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Hotel Pacaso

Hotel Pacaso

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Welcome to the Hotel Pacaso,

It’s a nice hotel – but the rules are hell.

Plenty of room at the Hotel Pacaso,

But to reserve your date, you’ll have to trust to fate.

The Pacaso is not your ordinary hotel. Each “Pacaso” consists of a luxury vacation house, typically located in a quiet residential neighborhood. Each has several bedrooms and bathrooms, a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and other amenities.

In order to stay there, you have to become a Club Pacaso member. Memberships run from $250,000 to over $1 million. That entitles you to 44 days a year at the home you have selected. You can reserve it for 2 to 14 days at a time. But getting the dates you want can be tricky, since other members may want to book the same dates. Did we mention that there are seven other members sharing the house with you?

There are some additional facts you should know about:

• There’s a 12 ½% one-time charge when you buy a membership.

• There are monthly “home operating expenses.” For the least expensive memberships, these run $363 per day for each of the 44 days.

• Before you arrive for each stay, housekeeping staff will clean the house. But after that you will have to make your own bed, wash your own dishes, clean the kitchen, and launder bedding as needed; i.e., there is no daily maid service.

• Like most hotels, there are strict check-in and check-out times.

Know that you will have to sign a guest Code of Conduct:

• Large events or parties that would cause disruption for the neighborhood are prohibited.

• Quiet hours are observed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

• Your guests are strongly encouraged to avoid parking on the street unless absolutely necessary.

Be aware that most neighborhoods do not want a hotel unit in their midst and have fought hard to keep Pacasos out. Don’t expect a warm welcome, and the neighbors won’t cut you any slack if you don’t adhere to that niggling little Code of Conduct.

You can’t live it up at the Hotel Pacaso,

No parties here, there are neighbors near.

After a year, you are allowed to sell your membership – if anyone wants to buy it. Until it sells, you will be subject to the ongoing Ownership Fees. Whether you stay at your “Pacaso” or not, these charges continue until you are able to unload – er, sell – your membership.

“Relax," said the salesman,

"We are programmed to deceive.

You can join any time you like,

But you can never leave!”

On second thought, you might prefer to book a room wherever you want – whenever you want – in a first-class Real Hotel.

Carl M. Sherrill

Sonoma

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