Joe McAdams - CEO, Thousand Trails

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. I also hope you've had the opportunity to spend time at some of your favorite camping destinations and enjoyed some R&R with us.

If you're new to our world and can't make up your mind where to jump off into the great camping experiences we offer, why not start at the top. And by that I don't mean alphabetically, but instead check out our six locations that were recently recognized by ReserveAmerica as some of the "Best Camping Spots" in the country. I am proud to say that three membership preserves – California's Rancho Oso and Snowflower and Oregon's Pacific City, as well as three Encore RV resorts – California's Pacific Dunes, Maine's Narrows Too and Florida's Bulow Plantation were recognized. Hats off to these properties.

We're just about halfway into the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of our industry. We've chronicled an assortment of anniversary-related items in TrailBlazer throughout the year; from the history of the industry to people you should know who played a part in the industry's success. This month, I'd like to point out that one of our own preserves, Pacific City, is celebrating 30 years. See our interview with Manager Ginny Therrien, on page 24, as she highlights how things have changed, and yet, stayed the same.

The industry wouldn't have survived for 100 years without keeping up with the changing needs of our customers. To that end, I would like to highlight how we are poised to do that right on-site at our own resorts. Encore's Monte Vista, a 55+ RV resort in Mesa, Arizona recently launched The App Café, which combines a coffeehouse-style setting with hands-on training and instruction for residents in the use of mobile applications that operate on Apple devices, such as iPhone and iPads. According to Resort Manager Rick Tubaugh, the App Café is quite popular. Monte Vista served as our own launch "pad" for this program and if it continues to prove successful, our goal is to put the App Café in place at other ELS properties. For more on this great program, see page 24.

With WiFi, cable, the Internet and portable computers, cell phones and more, camping sure isn't what it was 100 years ago, or 20 years ago for that matter. Amenities have changed, accessibility to technology (not to mention technology itself) has grown by leaps and bounds, and campgrounds and RVs have gone from rustic to downright luxurious.

The only things that haven't changed are the reasons people trek off in their RVs in search of these top campgrounds ~ To spend some time with family and friends; to make memories that will last 100 years, and then some!

Here's to memory-making!

Joe McAdams
President, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.