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Wilderness Presidential Resort Scam
Posted on Saturday, February 24th, 2007 at 9:10pm CST by f495e5a9
Company: Wilderness Presidential Resort Scam
Category: Scam Contests
A couple of months ago, my wife and I decided to fill out a contest form at a local mall. I'm referring to one of those displays where they park a car inside the mall and have a sign announcing that the winner of the drawing can win that car. Anyways, a couple of months later we received a call from someone congratulating us on having won the drawing. The person told us that we should expect to receive a letter in the mail providing us with more information. The letter never arrived, which I now suspect was not coincidental.
About three weeks after that, we received another call from the same people asking us whether or not we were still interested in claiming our prize. They made it hard not to be interested by letting us know that we were guaranteed to win one of three prizes: $25,000 in cash, $30,000 towards the purchase of a new car, or $500 in cash. Who would not be interested? All we had to do was drive down to some place called "Wilderness Presidential Park" in Virginia to claim our reward. We scheduled a time and date for our arrival, rented a car, and headed for our prize.
Once there, we saw that we were not the only "winners." There were plenty of other people who had also driven down that day to claim their reward. We went to the receptionist, who asked for our IDs and our drawing code - to determine which of the three prizes we would win, or so we thought. We were asked to sit down, and then about 15 minutes later, a young man appeared letting us know that we would have to take a brief 90 minute tour of the resort before we could find out what our prize was.
He took us into his car and drove us into the property. While driving us in, he informed us immediately that more than likely we would not win the
$25,000 or the $30,000 toward the purchase of a new car. He said that the odds of that happening were pretty low, and that we would more than likely win the $500 in cash or the 1-year membership to some resort we'd never heard of. That was the first instant I realized that there were in fact four potential grand prizes, not three. Prior to this moment, my wife and I were under the impression that at worst we would win $500 in cash.
Far away from our car, we accompanied this guide who gave us a 2-hour tour of the resort(originally supposed to be 90 minutes remember). This was the ugliest resort I had ever seen. The buildings were from the late
1960s-1970s. They were cramped and had a weird smell. I could not imagine
why anyone would want to spend a weekend there let alone buy a timeshare
there. The guide basically talked to us a like a used car salesman trying to determine what type of people we were. Did we like to drink beer? If so, this was a great place to have parties on weekends. This was private property and no one like the police would bother us. Or were we
serious/mature types? Not to worry, most of the people who spent time there were respectable considerate adults. Often the statements he told us tended to contradict each other. He initially told us that the resort was for poor people who didn't mind staying at a two-star resort. Close to the end, he told us that by becoming members we could ensure year-round access to their five-star accommodations.
At the end of his two-hour tour, we let him know that we were not interested in buying property or a timeshare at their resort. The guide brought in his supervisor to speak to us. He was a very aggressive man who tried to intimidate us into buying into their resort. He told us he didn't understand why we didn't like their resort. Didn't we like taking vacations? Didn't we know that this was a great deal? Didn't we know how lucky we were to have won the drawing? Didn't we know that as winners, we were able to purchase property/timeshare at a special rate ($18-$20,000 for the right to use their mediocre facilities 365 days a year!). The supervisor told us that their offer was valid for one-day only, so it was essential that I sign a contract that same day. I let him know that there was no way I would sign any contract without first reviewing its terms, which might take me a couple of days. That was unacceptable to them, and that was the end of that.
They let us go, but not before asking us to refer friends and family for
them to contact. And our prize, it turned out to be the 1 year membership to another of their unknown resorts. We can now visit this resort, which is located hours away from where we live as many times as we want in the next year without paying. Of course, this membership does not include
accommodations. So if we go to this place, we'll still have to end up
spending money on food and a place to stay. Doesn't sound like much of a
good deal to me.
The bottom line - this whole thing is fishy. Its almost impossible for
anyone to win any of the real prizes. Towards the end of our tour, while our guide was away talking to his supervisor I glanced through one of the sheets of paper he had left on the table. The The sheet revealed the odds of winning the various prizes. The numbers may not be precise, but they are a good approximation of what I saw. Here they are:
$25,000 cash prize - 1 out of 200,000
$30,000 towards the purchase of a new car - 1 out of 200,000
$500 cash - 1 out of 200
1 year membership to resort - 199 out of 200
If you receive a call from "Wilderness Presidential Park" or any of their
other resorts, you might be better off ignoring their call.