Monday, September 15, 2008

What I Saw at Disneyland

This is either too funny or too sad. In line for the railroad the man in front of us was wearing a very nice Nouveau Riche University polo shirt. Poor me, I was relegated to my $1 thrift store Izod. Normally that would be just a silly observation but when he moved on to board he almost forgot his bag. A Disney Vacation branded bag with brochures for Disney fractional timeshare ownership sales info.


Peripheral Visionary said...

Disney fractional timeshare ownership? I never thought I would say this, but it would appear that there is, in fact, a more risky investment than Las Vegas condos.

Property Flopper said...

Should not be too surprising, once a mark, always a mark.

Rob Dawg said...

The prices seem reasonable but the management fees... Put your money in Goldspring and live off the appreciation.

Lost Cause said...

The Mouse House invented overpriced crap marketed to unsophisticated consumers. They own the words mickey mouse.

Casey Serin said...

Did you happen to stop by at Club 33, Walrus?

Tyrone said...

Was it this NRU...


H Simpson said...

Speaking of fantasy land, I swear the developers of ubber-ski condos never learned a thing 15 years ago and are about to hit the same mountain.

Between the elimination of jumbo mortgages and the fear on wall street that the good times are history, who is going to plunk down serious money on a ski house you have heat with $3-4/gallon fuel?

Well some numbnut in Vermont is still trying to lure wall street tools, or think the rich skiers from Quebec will drive the extra 40 miles to ski here rather than the larger Jay Peak.

I live on a hill as big as this bump. It is in middle of nowhere, and nearby mountains tower over it. And downtown sux.

This has been a circle jerk since the prep school sold off the ski area. No way this will end nicely.

Yeah, what a deal to pay a cool million to associated with other stupid asshats on a jerkwater slope. Makes summer homes on Cape Cod look like a steal.

Though the crap housing may be spread across CA, FL, & NV, there are these intense pockets thoughout the US that are bound to be in trouble.

Skip E. DaMann said...

H Simpson,

Yes you are right that the Burke development is absolutely going down in flames. However don't pin this on "some numbnut in Vermont"! Ginn Resorts is not in Vermont. Anyone stupid enough to consider purchasing these should see the following link:

Sound familiar?

Anyone care to speculate on what is going to happen to Stowe when AIG implodes? They have sunk a tone of money into the resort. They do attract the rich crowd, but is that going to last in this ecomony?


H Simpson said...

Thanks Skip.

For Stowe, I will bet the same thing that happened at Ascutney Vt.
(just down the street from Okemo).
American Ski company has already augred in, so they are not going to save them. Heck it was very quiet up there a couple weeks ago when we stopped at ben and jerrys on our way back from Ottawa.

Anyways, the short version of Acutney's downfall. Developer puts $18 million in slopeside fixes and luxury condos. Tough sell in a good market as Okemo and Killington are much bigger and just down the stree. Then as the project started to complete the market started to wilt and nobody bought.

Sold in bankrupcy to group in town for nickel on each dollar. They kept a couple condos for themselves, sold the rest cheap to recoup the money, and spun the slope off for public use again. Only now everything is brand new.
Developer and bank took it in the shorts KC style.

I expect to see this happen at all those restrictive clown joints in Colorado and Monanta that have choked SKI magazine with multi page ads for a stuck up lifestyle and little on skiing per se. The golf communities will work out better since the season is longer/year round, but some with poor access will also fail.

As I said, pockets of bad news in otherwise stable markets.

And I am starting to look at shorting those cruise lines this winter. Between high fuel costs, bum economy and over capacity, they are going to be sucking pond,errr I mean sea water.

Bottom line: Not a good time to be in the leisure business.


Pleather Murse said...

Ah, nothing like another story about failed Strategic Capital Acquisition Methodologies. ;)

I really think floptard should get back into Real Estate again. Seriously, the reason he's "shrinking" online is he lost that big vision. You can tell it's getting to him. He should get back into the saddle. It would be way more entertaining to watch (my main reason for recommending it, lol.)

Rob Dawg said...

Jeez, it's like youse guys ain't been readin' fer years.

I used to say my fantasy was 800 acres and a big ole bulldozer in Western Mass/Southern Vt. The intent was a fly-in 3 1/2 season executive playground.

Crap like this is dead. If the current owner isn't the victim the next owner and/or the bank will be.

Does anyone remember my calling the cruise line ship construction bubble two years ago?

Property Flopper said...

Fed left rates the same, I'm kind of surprised.

Rob Dawg said...

Billy Crystal: "kill anybody today, Curly?"
Jack Palance: "Day ain't over yet."

Northern Renter said...

Dear H Simpson,
Sounds like you're either from Northern Vermont or you know it well. I'm expecting to take a tour there at some point in a few weeks to visit somebody near Montpelier. We've visited Burlington a few times.... can you suggest some other places we ought to see enroute? We're driving from Montreal and have two 4 year-old boys to entertain. Oh, and this is open to anyone else who knows the area.


PS Just borrowed a DVD from the local library of the first season of the British comedy "Coupling". Yes, I know the American version flopped, but the original British series is hilarious. See it if you get the chance.

Property Flopper said...

Dawg - day ain't over, but their meeting is. Again, quite surprised, I expected a little bump - at least a 25pt. acknowledgement of the mess.

