As seasonal campers return to the recreational vehicle park at York Beach in York, Maine, the foreclosure sale of Flagg’s RV Resort is still planned, now scheduled for 9 a.m. June 20, according to an attorney for the mortgage company, seacoastonline.com reported.
“The foreclosure sale is going forward,” said Alan Mills, of Indianapolis, Ind., an attorney representing mortgage holder MLCFC 2007-9 ACR Master SPE, a Delaware limited liability company.
Mills said he believed the sale would be on site at 68 Garrison Ave.
The sale originally was scheduled to take place March 22.
The day before the scheduled foreclosure, Flagg’s RV Resort LLC obtained a 60-day emergency restraining order in York County Superior Court to temporarily stop the sale, according to court records.
Attorneys in the case spoke with a superior court judge via a conference call the week of May 27, according to Mills.
Neither Mills nor Flagg’s attorney David Pierson of Eaton Peabody in Portland said he could comment on what took place during the conference call.
On Wednesday (June 5), long grass could be seen growing in the park, which has lost numerous seasonal campers amid changes there over the past two years.
In York, the day after the scheduled auction in March, workers at the park who said they worked for Morgan were disassembling and moving to an undisclosed location an estimated half-dozen “park models” — cottage-like recreational vehicles.
When the six park models were originally moved in two years ago, an estimated 10 RV campers were told to move out.
Other campers, fearful of the change, moved out of their own accord. Where once there had been more than 80 RVs at Flagg’s, now about a dozen remain.
Flagg’s has a value of $1.2 million, according to the town’s assessing database, available online at www.yorkmaine.org.
In 2007, it was among seven campgrounds Morgan used as collateral toward a $38 million loan from Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc., according to court records.
The Countrywide loan was transferred several times.
The mortgage holder sought to foreclose on all the properties, according to the published notice of the sale.
Morgan Recreation Vacations sought to stop not only of the foreclosure on Flagg’s RV Resort, but also on two other Maine properties in Rockport, Megunticook RV Resort LLC and Camden Hills RV Resort LLC, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Morgan was unsuccessful in its request for an emergency restraining order in the Rockport cases. On March 21, the day the Knox County Superior Court denied the requests, the foreclosure sales went forward.
However, the mortgage holder ended up keeping the properties when it did not receive what it considered to be suitable prices, according to the Bangor paper.
A second campground in Saratoga County operated by Saratoga Springs-based Morgan RV Resorts has been reassigned new management by the state Supreme Court as foreclosure proceedings get under way.
The Saratogian reported that the campground, American Camping Resort, more commonly known as the NASCAR RV Resort at Adirondack Gateway, is in Gansevoort and is home to 150 seasonal recreational vehicle sites. It is one of seven Morgan RV Resorts-managed campgrounds put up as collateral toward a $36 million loan that has been defaulted on, according to court documents.
People at the site are worried about their investment.
Bill Carter and Karen Bailie-Carter were sitting outside their camper at the American Camping Resort Tuesday (May 7) afternoon, trying to relax. Carter has been coming to the campground since 1985, long before Morgan RV Resorts managed the property.
The land has a place in his heart. So, he said, when Robert Moser, CEO of Morgan RV Resorts, showed up at the end of last summer with a proposal to save Carter and his wife money on their seasonal fees and an opportunity to travel the country, he listened to him.
The retired couple from Cohoes liked what Moser pitched, and put down more than $6,000 upfront on a $17,000 membership to a club called Ideal Private Resorts, Carter said. Money is taken out of the couple’s checking account each month to pay for the rest of the membership, he said.
According to The Saratogian, the couple thought this membership would give them access to nearly 50 resorts across the country, save $1,000 in seasonal camping fees each year and provide various other perks.
But as of Wednesday afternoon, only five of the 50 locations they thought they could visit were left on the company’s website. And with foreclosure proceedings now under way, they are wondering if anyone will be upholding the membership they bought.
