Thousand Trails Contest Marks Outdoors Month

June 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Photo from Thousand Trails Facebook page

Thousand Trails is giving outdoor enthusiasts a chance to enjoy the outdoors with the Get Out and Camp sweepstakes.

Thousand Trails has decided to help with the “Great Outdoors Month” promotion by the recreation industry by awarding free camping to a few fortunate outdoor aficionados, according to a news release.

There will be two grand prizes awarded, and three second prizes. One lucky camper will win a complimentary Zone Camping Pass, valued at $525, and one current Thousand Trails member will receive a discount off of his or her annual dues (not to exceed $525).

An additional winner will be selected each week of the promotion to receive a second prize consisting of a complimentary week-long camping trip at any participating Thousand Trails campground or Encore RV Resort. Additional prizes may be awarded throughout the course of the sweepstakes, so it is important for entrants to check back for surprise announcements.

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook page at Participants have the opportunity to share a link and receive additional entries when their Facebook friends enter the sweepstakes. Details and qualifications for participation in this promotion may apply and are stated on the Thousand Trails Facebook page. The contest will run through June 24.

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El Monte RV Partners with ELS Campgrounds

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

El Monte RV has teamed up with Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV Resorts to create “all-inclusive” RV getaways, according to a press release.

The getaway includes an RV rental from any El Monte RV location nationwide with overnight campground accommodations at over 170 locations, unlimited mileage and free generator use for as low as $99 per night.

From now until May 24, RVers can buy a certificate from El Monte RV for $15 that guarantees deeply discounted all inclusive getaway package rates for reservations from El Monte RV for three to 14 nights. These rates apply to reservations that occur from now through December 2013.

RV rental options include a Class C cabover style C25 for $99 per night, Class C cabover style C28 for $149 per night and a Class A family sleeper for $199 per night. Overnight RV site accommodations are included in the rental at over 170 Thousand Trails campgrounds and Encore RV resorts locations.

For more information, visit the “Cool Deals” section of

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Thousand Trails Announces ‘Camping Contest’

April 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Thousand Trails is giving outdoor enthusiasts a chance to get out and camp with the “Gear Up and Camp” sweepstakes. According to a press release, one camper will win a free week of camping and a camping gear package, with a combined value of $1,100. Sweepstakes entrants will also be entered for a chance to win one of four second place prize packages, and one of 30 third place prize packages daily.

The sweepstakes grand prize includes a week-long camping trip for the winner at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground. In addition, the winner will receive a package of camping gear, including the following: Rand McNally’s RV-specific GPS device – the RVND 7720 LM; $100 gas card; Strongback Chair; Coghlan’s Camper’s S’mores Grill and Corn Popper; Coleman Lantern; $50 gift certificate; Thousand Trails sweatshirt, umbrella, window cling, backpack, blanket and travel mug; and a Duck Harbor Cool Weather Sleeping bag.

Four additional winners will be selected each week of the promotion to receive a second prize package that includes a week-long camping trip at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground and a package including a Thousand Trails backpack, blanket, travel mug, and window cling.

Thirty winners will be selected at the end of each day of the promotion to receive a Thousand Trails camping pack, which includes a backpack, blanket, travel mug and window cling. All in all, 35 prizes will be awarded throughout the course of the Thousand Trails Gear Up and Camp sweepstakes.

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook page at Entrants are also encouraged to invite their Facebook friends to enter for additional entries. All official terms and conditions can be found on the Thousand Trails Facebook page. The contest will run through April 30.

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Ocean Canyon Properties Names Reed as CFO

March 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Ocean Canyon Properties (OCP), a privately owned membership camping resort company, announced the appointment of Bryan Reed as CFO.

Reed, 55, has 19 years of experience in the membership camping resort industry, including nine as CFO for Thousand Trails, the nation’s largest membership campground resort operator, according to a news release.

During his tenure as CFO, the company experienced revenue growth of almost 100% and expanded the number of operating locations by more than 50%. Through acquisitions, the company increased the number of members under management by more than 40,000. He originally joined Thousand Trails in 1994 as assistant controller, and served as controller from 1995 to 1999 before being named CFO. During Reed’s tenure as CFO, Thousand Trails was a publicly traded company and in 2003 was taken private through a merger with an affiliate of Kohlberg & Co.

