit through a 2 hour sales pitch, which was actually fun. The program entails paying about $20,000 a year for 5 years and you get points which can be used at any of Hilton’s 2,800 properties but our sales counselor could tell we probably weren’t going to buy into the program and happily shook our hands at the end of the 120 minutes and wished us well on the remainder of our vacation.
I enjoyed listening to the sales pitch and learning how they overcome your objections and paint a picture for you. Our sales guy, Craig, convinced me that I would spend about $128,000 over the next 30 years on hotel rooms, which was a bit of an eye-opener. However, I didn’t buy his logic that the travel club program would save me half that amount!
The best sales approach Craig had was asking me about the first vacation I could remember taking in my life, which was a 3 month trip all over Europe with my parents and brother the summer I turned 6. Then, he asked me what I got for my birthday that year and I couldn’t remember. “See”, he said “the memories we have of time spent with loved ones on vacation are far more valuable than material things we buy”. Great sales line!
Next vacation we’re going to look into similar programs with other lodging companies and see what other offers we can take advantage of, but I’m still not convinced that timeshares are a good deal . Its great fun to scam the scammers and save money in the process; 2 hours for 2 nights lodging in a 5 star hotel; not a bad deal if you ask me!