SEATTLE -Attorney General Christine Gregoire filed a lawsuit against Sunrise Resorts and Recreation, Inc. of Renton, WA., a camping club with a long history of consumer complaints.
According to the lawsuit, Sunrise sales representatives failed to disclose important facts about the Sunrise camping club and its facilities. For example, consumers were not told that in 1987, Sunrise filed a Chapter 11 reorganization in Federal Bankruptcy Court and since then had been operating under a Chapter 11 reorganization plan.
Consumers also were misled as to the availability of camping facilities and told they would not need to make advance reservations. The quality and existence of campground amenities were further misrepresented by Sunrise sales staff, according to the complaint.
"By withholding information from the consumer, Sunrise has forced people to make uninformed decisions with costly consequences," Gregoire said. "Many people have been financially hurt by this company because of their continuous deceptive behavior."
Some 311 complaints have been filed against Sunrise with the Attorney General's Office. Most customers paid between $2,000 and $4,000 for their initial memberships and some have been taken to Renton District Court by Sunrise to recover unpaid costs on contracts they tried unsuccessfully to cancel.
The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL), which regulates camping resorts under the Camping Resorts Act, filed charges on October 30, 1996 in King County to suspend or revoke Sunrise's license. DOL alleges that Sunrise made misrepresentations to consumers and failed to maintain property, services and amenities.
In addition, a private lawsuit was filed on November 7, 1996 in King County by a major creditor of Sunrise. That action names several defendants, some of which are also named as defendants in other travel-related lawsuits brought by the Attorney General's Office.
To file a complaint against Sunrise, or to request information about rights as a camping club customer, please contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-551-4636. Additional consumer information and topics from the Attorney General's Office can be found HERE.