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Old 02-14-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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Latest Thousand Trails info.. We went to a meeting 4 days ago.

We have gone to the "old" sales meeting in the past. Those were run by a marketing companies not Thousand Trails employees. This has changed. Read below for the highlights of what we heard. Sounds like good changed are coming. Good stuff.

First the meeting was run by employees of ELS Properties. They own TT. They have figured out campgrounds can be profitable if run correctly. The meeting was run by 2 current members and that have used the parks since they were young and both inherited their contracts from parents and one of them is full timing.

ELS is a publicly traded company with the stock ticker of ELS. It is a 600 Million dollar company. Thus all the financial information must be disclosed and available to anyone in the public filings. (you can look them up to see how the stock is doing.)

They bought RPI last year.

They built 4 new parks last year.

They are looking for parks to buy because EPA regulations make it hard to build new ones but they have and will continue build new if they can.

They will never sell another Lifetime memberships as it is a broken model.
Two things may come of this. The value of your membership may rise because they will not be sold again except on the secondary market. Second they have developed a way for you to get out of your membership. You can suspend it for up to 3 years. If you don't reactivate it after the 3rd year the contract is over and you are out.

They told us because the "marketing companies" sold these contacts and TT was excepting contracts that hand written "goodies" they have 1800 contracts with different items inserted. Some have a clause that a newspaper must be delivered to them every morning. Others have to have fresh baked cookies delivered at 3:00 pm everyday they are in the park. Another is that they have to have a red carpet rolled out when they check in. This required the them to buy 86 red carpets to have them on hand encase that person was checking in.

The are spending millions on parks now and have slated to put 170+ million into parks in the next 10 years. (Look at Thousand Trials website to see improvement projects underway.)

Annual spot leasing is over.
Several premium spots were leased for up to 5 years and not available to TT members. They are not renewing any of these and as the annual leasers move out those spots will be returned to everyone to use. It will take 4 years before all contracts are up.

Dilapidated units were moved out with Sheriffs help 2 months ago. They implemented new check in rules that will not burden members but will not allow trash units in.
Must have proof of ownership at check in.
Must have a drivers license at check in.
Must have proof of insurance at check in.
Unit must be licensed. (They told us to copy the required information and put it in an envelope and keep it in your rig for check ins.)

They are developing cabins that have a full hookups next to the cabin spot so you can have family stay in right next to you.

A couple of years ago they created a forum that was only available to the top 250 users of the parks. These 250 people told the "New" managers all of their issues with the parks and what they needed to do to improve the parks and now the management is implementing them.

Within the next 2 years dogs will again be allowed in the tent camping areas.

All parks will have park managers that are employees of TT and not just volunteers.

They know the issues were caused by the "old" management group trying to stop the bleeding. To save money the old group fired all the parks managers and put in volunteer Camp Hosts that worked for there spot. Turned out to cause a lot of problems. These volunteers were much less likely to kick someone out because they were just working for a rv spot and didn't want the confrontation. Some were pocketing rental fees from some people that should have been moved out but weren't because they were paying the camp host directly.

You cannot be turned down at TT if you show up without a reservation. If they are full they must offer you a spot in overflow dry camping till something comes open. (we didn't know that)

They are working toward 50 amp service in all electrical spots.
Some of the parks wiring had been cobbled together by non electricians. They have had to rip it out and start over.

Campground cooking events are coming back.

Events like pancake breakfasts or camp cookouts are coming back.

Camp event programs are coming back. These will be campground specific and will include activities for everyone.

They are leveling spots and widening spots.

This is the biggest items were heard.

Yes at the end they did off us an upgrade that would allow us to take advantage of the new offerings they have but it was as low key and zero pressure.

Randy
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:47 AM   #2
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That sounds great but, I will believe it when I see it. My three biggest gripes have been the leasing out of all the good sites, unlevel sites, and bad power.

If they are really putting so much into the parks how is it that well over a year has passed and the pool, hot tub, and club house in Las Vegas are all still closed?
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:03 PM   #3
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The proof is in the pudding. I'll wait and see if the really make improvement or not. Too many dog and pony shows out there.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:11 PM   #4
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They will never sell another Lifetime memberships as it is a broken model.
Two things may come of this.
What will the membership plan(s) look like - the Zone pass?
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:27 PM   #5
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:36 PM   #6
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We are currently on Thousand Trails Orlando, from last year we see many changes. Start where they added over 250 50 amp sites upgrading them from 30 amps. They also have a new check-in procedure no driving around looking for a site and I must say I like it. As far as the campground they have cleaned up some of the permanent sites and we noticed some the permanent sites are vacated. We feel all this is a move in the right direction.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #7
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Did a web meeting with the sales company yesterday.

