Spent the past 4 days with the gf in Vegas, which is going condo happy. Everywhere you look, old buildings are being razed and new foundations poured for towering residential complexes. With all this construction comes a new breed of marketers sharing sidewalk space with the brochure-snapping touts hawking the virtues of Brandi, Cindi, and Velvet. Not content to merely shove a pamphlet into your path, these upscale shills accost you verbally as you pass them on the sidewalk or enter the grounds of the Venetian or Aladdin retail complexes. "How long are you folks in town?" "Would you like free tickets to Elton John, Avenue Q, or Cirque du Soleil tonight?" "Free $100 dinner vouchers for any restaurant on the Strip!" They hound you with the relentless determination of time-traveling cyborgs in pursuit of future resistance leaders, chipping away at your defenses and curiosity until, exhausted, you succumb to the embrace of their sales pitch.

For us it was a particularly low-key woman in front of the Excalibur who dangled tickets to Hairspray in front of us, luring us within range before closing the jaws of the trap tight. Fifteen minutes later, after paging through her binder of promotional materials to decide which show we'd see and what time the next day we'd show up for the tour of the new residential property they were hawking ("If you come in the morning, we'll feed you breakfast and get you out before noon!"), she finally got around to asking something she should have asked long before.

"Are you married?" No. "Living together?" No. "Oh." The binder slammed shut. "I'm sorry, we have no more available showings tomorrow for singles."

And just like that, we were through-- but armed with a new mantra, which we used as a defensive ward for the rest of our trip. "Are you going to be in town tomor--" "Notmarried,notlivingtogether,leavingtomorrow." It was better than a silver cross at getting the bloodsuckers to back off in search of other, easier prey.

Next time we go, however, we intend to set aside the first full day for nothing but viewing residential properties. By the time we're through, we'll have dining and entertainment taken care of for the remainder of our stay.


When we go to Vegas and are near an area the timeshare/condo people are, I genereally lag behind my wife a few steps, so it doesn't look like we are together. After we pass them, I pick up a step or two, and we go on our way.

Oh, and their "60-90 minute" presentations generally take about 3-4 hours, including quite the pressure pitch usually. If you are going to do this, make sure you have, in clean and certain language, a definite list of the, gifts you will receive. I've heard wnough stories about people being promised tickets to "a show", expecting to get something like Cirque, only to get tickets to an afternoon show for Ronn Lucas where they still had to pay cover.

...though Ronn Lucas is funny.

Thankfully it's a sausage party when I go next month!

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