This being our first visit to Sedona, we were not prepared to be inudated by timeshare salespeople.
Our second day in Sedona, we thought we would stop by the handy tourist info building, on Highway 179. While waiting in line, I happened to overhear what the couple in front of us was discussing. It turned out the guy "helping" them was a timeshare salesman. We quickly left.
We were talking to a local, and apparently, there had to be an injunction put in place recently in Sedona against the timeshare people, as they were approaching people on the street, in the store, everywhere! Many of these "tourist info" offices are run by timeshare companies, and were not obviously advertised as such. Still, we were approached while eating our dinner, and it turned out the restaurant was affiliated with a timeshare! They are everywhere!
Sure enough, when I checked the "Tourist information" building the next day, there was small print under the Tourist Information sign, saying "by Sunterra" which was next to the big "Free Tshirts!" "Free Tours" signs.
So, let this be your warning! Look carefully at "Tourist Information " signs - usually it will say "By ---- (put in name of timeshare). Ask a local where the REAL Tourist Info building is. But beware... they could turn out to be a timeshare sales person .....
Maybe being aggressively hustled while you vacation is your thing...but if not, be advised that there are some serious timeshare hawkers in this area. Real pros. Apparently, they all become extremely wealthy from this. If this is not true, I give up on trying to explain their amazing level of motivation. After a warm fuzzy pitch about giving you "helpful" area info, they will eventually ask you (or rather insist on knowing) how much you're paying for your present accomidations. They will then offer to write you a check for that amount providing you agree to come spend the night at their establishment.
Not one, but two of them became *very* angry immediately after we refused to take their offer. We didn't get caught without warning - we were *trying* to avoid these people. It just isn't easy. If you're walking on the main downtown drag, they literally pop out of the woodwork. One of them tore up his "helpful" map with quite some gusto.
Do with this information what you will. I'm not going to say that if you're willing to do some serious homework and legal research about what you're getting into, you can't come out on top in a situation like this. Because that's exactly the kind of thing I pull sometimes, and if I do the research, it usually works.
I am saying that if you don't feel like getting hassled or dragged into a vacation-eating experience, plan your approach (or retreat) accordingly. And in advance.
(Or stay in nearby Jerome and just visit Sedona.)
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