Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) today (July 23) reported that its second-quarter funds from operations (FFO) increased to $50.8 million, or $56 cents per common share, from $47.8 million, or 53 cents per common share, in the prior year quarter.
Normalized FFO grew to $52.3 million, or 57 cents per common share, from $47.8 million, or 53 cents per common share, in the year-ago quarter.
On average, six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report FFO of 58 cents per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
Net income available for common stockholders surged to $17.9 million. or 21 cents per common share, from $2.1 million or 2 cents per common share, a year earlier.
Revenues totaled $176.75 million, higher than the $168.38 million last year. Analysts expected revenues of $174.40 million.
As of July 22, ELS owned or had an interest in 383 properties in 32 states and British Columbia consisting of 142,682 sites.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Chicago, reported an increase in Funds From operations (FFO) for its first quarter, ended March 31.
FFO during the quarter was $65 million, or $1.43 per common share, compared to $58.7 million, or $1.29 per common share, for the same period in 2012.
Net income available to common stockholders totaled $35 million, or 84 cents per common share, compared to $12.4 million, or 30 cents per common share, for the same period in 2012.
Property operating revenues, excluding deferrals, increased $8.2 million to $182.2 million, compared to $174 million for the same period in 2012. Income from property operations increased $4.3 million to $108.1 million compared to $103.8 million for the same period in 2012.
The company reported that its cash balance as of March 31 was approximately $81.8 million.
Equity Lifestyle owns or has an interest in 383 quality properties in 32 states and British Columbia consisting of 142,682 sites.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. announced on Tuesday (July 24) that it is exploring alternative ways to reduce the company’s cost of capital, including but not limited to potentially redeeming for cash some or all of its 8.034% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Stock or replacing the Series A Preferred Stock.
The Chicago-based company, which owns or has an interest in 382 RV and manufactured housing properties in 32 states and British Columbia consisting of 141,077 sites, says that under current market conditions, it could issue and sell a new series of preferred stock bearing a lower dividend yield than the yield on the Series A Preferred Stock, ELS stated in a news release.
There are two principal techniques by which the company could seek to replace the Series A Preferred Stock with a lower-yielding preferred security:
• First, the company could exercise its right to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock at par and fund the redemption with proceeds from a new issuance of lower-yielding preferred securities and/or other sources of financing, including but not limited to its balance sheet.
• The company could conduct an exchange offer in which the existing holders of the Series A Preferred Stock would exchange some or all of their shares for newly issued preferred securities bearing a dividend yield in the range of approximately 6% to 7%t with 5-year no-call protection. Any such exchange offer would be subject to customary conditions including a minimum tender requirement. In addition, the company may consider other transaction structures as well.
In order to assess the viability of these alternatives, the company expects to engage in discussions with potential capital sources and with certain holders of the Series A Preferred Stock.
There can be no assurance that the company will pursue any of the strategies described above, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction the Company might elect to pursue, particularly in light of the current volatility in the capital markets.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) today (July 17) announced results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012.
According to a news release, Funds From Operations (FFO) in the second quarter were $47.8 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to $28.2 million, or $0.76 per share for the same period in 2011. For the six months ended June 30, FFO was $106.6 million, or $2.35 per share, compared to $69.7 million, or $1.91 per share for the same period in 2011.
For the quarter, net income available to common stockholders totaled $2.1 million, or $0.05 per share, compared to $6.8 million, or $0.20 per share for the same period in 2011. For the six months, net income available to common stockholders totaled $14.5 million, or $0.35 per share, compared to $25.8 million, or $0.80 per share for the same period in 2011.
As of July 16, Chicago-based ELS owns or has an interest in 382 properties in 32 states and British Columbia consisting of 141,077 sites.
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Hometown America LLC, a privately owned company that owns and operates manufactured housing communities around the country, has sold The Woodlands complex in the town of Lockport, N.Y., to Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), a real estate investment trust, for $37.33 million.
The Buffalo News reported that The Woodlands offers two- and three-bedroom homes and mobile home lots. Hometown also sold additional adjacent land, known as The Woodlands Expansion to ELS for $198,900.
The sale was part of a much larger $1.43 billion deal with ELS, in which Hometown sold a total of 76 communities, with 31,167 sites on about 6,500 acres, in 16 states, mostly in Florida and the Northeastern United States. The deal also included certain homes and mortgages in the properties.
Some of the properties have already been transferred, but ELS expects to complete the rest of the deal by the end of the year.
Based in Chicago, Hometown operates more than 120 communities in 20 states, and calls itself the “leader in premier manufactured home communities.” Besides the homes themselves, many of its communities include pools, fitness and recreation centers, lakes, and tennis or basketball courts.
ELS owns or operates “lifestyle-oriented” properties, with 365 properties in 32 states and the Canadian province of British Columbia, with 134,005 sites for factory-built homes, cottages, cabins or recreational vehicles. The 30-year-old publicly traded company prefers senior or family communities in major metropolitan areas, with at least 150 lots each, plus amenities and landscaping.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. today (July 19) announced results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30.
