Standard timeshare selling technics (also used by other ventures) involve the purchase of lists of prospects purchased from companies from whom you may have purchased a piece of equipment (toaster, TV, etc) and sent in a warranty card. On the card you may also have FILLED OUT a check list(about you!).Thus a seller can make you an offer of free lodging to an alluring Vacation Center(VC). Somewhere it is clearly written that the offer is for the purpose of soliciting a purchase. From the time you arrive you are being scrutinized by trained staff to see if you are "interested". A billion dollar company, for instance Fairfield Resorts, has a number of weekly unused units at a VC that are available to them from the Property Owners Association in exchange for billed services of management and maintenance (done by the company). If the number of "prospects" excedes that number, they locate alternate accomodations (for the best price to them, sometimes at another place they own). If they feel that you are genuinely and totally NOT interested, they will do as little for you as they dare. On the other hand if they believe that you may be a big-time buyer (as we have been) you may get the executive suite and treatment at the Resort. So will they con you or will you con them, or will it be a draw after the 1st round an you go home uninjured? Remember time=money.
Eating is a danger in the Branson area. Not what you eat (raw spinach or raw hamburger) but finding a place you can get into before you starve. It requires preplanning (or reservations if you can get one). One solution is to go to a show that incorporates a meal. A second is to line up and wait (most easily done in fast food joints if you can stand it). The third way is to patronize a pick-up and take-out (barbecue, Chinese, etc) This requires planning, the phone number and a place to sit and eat(it is not comfortable in a small motel room). A fourth is to have rented a larger unit, such as a timeshare with a kitchen, facilities, a table and a refrigerator. You can then stock up at a supermarket (such as the open all night Wal-Mart in Branson West or other) and you are home free. Fifth is to reprogram your eating habits to hours when many restaurants are not filled ( and hopefully open), eg 10PM, before 5 PM, 10:30 AM and 7AM. This may be critical in high season in most Vacation Centers where eaters far excede restaurants that do not take reservations. We use methods 3 and 4 in Vacation Centers. NOTE: This only works in American Resorts.
There is an oulet mall on Pat Nash Drive just off of hwy 76. You can not miss the place for all the buildings are painted red. Becky and I wanted to see Silver Dollar City while we were in Branson. We saw this ticket booth. There are places like this all over Branson. They usually have signs that say, 'Discount Tickets' or 'Tourist Information Center.' We thought we would see what kind of bargain the girl at this place could give us on tickets for SDC. She got us a great bargain. Tickets that normally sell for $40 she would give to us for $10. The only draw back was that we had to go to a time share presentation for her company. We had already survived one time share sales pitch. We decided it would not be a bad idea to go to another one if we could save $60. We went to the time share presentation at 8:30 the next morning and when it was over we went to SDC and had a nice day. I did not buy any thing from these time share people either and it was not a bad return for a little of my time in the morning when SDC was not open yet any way. My warning is this. The girl at the outlet mall told us we would just watch a film and there would not be any high pressure sales. She was either lying to us or did not know what she was talking about. The girl from the ticket center also told us that the sales presentation would take 75 to 90 minutes and we would definitely be all done in 90 minutes. It took closer to two hours. They get you there and those sales people don't like to let you leave. They would not give us the tickets we were promised until they had tried every arguement they had to convince us to buy a time share.
highway 76 runs straight through branson... although runs isn't really the word for it. pq of all the pretty lights along this road, people want to drive really really slow and watch them. it's like christmas or something. there's a longstanding branson joke about parking on 76. that's all you do. so don't drive this highway at night... or most of the day for that matter. there are several new bypass routes and nearly every hotel will have free maps of them if you ask.
Half of our group got food poisoning at Mesquite Charlies. This was about the time that aforementioned revolt took place.
Avoid hwy 76 when the shows are starting or letting out. The traffic slows to a crawl. Get a map so you can find the alternate routes.