Western Horizon Resorts Selling Off 8 Parks

December 20, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

whr-logo_4Western Horizon Resorts (WHR) has listed eight of its RV parks, with a combined 1,839 RV sites, for sale for a total of $28.13 million.

The sale includes Western Horizon Resorts in Ramona Canyon outside of San Diego, Calif.; Desert Pools in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.; Colorado River Oasis outside of Blythe, Calif.; Pilot Knob in Winterhaven, Calif., near Yuma, Ariz.; Desert Shadows in Casa Grande, Ariz.; Twin Lakes in St. David, Ariz., the Charleston Peak RV Park in Pahrump, Nev.; and Verde River in Camp Verde, Ariz., the Pahrump Valley Times reported

The company boasts of resorts in spectacular surroundings, spacious RV sites and scheduled activities to pique every interest, according to its website. The RV park is open to people who purchase memberships.

Western Horizon Resorts reported purchasing eight resorts from 2000 to 2005, but selling four resorts since then. From 24 RV resorts, Jim Loken, president and CEO, said WHR is now concentrating on 14 core resorts.

Some of the resorts that were sold were too far away from their central office in Gunnison, Colo., others were underperforming, he said. But the latest listing, Charleston Peak RV Resort, adjoining a winery, was one of the better performing RV parks.

Some of the 20,000 members of his resort chain like visiting the unusual feature of a winery on an RV park property, Loken said.

Strategy Explained

Loken said it’s part of an overall company business strategy.

“We sold a number of them to resorts like us that are in the business and then we lease back sites to our members so it accomplishes everything we’re after. It allows us to concentrate on our core business. Now we don’t have to take care of those pieces of our property we’re able to take care of our members,” Jim Loken said.

In a question and answer format on the company website, Western Horizon Resorts answers a question why they have sold some resorts:

“We have found that some resorts have fallen short of their financial goals. We assess usage, dues paying members, new member sales and usage by members against the costs involved to continue operating the resort. Weighing the benefits that our members receive from a particular resort against these factors is how we decide to sell a particular property. It is never our desire to have to sell a property, but often it is the most responsible decision to sell a resort so that the other WHR resorts do not have to subsidize the operation.”

The company said it’s a difficult decision to sell a resort, but added, “The economy has significantly impacted companies like WHR, which are largely dependent on people traveling and being willing to use their discretionary income in these difficult times.”

Western Horizon Resorts reported membership has declined, as RM park memberships can be a bottom priority when paying the bills. The company blamed a drop in usage on the fact people can less afford to travel and pay for things like gas.

The property on which Charleston Peak RV Park sits, a 196-space private resort operated by Western Horizons Resorts along with the adjoining Pahrump Valley Winery and Symphony’s Restaurant, is up for sale for $3.92 million.

Loken said the company wants to find a buyer for the 20-acre property. But he said the winery, restaurant and RV park will remain on the property if it changes hands, the Pahrump Valley Times reported.

“It’s really quite simple. We’re not trying to sell the business, we’re just trying to sell the real estate. Let someone else be the landlord and just pay rent. We’ve done that so far with a number of resorts. A number of the resorts just built up so much appreciation and it doesn’t do us any good,” Loken said.

Western Horizon Resorts bought the Pahrump Valley Vineyards from Jack Sanders in May 2002 and began building the RV resort on 10 acres behind it.

James Loken’s brother, Bill, and his wife, Gretchen, have a 30-year lease for the Pahrump Valley Winery and Symphony’s Restaurant that the new property owner would have to honor, James Loken said.

Bill and Gretchen Loken came to Pahrump to operate the winery, restaurant and RV park that Bill Loken said was originally going to be all one operation.

Now, Bill Loken said, “The RV resort and the winery and restaurant are two separate companies.”

“If someone wanted to purchase it and become the landlord ,we would be paying them rent just like Bill would be paying them rent for the facility,” James Loken said.

Western Horizon Resorts casually sought buyers for the property in the past, but this listing was the first time WHR put the property up for sale with a national company, James Loken said. He said MHRV Advisors, a San Diego, Calif.-based company, listed the property a month ago.

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