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Membership Campgrounds: 2 Western Horizon Parks Sold

April 1, 2011 by Rex Vogel · 5 Comments  
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Western Horizon Resorts (WHR), an owner and operator of private membership, RV resorts, and RV travel related services, purchased eight resorts from 2000 to 2005. From 24 RV resorts, WHR is now operating 11 resorts.

Indian Waters RV Resort in Indio, California, is one of two camping resorts recently sold by Western Horizon. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Indian Waters RV Resort in Indio, California, is one of two camping resorts recently sold by Western Horizon. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In an earlier post (Membership Camping: 8 Western Horizon Parks for Sale), I indicated that WHR had listed eight of its recreational vehicle parks for sale, with a combined 1,839 RV sites for a total of $28.13 million. In a recent statement on their Website, WHR announced that two of these RV parks—Indian Waters in Indio, California and Ocean Shores Resort in Washington State—have been sold.

A privately held company, WHR was founded by Jim Loken and family in 1984 and was designed to provide RVers with “an exceptional outdoor vacation experience”. Following the sale of these two parks the corporation operates 11 resorts, 7 affiliated resorts, Vista Group RV Insurance, and two affiliated camping networks: Adventure Outdoor Resorts (AOR) and Sunbelt Resorts.

Indian Waters was sold to RV Management Services – Indio, LLC (RVMS), a RV resort operator with more than 15 years experience in the operation of more than 25 RV properties. The new developer’s improvement plans include a second pool, sewer to the sites on the north side of the resort, a pickle ball court, and a putting green. The park will close in April and reopen in November once construction is complete.

Ocean Shores was sold to K/M Resorts of America, a membership camping company with over 20 years in the camping resort industry. K/M operates eight resorts throughout Washington State—Beachwood Resort (Blaine), Columbia Shores (Chinook), Diamond Point Resort (Sequim), Maple Groove Resort (Randall), Ocean Mist Resort (Ocean City), Old American Kampground (Newport), Travel Inn Resort (Elma), and Ponderosa Falls RV Resort (Cheney). Ocean Shores Resort has been renamed Ocean Breeze.

K/M has committed to opening the resort year round. The resort is now open and will remain open through the improvement process. K/M has already moved in equipment and started their improvements to the property.

Desert Shadows RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona, is listed for sale by Western Horizon. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Desert Shadows RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona, is listed for sale by Western Horizon. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Home park members of these resorts will contact the resorts directly for their reservations. Non-home park WHR members may continue to call WHR central reservations to book their stay.

In their information release, WHR attempts to put a positive spin on the sale by stating that they are “delighted that these developers will bring improvements to the resorts.” According to the statement members should see little or no change to their membership privileges.

The sale of these two resorts along with the potential sale of an additional six raises many questions and future implications for WHR members and future members.

If, as Jim Loken says, all he is doing is selling the real estate, why do members no longer have access to the four parks he recently sold to Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS): St. George RV Park in southern Utah, Tall Chief RV Resort in Washington State, Valley Vista RV Park in Benson, Arizona, and Desert Vista RV Park in Salome, Arizona?

There is considerable information, misinformation, and confusion about membership camping. In order to assist the consumer in making an informed decision I have posted a series of nine articles.

Disclaimer: I am a member of Western Horizon Resorts but do not represent them or sell memberships.

Worth Pondering…

I am part of all that I have met

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro

Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades

Forever and forever when I move.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson

Related posts

If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.

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Comments

5 Responses to “Membership Campgrounds: 2 Western Horizon Parks Sold”

  1. hoppe on April 2nd, 2011 8:35 am

    I think I’m glad that I haven’t participated in the ‘time share’/ membership CG industry. Still wondering who/what are the good ones.

    It’s sad to hear of the ‘bottom line’ attitudes in the industry. I know profitability is key. Just wondering, how much is enough?

    Of course why should they be any different than the folks who ask the wrong questions regarding the economy. Instead of; Why do you have a retirement and collective bargaining? They should ask; Why don’t I have, a retirement and collective bargaining?

    Sorry to hear of your shrinking options.

  2. D.Hillary on April 2nd, 2011 9:53 am

    These “Resort” campgrounds are a money loss to the RV’er. I have many friends that have purchased memberships and have yet to recoup their investment over many years of participation.

    I personally don’t see the investment worth and with many changing hands the buyer is at a loss in more ways than one.

  3. Elario on April 4th, 2011 9:03 am

    Having purchased a WHR membership in 2009, and paying cash, as a ‘full-timer’ I feel it’s one of the worst investments I’ve made in my life. I’ll continue to use their parks when I can, but I don’t expect to ever come close to recovering what I paid. I guess my membership with RCI warped my thinking about membership camp grounds.

  4. Kitkat on April 9th, 2011 4:41 pm

    Thank you Rex for telling it like it is. We are very disappointed as to what is happening at WHR. Maybe Jim Loken should have approached the membership as to what might be a suitable solution to his woes and have proposals for saving the system. We don’t feel very good about about what is going on. I think we are given laundered information. I don’t see anyone buying parks and wanting to service existing members without getting financial returns. Jim LOken will keep selling parks and in the end will not care what happens to the members. What is bothersome is that he is still selling memeberships and upgrades. We were approached at Indian Waters about the upgrade, which we found offered us really nothing. The lady made reference that Loken had taken on an investment partner who was paying for upagrades at Indian Waters and Desert Pools. Our ears perked up, to mind came an investor who had put out money for Abita Springs with promises of interest paid for at least 3 years. He only got that one year. Knowing about the parks being up for sale we figured Indian Waters in the process of sale. What is more bothersome, is the fact that memberships are still being sold and as well the upgrades. What do these people stand to as a return. We just recently purchased a share in a membership owned park. What we really liked was the honesty, transparency and the wonderful friendly people. There is no need to deceive people. We also discovered you can no longer book the sold parks on plan B as they are now affiliates. It remains to be seen what happens to our WHR membership.

  5. Joyce Lewis on December 10th, 2011 9:48 pm

    As of Dec 10/2011: Just found out that all Western Horizion members can now book into Indian Waters Resort with their current membership time agreements. This offer is good for a limited time but sure takes the pressure off those members currently in DHP who are looking for a place to go for their week out. You must call the resort direct. Don’t take for sure but I think rates will be $11.00 per night on the gravel. Or email Katheryn Morton iwmanager@yahoo.com

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