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ELS Teams With RV Retailers to Promote Parks

August 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), the nation’s largest RV park owner/operator, is currently testing a rather unique new promotion involving its Thousand Trails membership-based “preserves” and a few aggressive, multi-store RV dealerships in an effort to “leverage that great lifestyle and open up to more of the RV universe.”

Woodalls Campground Management reported that it’s all part of a new “global relationship” ELS is trying to foster between the industry that produces and sells the RVs and the American public that purchases and recreates in those leisure-time products – a relationship that ELS CEO Thomas Heneghan and President and CFO Marguerite Nader feel is long overdue.

Although there are other potential new components on the table, such as social media initiatives and online parts and accessories sales, the crux of ELS’s new program is that a consumer buying an RV from any participating dealer will receive a free year’s membership to access parks in one of four zones among the 80 Thousand Trails preserves in 22 states and British Columbia.

“What we’re really trying to do is develop products in relation to the RV dealer that help him and us,” says Heneghan, whose 4,000-employee company also operates 90 Encore parks as well as some 200 manufactured home communities. “We think that buying an RV embedded with the lifestyle aspects is a natural and should be something that happens much more frequently than it does. And we designed this kind of dealer program to find RV dealerships across the U.S. that were excited about the opportunity to sell RVs to consumers along with the lifestyle that comes attached with that vehicle so that they’re getting the hotdog and the hotdog bun all at the same time.

“So, that’s been the program,” Heneghan told Woodall’s Campground Management, “but it’s really part of a larger strategy. We don’t really just want to have that one event. We want to have a relationship with the RV dealerships that understand that staying in contact with the customer – meeting that customer’s needs – is going to increase his ability to sell more vehicles over time and get that repeat buyer.”

To read the entire article click here.

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ELS Announces Major Management Changes

July 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) announced today (July 5) that, after almost 20 years of outstanding service, Ellen Kelleher, 51, executive vice president-property management, has decided to retire on Dec. 31, 2012. During the interim, she will transition her duties to others, according to a news release.

“Ellen Kelleher has been instrumental in laying this company’s foundation,” said CEO Tom Heneghan. “I am proud of what we have accomplished over the years. I wish her all the best.”

Chicago-based ELS owns or has an interest in 382 manufactured housing and RV properties in 32 states and British Columbia consisting of 141,077 sites.

In connection with Kelleher’s decision to retire, the company has made the following changes to its management team:

  • Peter Underhill has been appointed senior vice president-revenue management.
  • Ron Bunce has been appointed senior vice president West Operations.
  • Brad Nelson has been appointed senior vice president East Operations.
  • Underhill, Bunce and Nelson, each of whom has been with the company or its predecessors for more than a decade and in the industry for decades, will each report directly to Heneghan. Marguerite Nader, the company’s president and chief financial officer, will also continue to report to Heneghan.
  • Seth Rosenberg has been appointed senior vice president of marketing.
  • Jim Phillips has been appointed senior vice president of sales.
  • Dave Kozy has been appointed vice president of customer relations.
  • Rosenberg, Phillips and Kozy will each report directly to Nader.

 

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Equity LifeStyle Properties Reports 3Q Results

October 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc., a major owner and operator of RV-related parks and campgrounds that also is a significant factdor in Sunbelt retirement communities,  today (Oct. 22) announced results for the quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30.

For the third quarter 2009, Funds From Operations (“FFO”) were $28.8 million, or $0.82 per share on a fully-diluted basis, compared to $22.7 million, or $0.74 per share on a fully-diluted basis for the same period in 2008.  For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2009, FFO was $90.4 million, or $2.81 per share on a fully-diluted basis, compared to $77.1 million, or $2.53 per share on a fully-diluted basis for the same period in 2008.

Net income available to common stockholders totaled $11.1 million, or $0.37 per share on a fully-diluted basiss for the quarter.

