Posts Tagged ‘recreational vehicle club’

Affinity Group, once a major employer in Ventura, has made layoffs and restructured, putting its massive ocean-view headquarters campus up for sale for $9.7 million.

Affinity owns the Good Sam Club recreational vehicle club, the chain of Camping-World retail stores and a stable of niche publications focused on boats, trailers and motorcycles. The company faced as much as $700 million in looming debt payments and struggled to refinance as bond markets froze in 2008 and 2009.

But late last year, Affinity Group secured $333 million in a private placement — the source of the funds wasn’t disclosed — to refinance its debts. The company also appears to have restructured. CEO Michael Schneider has stepped down, and some of the magazine titles were sold, according to people familiar with the company.

Now, Affinity’s 72,649-square-foot corporate headquarters on 9.3 acres of land on Vista Del Mar Avenue in Ventura are up for sale. It is unclear how many jobs were housed there. In total, Affinity had about 460 non-retail employees in 2009, according to public filings. It is not known how many were laid off, but a former employee at one of the group’s magazines said operations were tightened to focus on RV-centric lines of business, such as the Good Sam Club and Camping-World stores.

“The way they’ve downsized at the company and eliminated various things — like my magazine that didn’t fit into their RV focus — it doesn’t surprise me that they wouldn’t want to stay in that building,” the former employee said. “It’s not a very warm environment because there have been consistent cuts. It’s been that way for years.”

Affinity has been in the building since 1994 after putting a major refurbishment into it.
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