Carter said he felt reassured he was making a good decision joining Ideal Private Resorts, because Moser had dealt with him in person. The couple has been calling the company repeatedly and requesting to speak with Moser about their concerns, but no calls have been returned and the company has not sent its promised membership documents, Carter said.
“We just wish we knew what was going on,” Bailie-Carter said about the RV campground. Its store is closed, it is without security at the entrance or anywhere else in the camp and it is without the amenities campers have already paid for. Four dumpsters with garbage spilling out of them stood at the front of the campground Tuesday.
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A new company has been assigned to manage Cold Brook Campsites, a recreational vehicle campground in Ganesvoort, N.Y., managed by Saratoga Springs-based Morgan RV Resorts, while foreclosure proceedings on the campsite are ongoing.
Court documents filed March 4 in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County show the lender, Comm 2006-C8 RV Park Master SPE LLC, is taking action against local businessman Robert Moser and his partner, Robert Morgan, as well as two limited-liability companies affiliated with Cold Brook Campsites, The Saratogian reported.
The lender is foreclosing on the $4.25 million mortgage, which was given to the borrowers in 2006.
The attorney for the LLC states in court documents that Cold Brook Campsites is one of seven campgrounds that are or will be the subject of foreclosure proceedings by his firm, Herrick, Feinstein LLP.
Moser and Morgan own Morgan RV Resorts, which manages campgrounds around the country.
Janus Hotel Management Services, a Florida-based limited-liability company, announced Tuesday (April 30) it has been assigned by a Saratoga Springs attorney to take over management services of the 277-unit campground.
The president of Janus, Michael Nanosky, stated in the press release the campground would be open as planned Tuesday.
“Although there is a lot of work to do, we want all campers to rest assured that the resort will open on time for the upcoming camping season and full use of the resort facilities will be available as soon as possible,” he said.
Last week, longtime summer residents of Cold Brook told The Saratogian they were nervous the campground wouldn’t open as planned and they’d be left without a place to live. Contacted last week, Moser said those residents had no reason to worry.
This week, Nanosky reiterated that residents have nothing to worry about.
Janus’ general counsel, Eric L. Glazer, said fees for Cold Brook residents will not change and payments already made will be honored.
Attorney John P. Coseo of the McMahon & Coseo law firm is the campground’s court-appointed receiver.
Court-appointed receivers like Coseo manage money or properties that are the subject of litigation. Typically, courts only appoint receivers when it is absolutely necessary to preserve the property.
Coseo also said Tuesday that Cold Brook will definitely open as planned.
Janus manages 11 additional Morgan parks, either as a receiver or as the management company for new ownership.
The company is based in Boca Raton, Fla., and manages a total of 60 hotels and campgrounds in the country.
Robert Moser, CEO of Morgan RV Resorts, has replied to a story in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Saratogian which was subsequently posted on the RVBusiness website. The story also was posted on the Woodall’s Campground Management website.
“I typically do not comment on articles, however this one does not have a speck of truth,” Moser stated in his comments to RVB. The story implied that Morgan RV Resorts and the parent company, Morgan Management LLC, were experiencing financial difficulties. Moser stated in his comments to RVB, “Our company is stronger then ever and continues to acquire assets across the country.”
Click here to read Moser’s response to the story.
Click here to read the original story from The Saratogian.
Armed with $60 million in cash and $300 million in “additional liquidity,” Sun Communities Inc. is quickly expanding its footprint in the RV park and manufactured housing community industry.
Gary Shiffman, Sun’s chairman and CEO, briefly touched on the company’s expansion plan during an earnings conference call Thursday (April 25), following release of its first quarter financial report. In that report, Sun announced revenue of $103.38 million, and earnings of 93 cents per share.
Click here to read a summary of the earnings report.
Sun beat Wall Street’s expectations, a positive sign to shareholders seeking high growth out of the company. The stock closed Thursday at $48.77 per share, down 6 cents, on volume of 171,707 shares.
“The company has grown dramatically while operating metrics continue to set new standards and records with each passing quarter,” Shiffman stated. For example, compared to the end of 2010, Sun’s holdings are up by 48 properties or 45% to 184 properties in 25 states, compared to 17 at the end of 2010, Shiffman noted.