This compares to net income available to common stockholders of $1.5 million, or $0.06 per share on a fully diluted basis for the same period in 2008. Net income available to common stockholders totaled $27.7 million, or $1.02 per share on a fully-diluted basis for the nine months ended Sept, 30.  This compares to net income available to common stockholders of $18.3 million, or $0.74 per share on a fully-diluted basis for the same period in 2008. 

On June 29, the company issued 4.6 million shares of common stock in an equity offering for approximately $146.4 million, net of offering costs.

On an as adjusted basis, assuming the equity offering had not occurred, FFO per share on a fully-diluted basis would have been $0.94 and $3.28 for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2009, respectively.  As adjusted net income available to common stockholders,
assuming the equity offering did not occur, would have been $0.42 and $1.19 per share on a fully diluted basis for the quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, respectively.

Third quarter 2009 property operating revenues were $123.8 million, compared to $108.3 million in the third quarter of 2008.  Our property operating revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2009 were $364.3 million, compared to $309.0 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009, our core property operating revenues increased approximately 2.7% and core property operating expenses decreased approximately 1.5%, resulting in an increase of approximately 6.5 percent to income from core property operations over the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.  For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2009, our core property operating revenues increased approximately 2.7% and core property operating expenses decreased approximately 1.6%, resulting in an increase to income from core property operations of approximately 6.3% over the nine months ended Sept.30, 2008.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009, the company had 38 new home sales (including 13 third-party dealer sales), which represents a 56.3%  decrease as compared to the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008.  Gross revenues from home sales were $2.1 million for the quarter ended Sept 30, 2009, compared to $5.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.  Net income from home sales and other was $1.5 million for the quarter, compared to a net loss from home sales and other of ($0.7) million for the same period in 2008.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2009, the company had 79 new home sales (including 19 third-party dealer sales), a 75.5 percent decrease over the same period in 2008. Gross revenues from home sales were $5.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, compared to $18.3 million for the same period in 2008.  Net income from home sales and other was $1.0 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2009 compared to a net loss from home sales and other of ($2.7) million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008. Property management expenses were $8.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared  to $6.4 million for the same period last year.

A significant portion of the increase in property management expenses was due to the acquisition and consolidation of Privileged Access, L.P. (“Privileged Access”) and the 82 company properties that Privileged Access had been leasing and operating prior to the company’s
acquisition of Privileged Access on August 14, 2008 On July 20 the company sold the 490-site property known as Casa Village in Billings, Mont. The buyer assumed approximately $10.6 million of mortgage indebtedness on the property

“Our average long-term secured debt balance was approximately $1.6 billion in the quarter, with a weighted average interest rate, including amortization, of approximately 6.02 percent per annum.  Our unsecured debt balance currently has an availability of $370.0 million.  Interest coverage was approximately 2.4 times in the quarter During the quarter, the company closed on approximately $21.1 million of financings on two manufactured home properties with a weighted average interest rate of 6.25 percent per annum, maturing in 2019.”

The company also paid off twelve maturing mortgages totaling approximately $47.9 million, with a weighted average interest rate of 7.94 percent per annumDuring the fourth quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010, the Company expects to close on approximately $74 million of financing on four manufactured home properties at a weighted average interest rate of 6.96 percent per annum, maturing in 10 years.  We have locked rate with Fannie Mae on these loans.  There can be no assurance if such financings will occur or as to the timing and terms of our anticipated
financing

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. owns or has an interest in 307 quality properties in 27 states and British Columbia consisting of 110,363 sites. The company is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT) with headquarters in Chicago.

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Equity Lifestyle Properties Reports Q1 Profits Up

April 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) today (April 21) reported net income of $13.6 million for the first quarter compared to $12.7 million for the same period last year.

Funds from Operation (FFO) –  a widely used gauge of real estate operating performance, adds depreciation and amortization expenses, as well as other non-operating items, back to net income  - were $37.9 million for the quarter on a fully diluted basis, compared to $32.6 million during the same period last year. 

