Bob Priddy of MissouriNet Adds Important Footnote to Travel Club Legislation

 Senators say they were misled; pass new travel club bill

by Bob Priddy on April 5, 2010
The state senate has moved to create more competition in the travel club business.
Some state lawmakers think they were misled last year by a travel club operator wanting to reduce competition when they passed a law requiring travel clubs to have at least a quarter-million dollars in assets. One Senator, Jack Goodman of Nevada says the legislature was told a travel club association wanted the threshold to protect consumers. But there was no real association.  Goodman speaks on Senate floor :32 mp3
Another Senator, Gary Nodler, says he has talked one on one with the company that wanted the higher amount. “He was pretty unambiguous in telling me that his desire for the higher number was the close the market,” Nodler tells the Senate, “I don’t believe it’s our responsibility as a state to try to create financial thresholds exclusively to try to protect businesses from competition.”  Nodler speaks to Senate :22 “competition”
Travel clubs sell memberships that give members access to contracted vacation destinations with a pre-paid vacation plan.
The bill sent to the House cuts the threshold to 50-thousand dollars unless the club has been shown to have violated its legal obligations. In that case, the posting goes back up to 250-thousand dollars.
Nodler says legislative passage of the bill would have a four-and-a-half million dollar economic impact in Branson and a sizable impact on tourism at the Lake of the Ozarks.