“In five short years OCP has become one of the fastest growing companies in the membership camping industry,” said Reed. “Their state-of-the-art technology infrastructure has enabled them to grow rapidly, while maintaining the operational and financial controls necessary to effectively manage that growth. I am very excited to join Ocean Canyon Properties as CFO and become part of this dynamic company and management team.”

Reed most recently served as vice president of accounting for Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), which acquired the operations of Thousand Trails in 2008. ELS is a large Chicago-based real estate investment trust and is the leading operator of manufactured home communities, RV resorts and campgrounds in North America.

“Bryan Reed’s professional background and experience is unparalleled in our industry,” said Peter Graffman, executive vice president and chief development officer at Ocean Canon Properties. “He was instrumental in managing and controlling the tremendous growth of Thousand Trails as CFO, had responsibility for their financial and regulatory public reporting, and was an integral part of the team that merged the company with Kohlberg & Co., taking the company private. We look forward to Bryan’s financial and organizational leadership as we continue to grow our company.”

Reed began his career as a tax accountant with Deloitte, then served in a number of roles, including controller, with Ben Hogan Co., a golf equipment manufacturer, before joining Thousand Trails. Reed is a Certified Public Accountant and has a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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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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Encore, Thousand Trails Offer Camping Special

June 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Great American Backyard Cookout celebrates camping

Encore and Thousand Trails RV resorts, in support of the initiative behind the National Wildlife Federation’s annual Great American Backyard Campout, is offering a camping special to encourage people to experience the great outdoors.

According to a press release, the Great American Backyard Campout, scheduled for June 23, was created to help children foster a healthy outdoor lifestyle through camping. Encore and Thousand Trails are offering tent campers a buy-one-get-one deal at 90 participating campground locations on June 22-23.

According to the National Wildlife Federation’s website, only 25% of today’s children play outside daily where 75% of children did so only a generation ago. The Great American Backyard Campout encourages children to get outdoors to develop healthy and active lifestyles.

“We support the effort of this event which encourages families to explore the great outdoors.” said Seth Rosenberg, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Encore and Thousand Trails. “We know how great the camping experience is and we’re excited that this event will introduce more campers to this great lifestyle.”

Tent campers who purchase a night’s stay at any of the 90 participating Encore or Thousand Trails campgrounds on June 22 will receive a free night’s stay on June 23, at the same campground. To take part in the Great American Backyard Campout at any of the 90 participating Encore and Thousand Trails locations, visit or call (866) 730-0637.

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Encore, Thousand Trails Award 3 Fishing Prizes

March 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Partnering with Pure Fishing, Encore and Thousand Trails kicked off the start of the spring fishing season this February with a month-long contest for three family fishing packages worth over $500 each. According to a press release, winners were selected March 1 from entries completed throughout February at

Designed for a family of four, each fishing package included a Fenwick HMG 6’6’ Medium action spinning rod, a Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reel, a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Ladyfish spinning combo and Shakespeare Catch More fish combo kit for the kids, in addition to a generous supply of Berkley fishing bait and line.

The winners are Kasey Harrison, of Lake Elsinore, Calif., Amy Steveson, of Santee, Calif., and Carl Smith, of San Antonio, Texas.

“With so many of our campgrounds located on or around great fishing locations, we were glad to outfit the lucky winners with new gear and tackle for the upcoming fishing season,” said Seth Rosenberg, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. “Thanks to Pure Fishing and their quality fishing products, the winners and their families will be able to better enjoy their favorite fishing spots.”


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ELS Parks Mark Earth Day with Nature-Zyme

April 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Encore RV Resorts and Thousand Trails, which are owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, are sharing their commitment to environmentally friendly RVing with their guests by offering free samples of Nature-Zyme – an environmentally friendly holding tank solution.

