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|Re: Western Horizon lawsuit by Randall Goodner|
|Dear Ms Berry,
Please allow me to respond to your posting. The reason WHR is in trouble is not because of the economy. If that were the sole reason, other companies wouldn’t be buying your parks, because they’d be facing the same economic situation. The main reason for your troubles is the poor business model established by Mr. Loken. Since it generates few dollars in camping fees, it must, as you state, rely on membership sales to bring in revenues. I’ll grant you that the economy has affected that source of income; however, the main cause of your shortfall is that, over the years, WHR sold about 10,000 memberships that required no yearly dues. If these members paid dues of $300/year, it would mean an additional $3 million revenue flow into WHR every year. Jim failed to insist on membership dues in an effort to generate more sales. It’s now come back to bite him … and us.
You said, “Negative blogs make me crazy.” Let me try to explain the negativity. First, I view a contract as being a document of trust; i.e., I promise to pay you X amount, including yearly dues, and you promise to provide a service. Many of us feel that WHR has broken that trust and in some cases (my own) they’ve done so deceitfully. Here are a few examples.
1. About three years ago, I attended a presentation by Jim where he said he was going to sell unproductive parks, especially those in other parts of the country and focus on keeping the southwestern parks. That turned out to be totally false. Those parks are critical for snowbirds, which represent the bulk of your membership.
2. In April 2009, we paid an additional $4,544.00 to upgrade to “Ultimate” status. At that time, Stephen Lorenzo assured us that WHR would be in business for many years to come. In truth, WHR was already putting parks up for sale. Even worse, many upgrades have been sold very recently to other trusting members. Those who purchased memberships or upgraded existing ones have almost no hope of making use of the WHR system or of feeling that this was a good investment for us.
3. You said, “…every move we make is our best effort to keep the company viable so we can continue to service the members in the best possible way far into the future.” Frankly, we don’t understand what you’re talking about! My understanding is that every WHR park is up for sale. Jim has said that he’s selling the real estate but keeping the system. So our memberships would be run something like AOR, C2C, RPI, ROD, etc. That is, the new park owners would designate a limited number of sites for WHR members. If so, only a very few of the many rigs that have filled parks like Casa Grande or Indian Waters could gain access to them. The rest of us will be out in the lurch. Second, I highly doubt that they’re going to honor my $2.00/night contract with WHR. Third, how long will they accept us in their resorts? There is nothing in it for them; we don’t create any revenue for them. Previous statements by WHR indicate that current agreements have an end point and continuance beyond that will have to be renegotiated. That’s not encouraging.
4. In short, it appears that WHR is simply disappearing. Even if it somehow continues to exist, it will not in any way resemble the system we purchased. We who placed our trust in WHR have lost our resort park system and the money we invested. It is particularly painful for those of us who recently invested our dollars. Is it any wonder members are outraged?
Thanks for reading this.