The results for the quarter ended March 31 include approximately $1.6 million of net insurance proceeds reflected in income from other investments. Additionally, ELS recognized $1.1 million in gains from the sale of two joint ventures. The combined insurance proceeds and joint venture gains resulted in approximately $2.7 million of additional FFO or approximately $2.3 million of net income.

Due to the Aug. 14, 2008, acquisition of Privileged Access L.P. the results for the quarter also include $5.2 million of net deferrals of non-refundable upfront payments from the sale of right-to-use contracts which are amortized over the estimated customer life along with $1.5 million of net deferrals of commissions paid on the sale of right-to use contracts which are also amortized on the same method as the deferred sales revenue.

The net deferral for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, is approximately $3.7 million.

First quarter 2009 operating revenues were $124.4 million, compared to $106.4 million in the first quarter of 2008 resulting in an increase of approximately 4.5% to income from ELS’ core property operations over the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2009, the company had 20 new home sales, including three third party dealer sales, which represents an 83.9% decrease as compared to the same quarter last year. Gross revenues from home sales were $1.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to $6.2 million for the quarter  last year leading to a net loss from home sales of $600,000.

 During the quarter, ELS acquired the remaining 75% interests in three joint ventures as follows:  Robin Hill, a 270-site property in Lenhartsville, Pa., Sun Valley, a 265-site property in Brownsville, Pa., and  Plymouth Rock, a 609-site property in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The gross purchase price was approximately $19.2 million, and ELS assumed mortgage loans of approximately $12.9 million.

ELS also sold its 25% interest in two joint ventures known as Pine Haven, a 625-site property in Ocean View, N.J., and Round Top, a 319-site property in Gettysburg, Pa.

 ELS has approximately $48 million of secured mortgage debt that matures in the remainder of 2009.

 ELS estimated that that 2009 operating revenue will grow between 2.75% and 3.25% over 2008 and income from core property operations, excluding property management expenses, is expected to grow from approximately 3% to 4% over 2008.

 In its report, ELS acknowledged the existence of volatile economic conditions, including  the mix of site usage within the portfolio,  yield management on our short-term resort sites,  scheduled or implemented rate increases on community and resort sites, scheduled or implemented rate increases of annual payments under right-to-use contracts, occupancy changes, the ability to retain and attract customers renewing or purchasing right-to-use contracts.

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc., a self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust with headquarters in Chicago, owns or has an interest in 308 properties in 28 states and British Columbia consisting of 110,855 sites.  

A live webcast of ELS’ conference call discussing these results will be available via the Company’s website in the Investor Info section at http://www.equitylifestyle.com at 11:00 a.m. EST today (April 21).

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ARVC: Private Parks Move Ahead With Upgrades

March 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Private campgrounds and RV resorts are collectively moving ahead with plans to spend millions of dollars in capital improvement projects this year, despite the recession, according to private park operators and industry officials.

“The recession is temporary, and most campground and RV resort operators believe that it behooves them to move forward with their improvement plans if they want to remain competitive with other travel and tourism options,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

As a result, she stated in a news release, many private park operators are investing in new facilities and amenities this year, which include everything from cabins and yurts to miniature golf courses, skate parks and waterslides.

The push by private park operators to improve their facilities has been going on for many years. In fact, three-quarters of private park owners made an average of $147,508 in improvements to their parks in 2007, according to a national survey by the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Profaizer cautioned that not every park is investing in capital improvements this year, and some may hold until later this year until they get a better sense of where the economy is heading.

Some resort chains are also upgrading facilities, including Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties which spent more than $13 million in improvements to its 170 RV resorts last year.

“We expect to continue to demonstrate to our customers that we care about our properties by investing in them,” said Ellen Kelleher, ELS’s executive vice president of property management, adding that ELS will spend millions of dollars again in improvements this year.

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