For the second quarter, Funds From Operations (“FFO”) were $27.3 million, or $0.73 per share on a fully diluted basis, compared to $27.1 million, or $0.76 per share on a fully-diluted basis, for the same period in 2010. For the six months, FFO was $67.9 million, or $1.86 per share on a fully-diluted basis, compared to $64.6 million, or $1.82 per share on a fully-diluted basis, for the same period in 2010.
Net income available to common stockholders totaled $6.8 million, or $0.20 per share on a fully diluted basis, for the quarter compared to $6.0 million, or $0.20 per share on a fully-diluted basis, for the same period in 2010. Net income available to common stockholders totaled $25.8 million, or $0.80 per share on a fully-diluted basis for the six months compared to $21.1 million, or $0.69 per share on a fully-diluted basis, for the same period in 2010.
Equity LifeStyle Properties owns or has an interest in 342 quality properties in 30 states and British Columbia consisting of 123,065 sites. The company is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT) with headquarters in Chicago.
For the complete report click here.
On May 31, Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio of 76 manufactured home communities from Hometown Properties LLC containing 31,167 sites on approximately 6,500 acres located in 16 states (primarily located in Florida and the northeastern region of the United States) and certain manufactured homes and loans secured by manufactured homes for a stated purchase price of $1.43 billion. Total closing costs associated with the acquisition are expected to be approximately $21 million.
The company announced Friday (July 1), that it had closed on the acquisition of 35 of the Hometown Properties along with certain manufactured homes and loans secured by manufactured homes for a purchase price of approximately $451.0 million.
The company’s acquisition of the balance of the Hometown Properties is expected to occur by Dec. 31 and assumption of the indebtedness thereon is subject to receipt of loan servicer consents. The acquisition is also subject to other customary closing conditions. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that the remainder of the acquisition will be completed in its entirety in accordance with the anticipated timing or at all.
ELS is a fully integrated owner and operator of lifestyle-oriented properties and owns or has an interest in 342 quality properties in 30 states and British Columbia consisting of 123,065 sites. The company leases individual developed areas, or sites, with access to utilities for placement of factory-built homes, cottages, cabins or recreational vehicles. Customers may lease individual sites or enter right-to-use contracts providing the customer access to specific properties for limited stays. ELS is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT) with headquarters in Chicago.
Editor’s Note: The following story appears in the current issue of MotorHome Magazine.
After being diagnosed with cancer last summer, Sheri Fraser went through nearly two months of chemotherapy, radiation and proton therapy. After it was over, she couldn’t wait to escape with her husband, Terry, to one of their favorite getaways, The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs, Calif.
The 90-site luxury desert resort, on the outskirts of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in the Southern California desert, includes panoramic views of rugged mountains and hot mineral baths with natural spring water from an on-site well.
What Fraser didn’t expect when she visited the park last winter, however, was its newest amenity: a wellness center led by Anna Morris, a holistic health practitioner and expert in Ayurvedic massage who trained with Deepak Chopra and Dr. Vasant Lad, two of the nation’s premier experts in holistic health medicine. “It was just heaven,” said Fraser, 51. “Anna was one of the best massage therapists I’ve ever been to.”
And she’s not the only massage therapist at the RV resort’s wellness center. Joining her are Amy Baay, a licensed massage practitioner, and Betty Patterson, a licensed acupuncturist who also does herbal medicine and teaches classes in Qigong, an energy building exercise with slow body movements.
“It was just surreal to think that I had all these things available to me while I was camping,” Fraser said.
The Springs at Borrego RV Resort isn’t the only park offering these kinds of amenities. Several RV resorts across the country, in fact, are broadening their repertoire of health- and wellness-oriented amenities to soothe body, mind and, in some cases, even the spiritual health and well-being of its guests.
Consider The Great Outdoors RV Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville, Fla., about 30 minutes from Orlando. The 1,625-site park, one of the largest in the Sunbelt, has two fitness centers, three swimming pools and three whirlpool spas as well as classes in Zumba, yoga and Pilates.
“We also have our own beauty salon, acupuncturist and massage therapist,” said Judy Willeke, a director at the resort. She said the resort’s acupuncturist and massage therapist previously had their own offices in the Titusville area, but demand for their services was so strong they found it worthwhile to move their practices on to the resort. One of the park’s residents is also a retired nutritionist, who now performs house calls to help the park’s guests keep in health.
“The 60s are the new 40s,” Willeke said, adding, “RVers want to take better care of themselves and they want to look good.”
Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), which owns RV parks and resorts throughout the Sunbelt, is also seeing increased demand for a greater variety of health and wellness services. Professional massage practitioners work out of the fitness centers at the company’s Arizona properties, including Monte Vista Village Resort in Mesa and Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. ELS also offers wellness seminars and special events at its Arizona and Florida properties throughout the winter season, said Pat Zamora, a company representative.
Doreen Fuller, activities director for Rincon Country RV Resort in Tucson, said her park also complements its pool and spa with classes in low-impact aerobics, tai chi and yoga. And, for the past three years, she said, the resort has invited several doctors and physician’s assistants to provide seminars on a variety of topics, including blood pressure, joint and shoulder pain, arthritis, as well as brain health in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
“Most people are being very careful about their diet and they are taking better care of themselves,” she said.