Starting at seven Encore resorts (see below for property names and locations), RVers who do not currently use a chemical-free holding tank solution will be offered a free sample of Nature-Zyme when they arrive to begin their overnight stay, according to a news release.

“Encore Resorts and Thousand Trails have been investing in environmentally friendly initiatives for years, ranging from use of solar panels to heat pools to installation of energy efficient fixtures and light bulbs.” said Ellen Kelleher, executive vice president of property management for ELS. “We use environmentally safe treatment solutions at our campgrounds and feel offering similar products to our guests is a great way to help increase awareness.”

Nature-Zyme is a 100% natural and non-toxic RV holding tank treatment that has been shown to effectively manage holding tank needs while improving overall operation of RV holding tank systems. Use of Nature-Zyme promotes “Clean and Green” RV’ing by removing the need for use of hazardous chemicals that are often found in products used to manage holding tanks.

The Encore Resort properties where guests can receive a free Nature-Zyme sample include:


  • Pio Pico RV Resort in Jamul.
  • Wilderness Lakes RV Resort in Menifee.
  • Palm Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert.
  • San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica.


  • Whalers Rest RV Resort in South Beach


  • La Conner RV Resort in La Conner


  • Chesapeake Bay RV Resort in Gloucester

ELS owns or has an interest in 307 quality properties in 27 states and British Columbia consisting of 111,004 sites. The company is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT) with headquarters in Chicago.

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ELS Debuts Non-Toxic Holding Tank Product

July 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 



Within two to three weeks, Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) plans to begin marketing Nature-ZYME, a highly effective environmentally responsible RV and marine holding tank product that eliminates odors and liquefies waste without the use of formaldehyde or other toxic chemicals.

Nature-ZYME is ELS’s private label holding tank product, which is manufactured by BiOWiSH Technologies, a Chicago-based company that has established itself as a world leader in creation of fast-acting, environmentally friendly wastewater treatment products, according to a news release.

“RVers and campground operators across the country have been quietly testing this product for months in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions and have been amazed at its performance,” said David Kozy, vice president and director of operations of RSI RV, Home & Marine Solutions, the ELS subsidiary that is marketing the Nature-ZYME holding tank treatment product. “We really think we have identified a solution to one of the most challenging environmental problems in the RV and marine industries.”

Kozy said the fundamental problem with most holding tank products is that they use microbial inhibitors, such as formaldehyde and other chemicals, which prevent natural biological processes from breaking down human waste as they would normally do. As a result, chemical-based holding tank products can cause septic systems to overflow, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies.

He said ELS distributed 4,500 samples of Nature-ZYME last week to RVers attending The Rally in Louisville, Ky., and was subsequently inundated with requests from consumers who wanted to purchase the product.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand for environmentally friendly holding tank products,” Kozy said. “People increasingly recognize that chemically based holding tank products can pose various risks to themselves and to the environment.”’

“The new line of products we have developed in conjunction with Equity LifeStyle Properties could revolutionize the RV market and marina industry by reducing the environmental impact of wastewater discharges by these vehicles,” said BiOWiSH Technologies President Rod Vautier.

Nature-ZYME has been tested by more than 100 RVing consumers, including Thousand Trails members, since last fall in addition to being tested at 14 different ELS RV parks and resorts. A second test is underway involving RVers affiliated with the Good Sam Club. ELS also hired an outside firm to test the effectiveness of the BiOWiSH product against competing biodegradable and chemical-based holding tank products and was pleased with the results.

“We’ve been trying to gather as much feedback as possible, both from RV park operators and from consumers, and all of it comes back positive,” Kozy said.

While ELS does not plan to launch a full-scale consumer marketing campaign until this fall, the product will be available for purchase online by late August. For more information on Nature-ZYME, please visit

Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and operates RV resorts and manufactured home communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the Thousand Trails campground membership club. For more information on ELS and its subsidiaries, visit and

Formerly headquartered in Sydney, Australia, BiOWish Technologies recently relocated its corporate offices to Chicago in an effort to be closer to its key markets in North America and Europe. BiOWiSH Technologies owns exclusive and global intellectual property rights to the development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution of BiOWiSH products that serve the needs of consumer, wastewater treatment, agriculture, aquaculture, agronomy, solid waste management, soil and water remediation and industrial cleaning industries. The company maintains international offices in Sydney and Bangkok, Thailand. Additional information about the company is available at

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Thousand Trails Unveils New Zone Program

July 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Map showing Thousand Trails campgrounds participating in new promotion.

