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Old 08-30-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowreef View Post
I'll play devil's advocate here. A decision to close was made due to an act of nature which is totally understandable. While it would have been "nice" of them to provide you with a list of other campgrounds, they are not really your travel agent. You have a self-contained motorhome that can literally go anywhere and stay anywhere. I'm sorry but I don't see it as a big deal that they didn't find you a place to go as that is up to wherever you want to go. As far as not letting you stay after the campground was officially closed, well it was closed... Again, I don't see why you would be allowed to stay in a closed park. On the one hand I understand paying for membership and being entitled to certain services, but an act of nature like that is not a common occurrence and they have to do what they have to do including evacuate the park.
If Gary's situation were a "normal" campground, I might be more inclined to agree with you. There are two factors in this situation that have to be considered.
1. They kept his money. Since theirs was a voluntary decision, they own the responsibility for it. If Gary volunteered to leave, they would have been justified in keeping his camping fees.
2. As Gary points out, Thousand Trails is a paid club. I think it is reasonable to expect any business that rejects a customer to help with accommodations. If I showed up at a car rental counter, even without a reservation, I'd expect that company to help me find another car. In a case where I'm specifically paying a yearly fee for use of facilities and the use of those facilities is denied to me, I expect assistance in finding an alternative. As a paid guest, regardless for the reasons for the denial of service, I'd expect reasonable assistance in helping me.

It is good business not to deliberately put customers into ugly situations. A reasonable thing to do would have been to have the Hershey location to call around to other TT facilities and find a spot for Gary. It would then have been Gary's choice to move there or not.

Personally, I'd heard stories like Gary's before and that is why we've made the decision not to participate in TTs. IMHO, there is a history of corporate arrogance and it only a matter of time before I, too, could get a chance to deal with it. This situation is not about the hurricane or its possible effects but about the manner in which it was handled.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #16
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There is much you do not likely know.. You said it is a very hilly area (Trust me, I agree with you on that been to the area (though not that park) .. Though you had water and an on-board genertor and I'm sure you would have been comfortable, Many TT parks have a very complex septic system which includes LIFT PUMPS that make the sewage flow up hill and even active water purification systems which eat electricity.. THUS when power is out for more than a short period of time they are REQUIRED to shut down. In this they have no choice.

As to their decision to "Play safe"... I won't argue with such a decision even if I do not agree with it. (I'm no commenting in short)

I do however feel they could have done you the favor of assisting in finding another park.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #17
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I'm more concerned about the lack of notice on the original eviction, though I feel the caution was excessive as well. I'm a Florida boy, used to tracking hurricanes, and I keep a hurricane tracker on my pc. It would have had to make a sudden sharp turn to hit Hershey after 1 pm Satruday, when it was already in North Carolina. And none of the projected tracks took it closer than 100 miles of Hershey. But we shrugged our shoulders and decided to move to a hotel, leaving the rig in the park.

As for the "travel agent" question, when airplane flights are cancelled by weather, the airline helps its customers find accommodations and alternate means of travel to their destination. It's good business to help your customers when things go south - they remember who gave them a hand.

But I'm ticked they wouldn't let us dry camp after the storm took out the power. We are self-contained, had full fresh tank, plenty of propane and diesel, and empty holding tanks (all pre-planned). We could have stayed a week without requiring services (and the park staff did indeed stay in their own rigs in the park). It would have cost them nothing and the staff was there anyway. In our case we could not simply drive off and leave the area - my wife has appointments at the Hershey Cancer Center. So we needed to stay, even if at the Walmart.

We moved to a KOA that also had their power source knocked out. I explained our problem and they welcomed us to stay, even though they had a greater problem in cleaning up than TT did. The difference in attitude was immense. Instead of being treated as a problem child, we were greeted warmly and offered help (we only needed a place to park). I might add that the Jonestown KOA is a family run business, with onsite owners. So they get kudos for their willingness to help a traveler, while TT/ESL gets a bronx cheer for thinking only of themselves when things got a bit hectic.

