Massanutten, Virginia 10/16 – 10/22

Massanutten, Virginia:  Population = 2591, elevation = 1384 feet, average January low temp = 22.2, Average July high temp = 86, average sunny days = 178, annual snowfall = 24.6, annual rainfall = 35.5, air quality index = 85, water quality index = 70, comfort index = 46

We were a little confused by where exactly we were going for this week.  The ad in RCI said McGaheysville.  When we got there though, the directions led us to Massanutten.  As it turns out, McGaheysville is the closest town to Massanutten.  Massanutten is both a town and a resort.  I guess there are enough full-time residents living in and around the resort area to make it a town in its own right.

The view from our front door
The view from our back door
Some visitors to our back door. Harbingers?

Since the RCI sale price for the week was so low ($235 a week!!), we were expecting another tattered old cabin in the woods with few neighbors or amenities.  Instead, we found ourselves in the midst of a huge resort that covers most of a mountain.  Amenities include a ski resort (chairlift rides and mountain biking in the summer), two golf courses, several bars and restaurants, kayak and canoe excursions, arts and crafts classes, a spa, go karts, a water park, racquetball, tennis, hiking trails, zip lines, pools and hot tubs, horseback riding, shows, concerts, and more.  There are about 3,000 units to time share, rent, or, as we soon found out, buy.

Marylu bravely holds a rose while a magician cuts off the bloom with his whip
The waterpark is gigantic
Real Southern BBQ with all the sauces and fixins
Even on a rainy day, the view from the top of Massanutten is spectacular

During the checkin procedure, we were directed to another desk for our parking pass.  Before we got the parking pass, we got the offer; if we would attend a sales presentation, we would get  activities cards good for $200 of free or discounted activities.  This is not our first rodeo, so we took the cards.  Wednesday at noon, we met the two guys for the pitch.  First to the waterpark for a look around and a free buffet lunch.  Then to an apartment building with display units.  Then back to the pressure cooker conference room where this week’s crop of gullible tourists were being played.  We listened to the BS, watched as they drew numbers and diagrams, and smiled as they slowly dropped the price and points and deals.  Dealmaker A dropped out, to be replaced by dealmaker C, an older and more experienced hand.  When they finally accepted that we were not budging, they sent us on to a cute little folksy lady who was actually dealmaker D.  She had one last offer for us, but we shot that down too.  Free at last…

Dealmakers B and C don’t look happy
Dealmaker D spins a bargain for us

I am devoting a lot of time and text to the timeshare sales pitch here, I know.  If you have never seen one though, I want to warn you about it.  There are two basic flavors: weeks and points.  With the weeks, you get one week a year at a specific resort that you can either use or trade for a week at another resort.  With points, you buy so many points that can then be used to obtain weeks at any of the seller’s resorts.  Either way is not worth it.  To get weeks, you buy more weeks than you would use in a lifetime, and you have to pay yearly fees and trading fees, and many other fees.  With points, you never really know what they are worth.  It depends on the resort and area and the time of year.  And you still pay all those fees before you can use anything.  Trust me, you can do a lot better for yourself by just booking a resort when you need one.

Sunset falls on Massanutten Resort

That being said, I have to admit that the Massanutten Resort is beautifully located in the Shenandoah Mountains, the units are mostly very comfortable, and there is a lot to do.  But if  you ever go, just rent, don’t buy.

Next up: Virginia Beach, Virginia


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We are two recent retirees who decided to sell the house, pull up stakes, and explore North America. We are both being tourists and looking for the right blend of people, place, and geography that makes for the perfect place to retire.

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