Map showing Thousand Trails' campgrounds participating in new Zone Park Pass promotion.

Thousand Trails is now offering unlimited access to many of its camping preserves through an annual Zone Park Pass launched in honor of Thousand Trails’ 40th anniversary. Starting at $499, pass holders can access between 18 and 81 properties a year, depending on which specific zone or zones they choose, the RV News Service reported.

“We listened to our customers and potential customers,” said Joe McAdams, president of Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc., the parent company of Thousand Trails. “They have told us they want to stay with us, they want to experience the freedom to visit multiple Thousand Trails locations and to use the wide array of amenities we offer. Many RVers and campers want the increased flexibility that comes with an annual pass type program.”

Each Zone Park Pass covers a zone, or region, of Thousand Trails’ campgrounds in the United States: Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Southwest/California.

Traditional memberships to Thousand Trails with expanded usage rights and benefits are also still offered.

Thousand Trails is known for its beautiful facilities, most in scenic locations with spacious campsites, abundant social activities including barbecues, ice cream socials, pancake breakfasts, wine tastings, family games and countless other special events. Preserve amenities include large swimming pools, spas, hiking trails, lodges, lakes, miniature golf, fishing and boating. Campsites offer electrical, water, and sewer connections for RVs, barbecue pits, restroom and shower facilities. Resorts are located in secure gated environments with park rangers who watch out for members’ safety.

More information about the new zone program is available at the Thousand Trails’ website,

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McAdams to Aggressively Promote ELS Brand

April 20, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Joe McAdams

Joe McAdams

Publicly held Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), a Chicago-based real estate investment trust (REIT) that operates Encore and Thousand Trails RV parks and membership resorts as well as ELS manufactured home communities, is a national powerhouse in the camping business.

Yet, ELS, which generated $475 million in revenue in 2009, retains a rather low profile for a company of its stature within the RV park and campground sector.

Joe McAdams, ELS’ outspoken and sometimes flamboyant president, is about to change all that by better promoting the overall brand of ELS, which predominately owns and operates resorts in Sunbelt states and near major East Coast metropolitan areas.

”One of the biggest problems I have is a brand name problem because people don’t know how good I (ELS) am,” McAdams told ”People have been coming back to Tropical Palms (Orlando, Fla.) resort for 30 years because they like the park. They don’t care who owns it – that it’s part of ELS. They are coming back to Tropical Palms.

”We are a national-scope company. We are going to promote ourselves on TV where you have to have brand identification – a national identity.”

McAdams estimates that more than 750,000 people last year spent time at ELS properties – under names such as Encore, Sunburst, Outdoor World Resorts and Mid-Atlantic Resorts – that serve the RV resort and membership campground communities.

A newspaper and magazine publishing veteran, McAdams himself has been guiding ELS for two years. He joined Adams Publishing in 1987 as president of a group of small Michigan newspapers and from 1989 to 2003 was president of privately held Affinity Group Inc., owner of the Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast Resorts, the Trailer Life and Woodall’s directories and a group of RV, powersports and boating-related magazines that include Trailer Life, MotorHome, Highways, RVBusiness, Boating Industry, Powersports News and Woodall’s Campground Management.

A dynamic talker with a thick Arkansas accent, McAdams in 2004 joined the board of Manufactured Home Communities, which subsequently changed its name to Equity LifeStyle Properties. In 2006, while serving on the ELS board, McAdams bought the Thousand Trails membership resort chain. He was hired in 2008 as ELS president while continuing to operate Thousand Trails resorts, which ELS purchased eight months later.

A change in emphasis that already was underway when McAdams signed on to lead ELS has escalated since his arrival. ”When I came here in ’04, we were primarily a manufactured home community,” McAdams said. ”We looked around and thought that RV resorts are better. They’re more sticky, they’re younger, so we started buying RV resorts.”