Hey - since we're opening up for DVD recommendations - A Canadian TV show (3 season, each 6 episodes) called "Slings and Arrows". Some of the best writing I've ever seen - great cast, very funny.

Netflix if nothing else.

NHSteph said...


Depending on how far off track you want to go, you might take the little guys to Santa's Village or Six Gun City in the Jackson/Jefferson NH-area. They're cute little family-run theme parks (check dates and times-- not sure how long they're open). The ride across the Kancamaugus Highway is lovely during foliage season.

Northern Renter said...

Thanks NH Steph,
Six Gun City looks like fun, but the kind of fun that requires the boys to be a bit older. As for Santa's Village.... my wife and I can't agree which country Santa lives in, and the last thing we want to do is to confuse the boys into thinking that he's American (nothing personal, folks, but the magnetic North Pole is currently in... or under... Canada).


Jean ValJean said...



Everyone knows Santa is Finnish!

Rob Dawg said...

Wow, Santa's Village is still open? Can you still climb inside a gnome's belly for a ride?

The Kangamangus Highway is spectacular.

Visit Montpelier if only to see on street parking in front of the State Capital.

Northern Renter said...

Jean Valjean,
Ei ole. Tiedan etta han on kanadalainen.


PS Sorry, don't care enough about umlauts to code them in.

Rob Dawg said...

Ümlauts iz güd. Ya shure.

Son of Brock Landers said...

@rob dawg

santa's village and story land are under common ownership last i knew and are still kicking. north conway has also built itself into a retail outlet-weekend getaway spot with the no sales tax thing and the need for mom's to vent off steam after a double dosing of storyland and santa's village.

red jacket inn is still open and a nice getaway in the mountains.

Santa Flipper Clause said...

Ho Ho Ho - It's Santa Flipper Clause

North Conway is retail outlet hell. Bartlett is still nice and somewhat untouched.

By the way, Santa's village has some hot chicks.

Santa F. Clause

Rob Dawg said...

Sorry to hear about North conway. Used to be the jumping off point for some excellent climbs on White horse and Cathedral. Yes, the fat walrus used to lead 5.10s.

Jean ValJean said...

You *think* you know.


H Simpson said...

I hang in S. NH, but I know the area as my S-I-L family is from there, and I do a lot of skiing.

A couple weeks tells me you ar coming before the snow comes. If you come in by Newport Vt at the border, there is a VT teddy bear factory. Not as fancy as the offical store, but if you are in the area..

A couple of the mountains have the ski chairs or gondolas open. If the weather is good, they can see quite the view without busting your chops hiking in.

If you bring your bikes, just about every ski area has trails open to peddle on.

Ben and Jerrys is half a mile up vt100 at the stowe cutoff. They have tours and cow branded crap to buy.

Montpelier has a population of only8,000 or so. Has 3 streets that get rolled up when the State House closes each night.

Burlington is turning into quite the town and it is very young. I would bet if you check their web site, there are things to do such as ferry boat rides etc.

You always have your wagon rides from now to Dec in any New England town.

Across the border in NH, there is the Cannon Mt tram for short money. At the parking lot is the skiing hall of fame. Go the back way toward Conway and some of the ski areas have sleds you drive down the side of the mountain in a tube.

six gun city. Been years, as my best friend's mom owned all the land on the sides of it (heck of a farm in New England standards). Storyland would be fun for the kids. Yeah Conway is a pain, but here is the trick, entering from either end, there is a street 2 blocks in that parrallels the nightmare main drag. Saves lots of time. And they have an old steam engine that take you around the mountain.

Of course just south is Mt Washington which is a fun ride to the top (bring a kite with you), or take the tram to the top.

H Simpson said...

by the way, you ought to have the places to yourself. I am hearing the cape and islands were off 40% this summer.

Money is staying home.

Jean ValJean said...


...Fed takes over AIG....

Federal officials will take 80% stake in the nation's largest insurer in an $85 billion rescue plan to prevent financial chaos worldwide.
CNN Money Link Here.

Centipede said...

I love Rachel Maddow!

Lou Minatti said...

I feel like I've missed out on a lot of big news.

Lou Minatti said...

North Conway sucks, BTW. It's an outlet mall with enormous traffic jams. Santa's Village is still there and now it's much bigger.

WeWantTheFunk said...

Ahh, yes, Vermont.

I'll see your majestic four thousand foot massifs, raise you ten thousand, and call. I'll even throw in some actual snow to subsitute for the ice you love so well.

Easterners. Hee!

The last time I was through North Carolina, I kept seeing ads for the amazing mountain scenery, got to Asheville, and realized this is what they're talking about?

Hills, kiddies. Hills.

Northern Renter said...

My thanks to all for the tourism guidance.


NHSteph said...

Mt Washington isn't huge (6288'), but it kills a staggering number of people-- usually at least one or two a year. It's killed more than Denali.

Two reasons:
1. Within easy reach of 70m (generally inexperienced) people
2. Confluence of three major weather systems

The local rag runs rescue stories of the cell-phone-toting, cotton-clad, "what's a topo map?" set all of the time.

As for Conway, well-- it's a "lifestyle center" for Massholes.

In fact, sometimes I think the whole state now fits that description *sigh* I rock the southern half too (native, baby!), and man, we are completely overrun...

Send help!
Close the border!