Year-end. Two words that mean many things to a variety of people. But, to whatever aspect you apply it, it still defines the end of something, which in turn brings along an accounting of sorts, whether it is financial, personal, or professional. Goals are set and year-end means it's time to look back and see how you did.

In 2014, we celebrated the 45th anniversary of Thousand Trails. Parties were held, stories were told, memories recalled as well as created. That was the fun stuff!

In addition to marking our 45-year milestone, we also spent the year implementing new ideas, rolling out new programs and, most importantly, focusing on our customer.

As 2013 came to a close, my year-end message in TrailBlazer focused on the importance of listening; letting you know that we want to know what you think and highlighting that we are listening to what you have to say.

As we close out 2014, we close out one complete calendar year of Member Appreciation Events.

We designated the third Saturday of every month as Member Appreciation Day. Events varied by preserve, but the purpose was the same to create a fun, participatory event in which members, guests and staff could participate, and to provide a platform for regularly scheduled, ongoing communication with you, our members.

Some managers chose to kickoff each event with a "basic training," which provided newbies, as well as long-timers, the opportunity to hear all about the benefits of their Thousand Trails membership and cover the basics, including information on reservations, referrals, and upgrades. Others had informal gatherings, with refreshments, that followed a Q&A format.

These events gave members the opportunity to meet other members; to put a face to management and staff; to be given a comfortable setting in which to ask questions and to be kept abreast of what was going on in the Thousand Trails world. It also gave them the opportunity to tell us what we could do to enhance their experience. We were there to listen, appreciate the input, and put it to good use in the future.

A recent member post on the Thousand Trails Facebook page about the new pickleball courts at Palm Springs punctuates this concept perfectly.

The member wrote how excited they were to see these new courts and added "so glad you listened!"

That's what we're doing listening, taking the feedback and using it to continue to enhance your Thousand Trails experience. So as we look forward to 2015, I'm going to end this message with another set of "4-words":

We • Appreciate • Our • Members!

Marguerite Nader
President & CEO