“When we also consider the successful efforts to strengthen the balance sheet, we see a transformed company. Our primary goal now is to bring performance to the bottom line through 2013 and 2014,” he said.
Its RV park acquisitions over the past 18 months have fueled much of the company’s growth, Shiffman noted in the news release and later during the conference call monitored by more than 20 investors.
Sun has invested over $250 million in the acquisition and quality enhancements of RV communities in 18 months, the bulk of them coming in purchases from Morgan RV Resorts.
“Recent acquisitions have served to diversify the company geographically into new markets as well as to expand our commitment to recreational vehicle properties,” Shiffman stated in the news release. “While formerly limited to seasonal operations during the months of December through April primarily in our Southern Florida and Texas RV communities, our geographic footprint now extends north to Wisconsin and the Eastern Seaboard up to Maine where the RV season is opposite of the South, running from June through October. We’ve created a year-round business with complimentary northern and southern seasons which will provide more efficient and effective use of our staff, marketing and RV systems.”
In addition, just last week (after the quarter had ended), Sun paid $9.8 million for the Jellystone Park of Western New York, its first resort in New York state.
Based in Southfield, Mich., Sun is branding these destination resorts as “Sun RV Resorts” which will operate over 30 communities from Arizona to Maine to Wisconsin to Florida.
“Our vision is to have our brand distinguish the entire guest experience from start to finish – every touch point, from initial inquiries through our enhanced Internet site to the reservation and checkout processes will reflect a positive concern for the satisfaction of every guest,” Shiffman said in an earlier release. “Guests will have confidence that they will receive first-class customer service throughout their stay, including quality hook-up and site accommodations, vacation rentals and a wide range of attractive amenities at each Sun RV Resort.”
Without being specific, Shiffman told investors “a lot of capital investment” will be going on in the acquired communities as part of its new RV platform.
“All that integration will take place over the next 12 to 18 months and will enhance existing opportunities that we have in new acquisitions and some existing properties we own,” he said.
Much of Sun’s conference call dealt with its manufactured housing investments, which have grown by 42% over the past two years.
Occupancy has increased in all markets including Indiana, which experienced its best first quarter in many years, Shiffman said. This upturn followed significant growth in Colorado, Texas and Michigan markets.
Occupancy in its housing systemwide is up to 88%. The company considers full occupancy to be 96%.
In other comments, Shiffman said the Sun board continues to examine its dividend policy and may vote to raise it later this year. The quarterly dividend is currently at 63 cents per share.
Robert Moser is struggling to stay out of financial and legal trouble in other states, and some residents of his Adirondack recreational vehicle campsite, Coldbrook Campsites in Gansevoort, N.Y., are worried they won’t have a home this summer, the Saratoga Springs Saratogian reported.
Moser, a resident of Greenfield Center, is the owner and CEO of Morgan RV Resorts, which is a division of Morgan Management LLC. According to its website, the company manages $2 billion in real estate assets and “is responsible for 16,000 apartments, 16,000 recreational spots, 8,000 mobile home sites and a variety of industrial parks and resorts.”
The company maintains RV parks, campgrounds and manufactured home sites in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and other states. Morgan RV Resorts is considered one of the largest privately owned RV park corporations in the country.
Normal Bustle Missing
The Coldbrook Campsites in Gansevoort is normally bustling with activity at this point in the season, a week before opening day, summer resident Helga Manning of Schenectady said.
But on Wednesday afternoon (April 24), the campground was deserted, with no workers in sight. Pinecones and brush littered the property and a glance into the camp store’s window revealed a jumbled, chaotic mess of abandoned camping goods.
Manning is one of more than 200 people who rely on the Coldbrook Campsites as their home for the summer season. She said some residents have already paid the $2,500 camping fee for the summer and that she and other residents of Moser’s campsites are concerned because rumors are circulating that the campground won’t open and they will lose their deposits.
