W.Va. residents will receive refunds from campground firms

November 29, 1996


Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia residents who lost money in an alleged campground membership scheme will get refunds, Attorney General Darrell McGraw Jr. said Wednesday.

McGraw said his office has reached a court settlement with Adventure Outdoor Resorts (AOR) of Lakeland, Fla., and Family Resorts Inc., of Racine, Ohio, which will secure $200,000 in cash refunds and another $269,000 in debt cancellation for victims.

The attorney general's office claimed in a lawsuit against the companies and the firms' officers that pressure was brought on about 350 members of Pipestem Village Resort in Summers County, W.Va., to upgrade their memberships to the campground resort.


A flood of complaints began coming into the attorney general's office in 1994, McGraw said.

There were more than 1,400 members of the Pipestem campground, the attorney general's office said.

"The sale of membership upgrades to persons who are already members of private resorts is known in the industry as `reloading,'" McGraw said in a prepared statement. "Cash-strapped resorts that have already reached their membership limits engage in reloading ... and other scare tactics to squeeze more money out of their members."

The action against the campground companies followed AOR's filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Florida earlier this year, McGraw said. The West Virginia case was moved to Florida because of the bankruptcy, he said.

West Virginians who didn't file complaints about AOR with the attorney general's office will not get a refund, according to Jill Miles, deputy attorney general.

State residents owing money to AOR for campground sales agreements will benefit by having any debt to AOR forgiven by settlement, Miles said.

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