Gas prices are high and money is tight. Lansing families are looking for an economical way to keep the family entertained on a budget this summer. But, before you jump at the chance for an Outdoor Adventures’ membership, be informed. And beware.
I received an exciting call. I had dropped my name into a bin at the mall for a chance to win a brand new truck. I was among “a chosen few” who had been drawn to test one of a “limited” number of keys, to see if the key was indeed the coveted winner which would start the shiny pickup.
We had also dropped in my parents’ name and the names of all other relatives we had entered into this contest. Amazingly, each one of them also received the same call, but I didn’t find this out until after the fact. When they didn’t answer or declined, they were hounded by multiple daily calls for weeks to come.
Desperate for a new vehicle and wanting to try our luck, we packed up the car and drove over an hour to the Lakeshore Resort in Davison, MI. We were not prepared for what ensued. The resort was abuzz with people, go carts flying around giving tours, and high-pressure salespeople making pitches. You see, before you get to try your key, you must endure their sales pitch.
These folks brought high-pressure selling to a new low. I’d never been in this type of situation before and got caught up in the frenzy of activity and “value” of such a membership. The lifetime membership started at something like $15,000 – and by the time we left, we had maxed out our credit on a big bargain – a $5k loan to pay for a five-year unlimited membership.
Unlimited WHAT you masy ask? Well, camping (we’d never been camping before). For the low-low cost of $5,000 ($1,000 per year), my family can now pitch a tent at one of their campgrounds for FREE – though many limitations apply, including availability. But wait, there’s more! In addition to the $5k purchase, there are annual dues of $369.72 – an additional $30.81 every month for five years – for the privelidge of pitching a tent on Outdoor Adventures property.
But wait, there’s more! For an extra couple hundred bucks, you get a one-year renewably membership to a travel discount agency. We had been planning a trip to Disney, and according to what the sales person showed us we could save THOUSANDS on our trip by using this service. That didn’t exactly pan out either – blackout dates, limited availability and other obstacles prohibited us from realizing any value from this service.
When we returned home, I began to review the materials in closer detail. The next day, I called to cancel within the 24-hour grace period required by Michigan law. I was told I could not cancel unless we did so in person, submitted the cancellation in writing and both parties had to be present.
Now, to be fair – we have not been to any of the resorts since that day. They may be fabulous places – and I am planning to test one out this summer, since I’m paying for it anyway. However, many online reviews I have found indicate I may be disappointed.
Never any availability, and if there is availability, it is a complete and total disaster: Dirty rooms, broken items, smelly, and the most rude people I have ever met!
Guests were not treated well here. I would not recommend this park to anyone.
It’s crowded with families and children, not watching where they’re going, difficult to drive through the park.
No respectable organization would use tactics like this. Cheaper to buy the truck from a dealer and avoid this place. Zero stars.
To put it in perspective, all fees included, our family could have enjoyed a $1570 vacation budget PER YEAR for five years (or $131/month), for what we paid to go camping in Michigan.
Also, don’t miss a payment! The collections calls start immediately.