I have found the TT management and ELS property managers in generally to be unconcerned about how they treat their customers. The attitude comes from the top, I believe, and there are indications that ELS leaves little to the local manager's discretion. Same with other ELS properties, and we have visited several over the years.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:11 PM   #18
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If you are not happy with Thousand Trails, sell the membership. Maybe you can find someone who will take it off your hands for some nominal price. There are lots of other campgrounds who will welcome you.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:25 PM   #19
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KOA's get criticized many times in these pages but I also was treated well by one during a hurricane situation.

A few years ago hurricane Francis came through western PA and did some heavy damage. We were at the Mercer KOA and power was out for 4 days. The owner had and/or acquired 3 or 4 generators and was able to kept water and sewage working. Only a few people chose to leave. They did a great job keeping the generators running for those 4 days.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #20
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Dang!

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Old 08-30-2011, 10:07 PM   #21
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I know today's rules are dictated by lawyers. Being an ex vice president of a major corporation I would have done the same thing. Had you stayed and gotten hurt they would be sued for millions. They didn't have the staff to find another CG for you to stay at. (I'm sure there were hundreds of others looking for space too) Had that hurricane taken a turn and hit you they would be out of business. If you stayed afterward and fell on a fallen branch you could sue.

It's a lot like the military, Do what's best for the majority and let the rest fall. It was a bummer it all happened but you are safe and no harm done. Be glad it turned into a tropical storm instead of a cat 4. I'm from Fl. too and I know what a cat 4 will do.... If that had happened you wouldn't be writing these posts...
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:19 AM   #22
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Intresting Gary, You find TT staff and management to be "Unconcerned" where as I find them to be the the best of all the parks I stay at. I have no complaints at all about the way I've been treated by TT management.

That said. I've never been to Hershey. (Well, I've been to hershey but just for the day and by car, not RV and not the TT park there, I think I might have driven past, but that's all)
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:23 PM   #23
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We've been to several TT parks across the USA and only found one where the management made any effort to make us welcome or accommodate a problem we had. I don't expect a love-in, but we've been made much more welcome at most private campgrounds and many federal & state parks.

I expect I will be putting my membership up for sale before too long, but not specifically because of this occurence.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:46 PM   #24
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Bill:

As I view it, weather forecasters are the only people who screw up five days out of seven and are still employed. You can get vague ideas from those guys, but nothing specific.

In our neck of the woods, it's particularly difficult because there's a big gap in radar coverage out into the Pacific. A new radar is going on line very soon to fill that gap.

What bugs me is that the TV weather people give a nice forecast for two days ahead then the next day it all turns to crap, but they don't say "well, yesterday we had a different idea of how it was going to work out. Sorry about that." It's like they have no memory of yesterday's forecast.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #25
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Well, the Irene forecasters got it pretty well spot-on. The politicians may have over-reacted a bit in some cases, but they no doubt felt they had to err on the side of caution.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:31 PM   #26
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Gary RVRoamer - we stayed Monday and Tuesday nights at Hersey Highmeadows CG - we had reservations for over a month and I called them over the weekend when Irene hit the MidAtlantic area. They told me that they had no problems over the weekend - that Hersey Park was open and everything was operational. We arrived around 1:00 pm Monday as scheduled and everything in the CG was normal looking - no damage whatsoever - no downed trees or branches. Don't know where Hersey Highmeadows CG is in relation to Hersey TT that you were at.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #27
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Gary RVRoamer - we stayed Monday and Tuesday nights at Hersey Highmeadows CG - we had reservations for over a month and I called them over the weekend when Irene hit the MidAtlantic area. They told me that they had no problems over the weekend - that Hersey Park was open and everything was operational. We arrived around 1:00 pm Monday as scheduled and everything in the CG was normal looking - no damage whatsoever - no downed trees or branches. Don't know where Hersey Highmeadows CG is in relation to Hersey TT that you were at.
Did you get to the casino yet?
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:41 PM   #28
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4Fun: High Meadows is about 10 miles further west, right in Hershey. TT is east of Campbelltown and Hershey. TT re-opened on Friday, 9/2 after power was restored. Storm damage in this whole area was very isolated. One tree here, maybe another a mile or two away, that sort of thing. Sustained winds never got that high, but the occasional "micro-burst" struck here and there.

Billieg: No, we didn't hit the casino yet and probably won't. We don't do that much anymore, though my wife used to be a slots fan. She began to lose interest when the old one-armed bandits got repalced with electronic machines.
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