In 2003, ELS had 128 manufactured home properties and 14 RV campgrounds and resorts. By the end of last year, ELS had increased its RV resort inventory to 88 Encore and 80 Thousand Trail properties with 64,000 sites while still owning 136 manufactured home communities.

”In effect, we have shifted our business from being a trailer park company to being an RV company – a lifestyle company,” McAdams said. ”Where ELS had been getting in trouble is that the average age of people in the manufactured home communities is something like 72 years old. They were throwing the keys at us because they get too sick to be in Florida and they have to go back to Elkhart to be with their grandkids because somebody’s got to take care of them.”

Encore parks are open to the public, while Thousand Trails is a nationwide membership resort system. ”The majority of our resorts are within a 45-mile drive of major metropolitan areas,” McAdams said.

To get a better handle on the latest news at ELS, RVBusiness Publisher Sherm Goldenberg recently visited in downtown Chicago with McAdams and new Senior Vice President Seth B. Rosenberg, the former president of ReserveAmerica and general manager of ActiveOutdoors. Here are the highlights – on the record – of that fascinating visit.
RVB: ELS serves more than one market, doesn’t it?

McAdams: We go after two market segments – the RV and outdoor enthusiast and we’re also focused on the senior retiree. In the economic retirement community, there is nobody like us. And frankly, in the upper-end RV resort destination, we are unique. We are a solution company to both of those – the economic retiree as well as the RV guy.

RVB: How have your various properties performed lately?

McAdams: The RV segment of our business has shown consistent growth in spite of this recession. RV people have a passion for the lifestyle and they have invested in the vehicle. The housing side of our business has really been hurt by the inability of people to finance (manufactured) homes and the inability of people migrating to our markets to sell their (primary) houses. We have addressed that by renting our inventory. That gives us occupancy and helps the growth on that side.

RVB: Even though they are separate markets, they converge at some point, don’t they?

McAdams: We like both businesses because they sort of compliment each other. The RV guy from Ann Arbor, Mich., goes there. He likes the surroundings. He starts going down there for the season and then decides to buy a home from us. Our product flexibility allows us to do that. We start out with a lot of customers renting something from us. And then they may become a member, and if they see what they want to buy, they can turn their membership in to us as a trade-in and they can buy the house or the park model or even the RV site.

RVB: We should point out that ELS has been succeeding during a recession when RV sales have taken their worst hit in more than 30 years.

Rosenberg: The key is the installed base. There are 8 million RVs on the road. We are not relying on new sales. New sales are wonderful and help absolutely, but there are 8 million RVs on the road today. Campers want more amenities; they want a cleaner experience – that literally can mean less dirt.

If they spend $250,000 on a motorhome, they want to park on cement, not drive in on a dirt road, and when they get there they want a store and a pool and someone there who is happy to help. That’s why you’ve seen the privately owned parks incredibly well positioned to go where we’ve all shifted to over the last five or 10 years. It is things as simple as having Wi-Fi and whether the signage to the park is great and whether there is a professional staff. People want a higher end experience than they did five years ago.

McAdams: The first thing that a family or a senior wants is safety and security. That’s why you’ll see us with gated communities. That sets us apart from a lot of the state parks who have to cut the budgets. They don’t even have a gatekeeper.

RVB: Are you still committed to the membership business? The membership business has, at times, been a tough niche, and people tell us that Thousand Trails is not as interested in it as it once was.

McAdams: We are not committed to the traditional sales membership. We believe there is value in a membership and we will market a membership, but it will be based on usage, time, need. It will be a customer-valued proposition, not the old time membership – the traditional sale of the perpetuity membership and overselling what the membership needs. We are not into that.

RVB: Think you could elaborate a bit more on that?

McAdams: Everybody has disdain sometimes for membership. We are starting to change the whole membership concept because we determined that a guy only wants one park. So we can sell it to him for $499. He pays his dues and if he wants to add another park and go up to the North, he can add it for a year. They are only one-year products. There is not any more of this selling in perpetuity – get them under the ether and sell them something forever. Then the guy gets mad and so does his wife, and they start fighting. We are not in that business. But it’s taken me a long time to change that business metric.

