Sunday, February 28, 2010

Timeshare as regulated by a Smoky Mountain Town

Recently, the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce released a tourism guidebook advertising all of the Chamber members. What is unusual about this recent edition is in the back there is a warning about timeshare representatives. It makes for an interesting read. Presumably this is because both Galtinburg citizens and tourists have lodged numerous complaints about the behaviors of OPCs. Often when an OPC leans in to ask a question of tourists they are flat-out ignored; the tourists walk by, treating OPCs like some ghost of vacations past. Every now and again, tourists respond in fury, cursing and even threatening OPCs. Some OPCs retaliate with equally abusive language.

But at least one OPC has told me that there is a lot of jealousy about timeshare in some tourist towns as they are not subject to the same taxes as overnight venues. While my informants think this is about larger political issues, I have a feeling this backlash against the timeshare industry has something to do with the transient lifestyles led by many OPCs.

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