Tom Heneghan - CEO, Equity LifeStyle Properties

Here's a good term to add to our vocabulary in 2012 – optionality. Exactly what does that mean, you might ask. And where should I apply the term?

Optionality is quite simply having options. And by all means, apply it to all aspects of your life whenever possible. But specifically, take a look at Thousand Trails and you'll see the term is a perfect fit.

The term is based on options and that's what Thousand Trails is all about. From the product you choose to get the most from your leisure spending to the choice of locations where you spend that leisure time. Not to mention the variety of options within each of the locations, from accommodations to activities.

Most importantly, in light of today's economy, the options we provide allow all of our members the ability to get the most for their money. It allows you to retain, or for some begin, a lifestyle that's affordable and fun.

The variety in our membership products provides the new camper a very affordable entrée into the world of camping. Once they see what is available, they have the option to upgrade their membership, thereby expanding their camping horizons and adding to their member benefits. To the seasoned member, we provide the option to change as their lifestyle changes. Empty nesters, or those cutting back on workloads or retiring altogether who find they have more time to travel can take advantage of another upgrade that allows them vacation options through the Preferred Access brand, which offers condo and hotel stays and more.

From a location standpoint, optionality is what we're all about. If you love the mountains, consider our locations near Washington State and Pennsylvania. If it's a beach thing you're looking for, consider the Jersey Shore, Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound or our California coast locations. We've got locations near national parks, including Yosemite, and Joshua Tree. From the heartlands of the Midwest and coast to coast, the optionality offered is unparalleled.

Once you've chosen your location, you have the option to choose your accommodations. Bring your rig or pack a tent, choose a cozy cabin or vacation cottage. Try a park model or a yurt. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the lifestyle. And if you just can't get enough of your favorite preserve, there's the option to participate in our annual/seasonal site programs.

Once you're here and settled in, you have plenty of options as to how to spend your time. The list goes on – there's literally something for everyone. From sporting events to holiday celebrations from workshops to arts and crafts. How about learning something new – have you ever played pickleball or tried a few new dance steps? Try your luck in a fishing derby or a talent contest. There is lots to do and it's never the same old thing!

The nice thing about exploring your options and thinking about alternatives is that it helps to avoid disappointment. It's like that old adage about not putting all your eggs in one basket. You may not always get your first choice, but generally, you'll find something that satisfies – and who knows, you may even be pleasantly surprised.

So embrace optionality and you'll find satisfaction, not just in your outdoor lifestyle, but also in life in general. The choice is yours and the options are there. Optionality….yes, I think the term suits us!

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous 2012!

Thought Of the Month
"You are your choices." - Seneca

Tom Heneghan
President and CEO