And it’s not just retired RVers who are taking a greater interest in health and wellness activities.
“It seems like we’re seeing younger people, in their 40s, come out and enjoy a weekend,” said Jolene Wade, managing partner of Fountain of Youth Spa Campground in Niland, Calif. “Some are coming in to pamper themselves. But others are coming because they need limbering up.”
The Fountain of Youth Spa has complemented its hot mineral baths with on-site massage therapists for many years. But Wade sees growing interest in health- and wellness-oriented activities. “There seems to be more demand for bodywork,” she said.
Of course, it’s certainly feasible for people to seek massages and other types of wellness activities at home. But there’s something uniquely special and relaxing about engaging in these kinds of activities while enjoying time away at an RV resort.
Consider the experience of RVers at the Fountain of Youth Spa.
“We have restorative energy with beautiful views, plenty of sunshine, lots of areas to roam and hike,” Wade said. “We also have a walking course within the park. You can stop at different stations and do different exercises. People like to head out into the desert, do the walking course and relax by the pool. And we have the Chocolate Mountains that change colors all day. You can see the Salton Sea in the distance. It’s really a pretty peaceful, rejuvenating experience.”
Sacred Rocks Reserve in Boulevard, Calif., has taken the concept of health and wellness even further by complementing its natural surroundings with a man-made labyrinth, a circular walking path that is said to facilitate contemplation, meditation and spiritual awareness.
“The Christian church adopted the labyrinth for meditation and prayer in A.D. 300, but labyrinths have been found in carved rock much earlier. The oldest one found was about 5,000 years old,” said Sharon Courmousis, who owns the park with her husband, Dimitri.
Sacred Rocks’ labyrinth is a mile long and was patterned using an 800-year-old design from a monk in Chartres, France. “It’s one of the oldest symbols for spiritual connection,” Courmousis said.
Unlike a maze, which tries to trick the participant, a labyrinth facilitates meditation. “What happens when you take the time to walk the path of a labyrinth is that somehow your mind becomes clear and the extraneous thoughts fall away,” Courmousis said. “I’ve seen people who are agitated or nervous, and once they start walking in the path of a labyrinth, they are able to pull themselves in, center themselves and be in a healing environment. And because our labyrinth has only natural noises, since we’re away from the freeway and in a remote location, it’s a very special experience. People go out to walk the labyrinth in the morning and the evening and even at midnight when there’s a blanket of stars.”
Courmousis said she took a personal interest in labyrinths after a cancer diagnosis. “Five years ago, after a breast cancer diagnosis and during chemotherapy and radiation, I walked the labyrinth daily. I feel it helped me in all ways to deal with this shocking situation — emotionally, spiritually and physically,” she said.
Sacred Rocks has frequent orientation sessions to explain to its guests what a labyrinth is and how to use it. “As time goes on,” Courmousis said, “we find more and more people are driving up just to do the labyrinth.”
The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) is launching a major advertising effort to heighten business awareness and support for the GoCampingAmerica website, according to a news release.
“We’re going to be targeting REI and other big retailers and telling them why they need to be partnering with ARVC on GoCampingAmerica.com,” said Marc Cramer, a Florida-based advertising consultant who has signed a two-year contract with ARVC to set up and manage a national website sales operation for the association.
While Cramer’s initial campground industry experience involved designing and developing advertising support for CampGulf.com, the website for Camping on the Gulf in Destin, Fla., he has worked on advertising campaigns for prominent clients, including Microsoft Corp. and Major League Baseball and has designed more than 600 websites along with the associated advertising programs to support the websites for virtually every industry during the past 12 years.
Cramer’s contract was approved by ARVC’s Executive Committee during a series of meetings in late March.
ARVC President and CEO Linda Profaizer said Cramer’s work is the first major advertising effort involving the GoCampingAmerica.com since its redesign was completed last year.
“With the addition of Marc Cramer as our national sales director on an independent contractor basis, I am looking forward to building the traffic to GoCampingAmerica.com for our members and increasing the advertising sales income to the association to help offset costs of running the website,” Profaizer said. “Marc brings a wealth of capabilities and experience to aid and increase our efforts.”
In addition to helping consumers locate campgrounds by state and by city, GoCampingAmerica.com has an advanced search function that allows consumers to search for parks that offer nearly 40 different types of activities and outdoor recreation, from biking and bird watching to hunting and fishing, golfing and kayaking. Links to information about outdoor recreation, festivals and special events in each of the 50 states are also provided on the site along with helpful information for first time campers, such as “What to Pack” lists and recipes. Links to the state affiliates of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds are also provided.
Consumers can also use GoCampingAmerica.com to quickly find parks that are affiliated with major campground chains, such as Equity LifeStyle Properties, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) and Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, as well as the many parks that offer AAA, AARP, FMCA, Good Sam and other popular discounts.
GoCampingAmerica.com has had more than 616,000 unique visitors and 3.2 million page views since it went live last fall.
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.