Much of that concern is rooted in court documents, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and newspaper articles that tell a story of a company deep in debt and its owners, who are accused of going to unseemly lengths to make a buck.
2011 Court Fight
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley took Moser to court in 2011 and won, after Moser and his staff strong-armed nearly 100 residents into purchasing expensive memberships to stay in their homes. Some residents paid as much as $16,000 because they were scared of being kicked out of Peters Pond RV Resort in Sandwich, Mass.
“This company took advantage of elderly customers and retirees who invested a significant amount of money in their homes,” Coakley said in a press release after the attorney general won the case in 2012. “It is difficult to believe that any business would try to strong-arm people who worked and saved their entire lives so they could enjoy their golden years. We are thankful that these practices will end and that consumers will receive restitution.”
But Jillian Fennimore, a spokeswoman of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, said the office still has a contempt action pending against Moser, his attorney, Carmel Gilberti, and various companies Moser conducts business through for “discouraging consumers from accepting restitution to which they are entitled,” according to court documents.
The court documents filed by the Massachusetts attorney general allege “defendants and Gilberti repeatedly misinformed consumers that if they accept restitution, the consumer’s seasonal fees for 2012 will increase by about 25 percent.”
Moser’s business partner is Robert C. Morgan, the owner of Morgan Management in Rochester.
New York Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Hook said Thursday that the office has received eight complaints against the company since 2010, but she couldn’t specify the nature of those complaints.
Although there is no formal investigation, Hook said, “they are on our radar.”
Manning said she and many other Coldbrook summer residents pay a winter storage fee to leave their RVs at the campground off-season.
“I would just like to get my stuff out and my money back,” Manning said, adding that company representatives have been overly aggressive about collecting campers’ fees this season.
Call Center Nearly Empty
The call center for Morgan RV Resorts is located at 63 Putnam St. in Saratoga Springs, where the company was once headquartered. The call center is largely empty and most of its contents are packed in boxes; only a handful of female employees were working there Wednesday afternoon. A visit to the office found they are busy collecting money from consumers and reassuring customers that the campgrounds will open on time.
Moser, who was reached Wednesday for a brief telephone interview, said the campground will open as scheduled May 1 and that people have nothing to worry about. He said workers haven’t been scheduled for the season yet because of a change in management companies.
Moser confirmed his company is selling assets, which a February filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission also confirms. Sun Communities Operating Limited Partnership purchased 10 RV communities from Moser and his business partner for more than $111 million.
Moser was adamant Wednesday that Coldbrook is not being sold.
However, by Thursday morning, Coldbrook Campsite Resort was removed from the company’s list of resorts on its website, www.morganrvresorts.com, and by Thursday afternoon all of its campgrounds were removed from the list.
Other RV parks and campgrounds Morgan runs in the region include NASCAR RV Resorts at Adirondack Gateway in Gansevoort, Lake George Suites in Lake George and Lake George Campsites in Queensbury.
Morgan Management also is involved in the development at least two projects in Saratoga County — a mixed-use complex at the corner of routes 50 and 67 in Ballston, with 300 housing units and several retail spaces, and a proposed 123-acre mixed-use development with a 148-room hotel, a supermarket, three-story office buildings, restaurants and a major sporting goods retailer in Moreau. For both projects, Morgan Management is partnering with The Buck Group.
The real estate crash in the Florida Keys has helped save some affordable lodging in the Keys for those who love the outdoors, the Miami Herald reported.
For example, Fiesta Key RV Resort in the Middle Keys was packed Easter weekend with families from Miami and around the country.
“We’re so happy there’s still places you can come to the Keys and not have to spend $300 or $400 a night,” said Jane Derenthal, who was renting a $100-a-night cabin. “Look how gorgeous it is here, and it’s pet friendly.”
She was walking her dog Pompei along the seawall, while Noah Ditchie of Michigan was fishing for tarpon and Brynn Schiavi, 8, was showing Whitney Carlin, 3, the lizard she had caught.
“She’s my animal lover,” Kelly Mychalishyn of Rochester, N.Y., said of her daughter, Brynn.