RVB: OK, you’re not going to oversell. But why only one year?

McAdams: What we try to do is get a guy to come there; he sees the activities that we have – whether it’s golf, or tennis or a one-day university, a fishing tournament. Once we get him there, we say, ‘Would you like to come back next season?’ And a majority of those people say they are coming back next season. The RV customer, you can’t fool them. They are discerning value shoppers. That’s why we’ve tried to change our pricing compendium and value proposition to take care of that.

RVB: You mentioned that you’re altering your approach to the manufactured housing communities as well. Why?

McAdams: Last year things got so bad that we shut down the majority of our home selling operations. We started renting homes. We are trying to keep the demographic to that guy that we know will rent and convert to an owner. And we will let him take some of the credit from his rent. But a lot of these guys couldn’t sell their houses in Detroit or Des Moines, yet they want to be in Florida. So we started this rental program. That’s where we are getting our velocity right now, but we need a lot more velocity. The key to homes is bringing the prices down. They are really nice, but if you get down to $60 a square foot, you become a viable opportunity.

RVB: Of course, you’re well aware of the recent shift from motorized to towable RVs within the RV arena. In fact, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) says 7.8% of units shipped in 2010 will be motorized. How are you coping with that? What can people in your position do to serve a market that is swinging this heavily to towables?

McAdams: That’s a tough question. We are aware of the shift. We see it. We know the kinds of vehicles that our customers have. We are going to have the same amperage, the same amenities, the same clubhouse. We see it as price. If we can get the price of our manufactured homes down low enough, we have a lot more market entrants. By the same token, I believe that’s why the guy is buying the towable. These are guys that love the lifestyle, but can’t afford the motorhome. So, they are shifting to the towables. I see it as great for my business.

Rosenberg: Or they want more flexibility within the lifestyle. There are two different price points. You buy an RV and then you’re towing a car, and the reason is that when they get to our property and you want to go to the major metropolitan area, you’ve got a car to drive. For some people it’s the best of both worlds. And some people like the idea of leaving their towable at the property all summer; even all year is common.

RVB: ”Cabins” and ”lodges,” these types of sedentary accommodations, are gaining traction in many RV parks these days. Are they doing the same in some of your parks?

McAdams: Yes, they are. I don’t have a figure for you. It could be as much as 15% of our sites today. We see it as an accommodation to our customers. A lot of customers who are staying with us don’t want to make the drive anymore. It’s too far or they’re too old, but they still want to come to our resort. It’s a good business for us.

RVB: Looking at the financial side of things, how is ELS doing from a profitability standpoint?

McAdams: Because this is a public company it needs steady, predictable revenue. Investors want to know how much dividend they are going to get. We average 2% to 3% dividend each year. But we are showing them sizable growth. Since 2004 this stock has doubled, with all the rest of the market going down. The average yield is 15% to 20% a year. But they want to make sure that it’s steady and predictable. It’s got to be there every year.

RVB: Back on that branding question you mentioned early on, would you care to comment any further on that?

Rosenberg: That’s one of our top three priorities right now – determining the brand going forward. Is it going to be ”Sunshine Key, an Encore Resort?’ Or is it going to be ”Thousand Trails, part of Encore Membership Resorts?” That kind of concept is actively being discussed right now.

McAdams: It’s even deeper than that because long term in our strategy, we would love to have mixed-use RV resorts. We would love to have open-to-the-public X-amount of sites, membership X-amount of sites and a home community because that’s how the customer migrates.

RVB: All in one entrance way?

McAdams: In one place. Like Marriott. If you go to Marriott, they’ll have a Marriott Hotel, they’ll have Marriott vacation ownership and they’ll have whole ownership for people that want to come there all the time. We would love to be able to do that.

Rosenberg: There’s a great opportunity. It’s an amazing platform that has the growth potential with only small changes in the end. We’re not reinventing the whole business here. — Sherman Goldenberg and Bob Ashley

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