Free free free! It’s familiar to every Camp Hill resident with a landline or mobile telephone: the call from an unknown source offering the free vacation come-on. Sometimes the gal at the other end of the line explains the windfall is the result of a lottery, or of a random drawing; sometimes it’s connected to a valid account (there actually ARE some legitimate drawing giveaways).
In many cases, though, the “free” vacation has a few strings (some of them can turn out to be costly)—and often involve the obligation to experience an hours-long sales pitch for an exotically sited timeshare, condo, or some variation of same.
Now, however, this same tactic seems to be migrating to the highest tier of vacation home proprietors. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the world’s most luxurious resorts are adopting a similar free sample tactic. It spotlights one Belizean island resort which won’t be completed until 2021. Its proprietor is The Four Seasons, the outfit famous for its top-end hotels and resorts. Now developing a private island community, it faced a sales dilemma: how to demonstrate the finished vacation home experience before ground is even broken?
The answer, in one word: tents.
The developer has erected four “tricked-out beach tents” on their Four Seasons’ Caye Chapel beach “that have every luxury.” Teak-floor showers. Espresso makers. Air conditioning. The tents enable potential vacation home buyers to experience what are called “bite-sized luxury getaways.” The Journal is only half kidding when it characterizes the tactic as having been borrowed from a Costco free sample aisle.
Whether your idea of a vacation home is right here in Camp Hill or in some far-flung corner of the globe, the free trial gambit does embody an authentically useful concept—the value of actually experiencing a location. When deciding on a place you might want to call home (or vacation home), it’s always worthwhile to do your best to experience it as fully as possible—even through more than one season, if possible.
Whether you will be buying or selling your own Camp Hill vacation or other home, I hope you’ll decide to give me a call!