Western Horizon Resorts – Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch, Gunnison, Colorado Littleton Colorado Review

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Western Horizon Resorts – Ponzi scheme? nWe recently visited WHR Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch in Gunnison, CO in 2009 because we received a package with our new camping trailer from the dealer in Denver offering 25 free days of camping from WHR. The initial stay was also supposed to include a free dinner, horseback ride, tickets to the Gunnison Pioneer Museum and a free gas ticket. Our initial reservation could include up to 5 days/4 nights but we reserved a site for 3 nights only since we were very skeptical about membership campgrounds. We have never attended a sales presentation at a time share or membership campground because of all the bad publicity and things we have heard from friends about the high-pressure tactics and deception but figured why not try one since we have driven by the Gunnison, CO facility for years and were a little curious about the 25 day free camping offer. Should have gone with our preconceptions! nIt was early in the season and we had our choice of sites, the check-in personnel were pleasant and the views from the campground were nice so we were still somewhat optimistic. However, the next morning we had our sales presentation and everything changed! The only facts presented by the sales lady were that everyone here is like family and that camping here is much cheaper than other campgrounds such as the KOA in town. We mentioned that we wanted to become more familiar with this and other WHR resorts before buying a membership and our intention is to use some of the 25 free camping days during our upcoming trip to the NE USA and Canada. nShe immediately tried to discourage that idea. She informed us that we could use only 5 of the remaining 20 days per WHR region, there must be 30 days between each stay with at least a 30 day advance reservation and we now could no longer stay in their biggest Western Region because of this stay. She said we definitely would not pay their usual membership rate of $12,000 so we should buy at today’s special introductory rate of $7,500 available only today. nShe had not presented any details about WHR membership or members cost to stay or even given a tour of the facilities. She just wanted an immediate decision and check for $7,500 now. When I said I will not pay anything during this visit and not until I could find out more about the membership and other WHR campgrounds, she decided to end the sales presentation. I asked for the additional night promised with the WHR package we got with the new trailer and was advised it was not available since there are limited promotional sites available although the 300+ site campground was mostly empty. The free horseback ride was not available since the horses were not there yet. The free Pioneer Museum tickets were not available since it’s not open yet (We often drive through Gunnison and would have used them later). Also the free dinner was rescinded since she had only the $250 gas coupon application and was “out”” of the $200 gas coupon application. Gas coupons are practically worthless because of the extensive restrictions. nWe left the campground a day early. Other observations picked up during our visit:nAt check in we were given a paper listing the new surcharges members must pay starting this year due to the Recession and needed to stay open. Those included a Reservation fee

TV fee

50 amp service

etc

etc. The sales presentation lady was IRATE that we had this sheet and quickly grabbed it from us saying only members could have it. Obviously she didn’t want us to know about the new surcharges. nWe heard from someone in town that this facility had changed owners just last year and possibly back in 2000.nCable TV (extra cost) provided 3 channels – ABC

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