Their family vacation has included jaunts to the Turtle Hospital and Bahia Honda State Park.
Cortex Resort Living had bought the campground for $55 million with plans to turn the 324 campsites into a 230-townhome complex called Seaglass, with a shipwreck salvagers theme.
But the developers also never got this project off the ground, becoming embroiled in a $74 million foreclosure suit. In the meantime, the campground remained open.
In 2010, the property’s deed was turned over in lieu of foreclosure. Now, New York-based Morgan RV Resorts runs the place. They have 21 campgrounds in 11 states with a motto: “Where luxury meets nature.”
Another bayside property in the Keys also was slated to become townhomes, but the new owners have turned the 12 acres into Point of View Key Largo RV Resort, albeit for big rigs of 30 to 75 feet. No tents or pop-ups are allowed.
“They were checking around to see what was needed and everybody pretty unanimously said RV park,” said Laurie Comeau, manager of the park that just opened March 1.
Comeau had managed nearby American Outdoors campground for 16 years, until the developers closed it for good. The entrance now is blocked with a chain fence, and the new owners are planning a Marriott hotel.
Harold Wheeler, executive director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, said that while it’s “too bad” the Keys went through the recession, he’s happy the Keys were able to maintain some of the private RV resorts and campgrounds.
“We’re known for our eco-tourism and we want the nature-based tourism,” he said.
“We need the campground areas. It’s a big part of the Florida Keys — always has been and hopefully always will be.”
Click here to read the entire story.
An amusement park in Indiana’s White County has reportedly paid nearly $350,000 that it owed the county after neglecting several years’ worth of property and innkeeper’s taxes.
Indiana Beach Amusement Resort, a recreation spot on Lake Shafer in Monticello, owed the county an estimated $180,000 in self-reported innkeeper’s taxes, which go toward promoting tourism in the area and lake cleaning efforts, and $167,000 in property taxes, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported.
“They’re all paid up,” said White County commissioner John Heimlich.
The resort’s parent company, Morgan RV Resorts, paid $11,000 of the bill back in early January. The company, whose financial health has been called into question, reportedly paid the rest after various news reports about the debt were published later that month.
Morgan RV Resorts, which did not return the Journal & Courier’s request for comment, recently agreed to sell 11 of its RV communities to Sun Communities Operating Limited Partnership LLC of Michigan for $135 million. Another of its properties, Flagg’s RV Resort, is in foreclosure.
As of March 4, Morgan RV had paid the county within 10% of what it estimated that the company owed in the self-reported innkeeper’s tax, according to Joe Crivello, a board member of the White County Tourism Authority.
Indiana Beach collected $64,327 in innkeeper’s taxes in five months during 2009, according to the tourism authority, compared with $55,700 in collections during all of 2012. During several peak months from 2009 to 2012, the resort collected nothing.
Since the innkeeper’s tax is self-reported, counties have limited powers available to enforce collection. Crivello said he believes several smaller tourism entities in the county have neglected to pay their share of the tax as well.
The innkeeper’s tax was increased to 5% in the county in 2011 in order to generate what was expected to be between $80,000 and $100,000 annually to promote the county’s tourism industry, which is believed to have a $70 million annual economic impact on the area.
A representative from Indiana Beach did not respond to the Journal & Courier’s request for comment.
As the resort prepares for its summer 2013 season by hiring seasonal employees, county officials hope to move forward. The resort will host a job fair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Indiana Beach Office, 5224 E. Indiana Beach Road in Monticello.
“They’re hiring people like crazy right now,” Crivello said. “Maybe they’re out of the woods. I hope so.”
Longtime campers of Pine Acres RV Resort near Raymond, N.H., let out a cheer Monday (April 1) after learning the campground would open on schedule April 15.
The 45-year-old campground went up for auction Monday morning and was ultimately taken back by the bank after one bid of $2 million was received. The bank price was $5.6 million, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.
A representative from the management company hired by the bank to run the campground this summer told campers on site not to give any more money to Morgan RV Resorts, the company that has owned the campground for the past several years.