Most of the same info though we did not discuss check in stuff.. He did say they are cleaning up the parks.

Most of those "long term lease" things (not the annual or six month but the multi year) pre=date TT's ownership of the park.. And they have not been renewing them for a long time. At least the ones I know about.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:01 PM   #8
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Sounds like a move in the right direction, if it is implemented well. We will visit our local TT locations this year...after they reopen after April 1st! Damn winter and closures.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexters View Post
What will the membership plan(s) look like - the Zone pass?
Zone pass is the only offering available as a "member".
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:39 PM   #10
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Zone pass is the only offering available as a "member".
That's just to get you in..... look at resales and eBay to find a better deal. ;-)
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdpreece View Post
That sounds great but, I will believe it when I see it. My three biggest gripes have been the leasing out of all the good sites, unlevel sites, and bad power.

If they are really putting so much into the parks how is it that well over a year has passed and the pool, hot tub, and club house in Las Vegas are all still closed?

yep me to. I have my favorites in texas, but the year lease folks eat up the great sites.

TT conroe has done much repairs but sites are still far from super, most are still washed out and unlevel. But i can see much work has been done.

TT medina is a great location, but the park is horrible in site upkeep and the plethora of LONG term leases is crazy.

I hope they do change the model and update.
We bought in based on the site we stayed at. It was great, until the long term lease people took over and left regular members with crap for site and very few 50 amps. TEXOMA.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:34 PM   #12
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we bought our Lifetime Membership back in '02 .... last year we attended one of their meetings in Raleigh, NC and didn't hear any of the things they reported in the opening post in this thread .... we sincerely hope that they are serious about making the reported promises .... as this is being typed we are in their Colorado River CG near Columbus, TX .... we've been here for 2 weeks and the place is badly over booked .... they have no 50 amp, full hookup sites available .... when we rode through this morning they only had one 30 amp, full hookup site open .... with the number of rigs we have seen circling, it would be highly likely that site was taken early this morning .... both overflow (30 amp/water) sites stay full ..... they do have a good number of tent sites open .... the problem is, the large number of sites taken by long term rentals .... in addition, they have to be overbooking .... as noted, if they fulfill the promises reported and get rid of long term rentals, it will be a wonderful thing
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:14 AM   #13
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We also will watch to see if ANY of these changes happen, let's hope so!!!! We inherited our membership and saw how much my in-laws enjoyed it and hope we can also. Would love to see all the improvements being made and less annual site usage as yes the do take a lot of the good sites.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:57 AM   #14
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Annual spot leasing is over.
Several premium spots were leased for up to 5 years and not available to TT members. They are not renewing any of these and as the annual leasers move out those spots will be returned to everyone to use. It will take 4 years before all contracts are up.
this change alone will be a major positive development .... if this is a policy that will be implemented nationwide, it doesn't appear to be known at the parks we have visited this winter .... we are currently camped between two members who have recently leased their spots for a year


Quote:
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You cannot be turned down at TT if you show up without a reservation. If they are full they must offer you a spot in overflow dry camping till something comes open. (we didn't know that)
my hope is this applies to members and not to the general public .... last year at Forest Lakes in NC we arrived to find the park was full .... our reservation had been booked over a hundred days in advance .... as usual, all of the paperwork was at the Ranger Station .... when I say full, not even a tent site was open .... after circling the place twice we stopped at the office and requested to see the manager .... I was told that she wasn't there .... I left a note requesting she call me, no call has ever come .... it should be noted that as we were circling there were several others doing the same thing .... the lady working in the office said they had a large group of local, nonmembers who had come in two days earlier and weren't scheduled to leave for another couple of days .... she did go into the computer and remove our reservation


Quote:
Originally Posted by fixit1957 View Post
They are working toward 50 amp service in all electrical spots.
Some of the parks wiring had been cobbled together by non electricians. They have had to rip it out and start over.

Randy
this upgrade is long overdue
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