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Strange Lights and Missing Time in Branson, Missouri — 19 Comments

    • Funny strange or funny “ha ha”?

      The point of the story was that the Branson locals wasted our vacation by making a prolonged sales pitch. If anyone offers you an incentive to get you to do something, run away! If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

        • Bella, thank you for letting me know about the discussion.

          My post was not meant to suggest that Branson itself is a bad place. It certainly had a lot to offer. We loved the resort where we stayed, and the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum was fun. We even did some shopping at the Disney Store in the outlet mall. If we had more time we would have visited the Hollywood Wax Museum and possibly the Toy Museum, too.

          As writers, my wife and I are always open to new experiences. When we go on vacation, we welcome the opportunity to take detours from our itinerary and indulge in unplanned activities.

          Were we stupid for falling for the timeshare spiel? Yes. We should have run the minute the lady asked for $20 “good faith money.” But I suspect the greasy breakfast had somehow made us highly suggestible, so we fell under her hypnotic spell.

          Next time, we’ll say no. I just hope this post helps someone else identify predatory salespeople so they don’t fall into the same trap. If I can save one family’s vacation by pointing out my own failings, it will have been worth it.

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  2. Ummmm, if someone from Ethiopia calls you up and tells you that you have just won $1,747,000.00 and all they need is a check from you for $323.00 please, just hang up! Thank you for taking the time to describe the peaks and valleys of your vacation for us.

  3. We understand your frustrations. We that live here have to put up with these time share yoyos everytime we go into WalMart or some other store. Have you got your tickets yet? Could we show you this?….bla bla bla.

    The Timeshare industry has become the cancer of the area. It has killed the mom and pop motels, and taken its toll on the big ones.

    Lets face it, Branson has committed suicide and they don’t even know it.

    • Anything that detracts from the good time Branson has to offer is likely to do damage to the city’s reputation. People visit the Ozarks and Branson to have a good time, not get sidelined by pushy salespeople (from any profession). I hope the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau understands how much of a problem this is.

  4. Oh, my – the comments on the 1Branson board are a hoot. I understand being upset that someone sees their city different than they do, but some of the extrapolations are absolutely stunning.

    • I’m glad you realized that about the Branson1Forum. They get their pantyhose in a wad in a hurry. When I have made remarks about Branson they didn’t like they take them right off there. Rose colored glasses, or just plain lie to themselves, its hard to tell which. I think they have lied to themselves and others so long they actually believe what hooey they put out.
      Branson is down like a rock and they have no idea what to do about it, but mention gambling and you will be run out of town.

  5. Pingback: Trip Report, Part 4 - R.L. Naquin

  6. I just find it funny that on your ONE day for vacation, you wasted it trying to be cheap. Then you complain about the city as a whole and act as if it was the fault of the local powers that be. YOU were the one who ruined your ONE day vacation. It would be a completely different story if you had several days to kill and went on a timeshare tour. Why would you waste your day with such a limited amount of time?!

  7. Somethings you learn, like Magic, Welding and Writing, by study. Somethings you learn by doing, like Surfing, Storytelling and Sales. Many of us that experienced the valuable lessons of sales when young, learned how to Tempt, Tickle and Promise the impossible onto our prospective leads. So, next time someone says to you, out of the Blue, hey how are you doing or do you have just a minute, remember that lost time in Branson.
    Those of us that tried those jobs when younger, we already knew better than to even acknowledge the Existance of those whom would suck four hours of our life, for we were them and we know where those leading questions, lead!
    “Oh, but he was such as nice young man” of course he was, if he was a jerk, he would never make money. Salesmen, next to lawyers, maybe the closest thing to legalized crime since politicians!
    And of course, why do you think they call it (timeshare) that’s right, it was yours now it’s theirs!

  8. Thanks for your post. I grew up going to Branson in the summers and it has lost much of its appeal that it once had. If you know the history of Branson it really had its start with down-home families using their skills to make money whether it be through singing or crafts. Those families have been pushed out by tourism businesses attempting to gain their market share. The Branson city council has been no help.

    I by no means am against capitalism but am saddened that there are less and less craftsman in the area. When I was a kid in the 80s you could walk on the strip and from shop to shop could watch woodcarvers or people building things. It was amazing. They would even let you have a try. That is almost all gone as it is too expensive to rent anything and still make a living.

    Case in point: South of the Titanic on the other side of hwy 76 is a little Po-dunk place where people are still making a living selling their work. However, the city has stated that if those buildings sell, they will be condemned and forced to rebuild. How can an average person do this? They can’t so the place is up for sale and when it is sold, an investor will buy it, tear it down and put up some new $250Million building and to cover the costs they will have to charge rent that crafts people will not be able to afford. They will be gone from that venue then as well.

    • Brian, thank you for your comments. Branson has certainly changed over the years. When my family would go camping in the Ozarks back in the day, Branson was a place to see “real” hillbillies and go to Silver Dollar City. I miss what it was, and lament what it has become.

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