Duncan Kirtley said seasonal campers should come by the campground this week with any credit card receipts or canceled checks to prove the payments they already made to Morgan for their seasonal sites, which will be honored. Many campers were concerned about those deposits, which Morgan had been soliciting as recently as last week even with public notice of the auction.
Kirtley declined to name the management company that will be overseeing the campground this summer.
Two well-liked managers, Troy Bittner and Daryle Edyars, will return to manage the campground, he said, another piece of news that elicited cheers from the campers.
Stanley Shea and John Tracy, the two men who started Pine Acres and ran it for 36 years, also attended the auction. Tracy said they will certainly be watching to see if the bank sells the property, and at what price.
The 95-acre property is assessed at $3.3 million, according to town records, but Tracy said he believes the current mortgage on the property is over $5 million.
Seasonal camper Bob Cortez of Nashua said now he just hopes that the campground can be returned to its former glory through good management and the effort of seasonal campers ready to rebuild the campground’s reputation.
“It is the best thing that could have happened to this property,” camper Nancy MacDonald of Gloucester, Mass., said.
Flagg’s RV Resort LLC in York Maine, has successfully obtained a restraining order to temporarily stop the mortgage holder of the York Beach RV park from selling the property at foreclosure auction, seacoastonline.com reported.
The RV park on Garrison Avenue in York was scheduled for foreclosure auction March 22, according to a published public notice. On March 21, the York County Superior Court granted Flagg’s a 60-day emergency temporary restraining order, according to court records.
Flagg’s is part of Morgan RV Resorts of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a business now called Morgan Recreation Vacations at its online website, www.morganrvresorts.com. In court records, Flagg’s is listed as a Delaware company, and in 2007, was among seven campgrounds Morgan used as collateral toward a $38 million loan from Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc.
The Countrywide loan was transferred several times and the mortgage is now held by a limited liability company from Delaware called MLCFC 2007-9 ACR Master SPE LLC.
MLCFC 2007-9 ACR MASTER SPE LLC sought to foreclose on all the properties and scheduled the Flagg’s auction, according to the published notice of the sale.
Neither Robert Moser of Morgan RV Resorts nor the mortgage company’s attorney, Kevin Collins, of Wilmington, Del., returned phone calls for comment.
The day after the originally scheduled auction, workers at the York Beach camper park who said they worked for Morgan were disassembling and moving to an undisclosed location an estimated half-dozen “park models” — cottage-like recreational vehicles. The park models were recently brought in, having replaced two other types of units in the park.
When Morgan brought in the first park models two years ago, it ousted an estimated 10 seasonal RVs from the park. Other campers, fearful of the change, moved out on their own accord, with many going to Wells Beach. Where once there were more than 80 RVs at Flagg’s, about a dozen remain, according to longtime camper Patricia Lee, commenting through The York Weekly’s Facebook page.
How the potential foreclosure of Flagg’s affects the remaining seasonal residents, who expect to return to York Beach this summer, is still unknown. Lee and camper Melvin Riggs of Oklahoma said they’ve already paid Morgan some or all of the money on their estimated $5,000 lease to stay at Flagg’s for the season. The money was due April 1, they said.
Riggs said representatives from Morgan called him almost daily for at least a week in March, trying to get him to pay the remaining $3,700 on his estimated $5,200 summer lease before the deadline.
Neither was told of the scheduled March 22 foreclosure sale, they said.
Morgan Recreation Vacations sought to stop not only of the foreclosure on Flagg’s RV Resort, but also on two other Maine properties in Rockport, Megunticook RV Resort LLC and Camden Hills RV Resort LLC, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Morgan was unsuccessful in its request for an emergency restraining order in the Rockport cases. On March 21, the day the Knox County Superior Court denied the requests, the foreclosure sales went forward. However, the mortgage holder ended up keeping the properties when it did not receive what it considered to be suitable prices, according to the Bangor Daily.
The resort owner filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on the lower court ruling, citing it as inconsistent with that of the York County Superior Court concerning Flagg’s, according to the paper.