Colorado River Adventures Contest- Real or a Scam?

building on a hill

About five years ago, I got a phone call telling me I had won a contest I entered.  It all stemmed from my becoming a member of the Good Sam Club.  If I remember right, I got something in the mail about the contest and entered.  The contest was sponsored by Colorado River Adventures, an affiliate of the Good Sam Club.  I was told that I had won 20 nights of free camping, a tablet, and $200 in free gas.  All I had to do was go to a two hour seminar about the Ghost Mountain Resort

intersection in the road

After making sure there were no conditions or other strings attached, I was in.  I was in the “run all over the country” mode and driving two hours to get my prizes was cool with me.  Besides, I had been told that I would get a tour of the facilities and they sounded pretty cool.  There is an Old West Town set up on the resort and I had always wanted to see one.  So…I set out on my little road trip anticipating the event.

narrow road full of potholes

The resort is about an hour and a half west of Lake Tahoe and has tent and RV camping spots.  As I got closer, I got more excited.  I couldn’t wait to see the little town they had set up.  It has a saloon, a general store, and even a mock jail.  I finally reached the private road that led to the resort.  It was HORRIBLE.  There were so many potholes that I could not go over two or three miles per hour—and they weren’t small potholes either.  I could not believe that a resort would allow the road to deteriorate so badly.

outbuilding for attendant

Finally, I reached the end of the road.  I saw the little town they had set up as I drove in.  I went to the office and told them why I was there.  Once of the employees took me into this room with all of these posters and diagrams on the wall.  He started to tell me the history of the resort and related all of the amenities that were available.  He pointed out details in the various displays on the wall and directed my attention to the pictures of different areas of the campground.

barrel wagon

After about 45 minutes, the guy was able to deduce that I was in no way interested in paying the exorbitant fees to become a member.  He started going over the paperwork for my prizes.  I was a little confused and asked him about the tour.  He directed my attention to the posters on the wall.  That was my tour, a bunch of pictures on the wall.  I have to say, I was more than a little irritated.  I had wanted an actual tour and that was not going to happen.

picnic area

I did get all of my prizes, so that part was legit.  I got a generic brand tablet.  I already had a Kindle and had planned to give the new one to a friend who didn’t have a tablet—and I did.  The gas deal was designed in such a way that most people would fail to actually get the prize.  I had to buy a certain amount of gas from Shell stations.  I had to make multiple purchases that were each 30 days apart.  This had to be done by a deadline and then I would be reimbursed for the gas.  There was barely enough time to accomplish all of the steps in order to get the cash.

entrance to resort

I did get the reimbursement—I made sure of that.  I never used the free camping because it was so far out of the way and was not in an area that I typically went to—nor did I desire to.  I let the tour dude know I was not happy with the misrepresentation of providing an actual tour.  I also did a review on them and they responded, whining about how the road does not belong to them and the owner does not take care of it.  HELLOOO—anyone who uses the road can help keep it up.

basketball court

Anyway, if you are ever told you won a Colorado RiverAdventures contest, that’s about how the experience will be.  It was worth it for me because I got free stuph. 


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