SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by LEA, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. LEA

    LEA New Member

    Our group reserved 3 PRIMITIVE sites @ the Gitchee Gumee RV park in Marquette, MI for $817.00 for 7 days. When we arrived, the host, Ranger Jeff Glass insisted we pay up front in CASH ONLY & then refused to give us three sites. Even though the campground only had 4 tents there, he would NOT allow us to have more than 2 sites (for 3 families/18 people) because he said he needed to keep the sites open in case someone else wanted them later in the week, because (we just didn't understand) that is how he makes money in his limited season.

    We specifically reserved 3 family sites w/water & electricity, but he wanted us to all squeeze on 2 small sites 20 feet from highway 28 (no fence separating) with NO water or electric & far from all the facilities. That way we could HOOP & HOLLER & our kids would not destroy the million dollar rigs parked on the other side of the RV Park. It was a 10 hour trip for us to get there, so we were VERY specific w/our questions, telling him how many people & vehicles we were bringing & in verifying our reservations - multiple times. Ranger Jeff Glass was VERY friendly until our second vehicle arrived & the ethnically mixed family emerged.

    From that point, he started insulting our families & children & kept telling us he could throw us out of his park for any reason at any time & would not refund any portion of our money if that happened. He insisted that he never received our check for the entire $817.00, but he mysteriously knew the company name on the check, even though we never disclosed that. He pushed for me to NOT stop payment on the check & offered a pound of fudge it we did not. Of course, we did stop the check, because we felt he was going to take our cash, trow us out + cash the check later.

    We were uneasy w/the way we were being treated & since we had come such a long way, could we pay for 2-3 days & then decide if we wanted to stay longer. He refused & said we had to give him ALL $817.00 up front & would keep it all if we chose to leave or if he asked us to leave. NO REFUNDS!!!!

    The reason for this comment/concern is - There needs to be some organization or person that should check the Gitchee Gumee RV park out. We felt like we had driven into a KKK meeting + we were being denied what we had been promised. Long story short, this campground is run by a bait-&-switch artist & only allows white hetrosexuals to stay there. Someone needs to check out their CASH policy as well as NOT delivering what they advertise &/or promise.

    Ranger Jeff needs to be investigated & an organization needs to send a multi-racial group there w/children & see how they get treated. Thank God, no matter how hard he pushed for our cash, we did NOT give it to him & left. We went back to Christmas, MI & stayed @ the Bay Furnace Campground (a much nicer facility) for $12/night per family instead & had a wonderfully memorable vacation.
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    I have two comments on this post. First, there are civil rights organizations that do investigate such events and you should make them aware of what happened to you. I would contact the state of Michigan and go from there. I would also take the time to write letters to all of the RV organizations or recreation related magazines about this incident. If you are not a member, you can find Good Sam, Escapees and FMCA all on the internet. And they also have public forums like this one so post the story on those.

    Second, there is also a place that does campground reviesw on line that is growing in popularity. It is Please do take the time to visit that link and give this park your review.
  3. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Hey LEA, welcome to the forum. Sounds like Kirk gave you some good advice. You should follow through with it. Glad your vacation turned out ok :) ].
  4. turnipbwc

    turnipbwc New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Welcome to the forum. I agree with Kirk. If Ranger Jeff did this to you he is doing it to others. Someone has to step up at put a stop to it. Hats off to you for NOT staying and pulling out.

    ARCHER Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    You used the term: "Ranger Jeff". Ranger?????
  6. vic

    vic New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    We also had a problem with same campground. We stopped for propane there last year and had our motorhome tank fill without asking the price.When he was done filling the price was 3 time what I thought it should be and he would take cash only. Down the road it was less than half the price. When heading home I stopped again and questioned him again but he just got mad and told me to leave.

    I should have reported him never took the time. So beware and tell all your friends about this scam.

  7. CaMPingFooL

    CaMPingFooL New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    That guy sounds like a real shyster!
  8. Jeep_Guy

    Jeep_Guy New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    My sister forwarded me your link, and I was so bothered by some of your insinuations I felt compelled to reply.

    Firstly, my family and I have only recently started camping (4 years w/ travel trailer). We’ve been to several locations around Michigan and Canada. While I cannot claim to be an expert camper, I can only relay my experiences relative to GG and the other locations we’ve visited.

    We’ve managed the 12+ hour drive, camped several times at GG, and found it to be a wonderful campground (CG). We consider it the perfect place for my family to anchor our RV and travel to some of the breathtaking Northern Michigan tourist attractions (Pictured Rocks, The Falls, Copper Harbor, Lake of the Clouds). We've had both sets of grandparents and their dog (in another camper), our kids, and our dirt bikes on two very spacious sites with full hook-up and cable! My little guy and I ride dirt bikes and found a fun stretch of land behind the CGs that can be ridden for miles… it’s sandy and rocky in spots and can be a bit treacherous… very scenic. When I want to ride something a bit more challenging, I put my bike on the Dodge and head to Bass Lake

    The CGs are very clean. I’ve never seen the shower facilities in disrepair or unhygienic. I do not know how he keeps the bugs out!?!? Coffee in the morning… he likes it strong! A movie runs at night. It is very relaxing. Close enough to Marquette that you can visit some prison buddies (LOL) or a student at the University or get a pizza or a gallon of milk. Compared to other State CGs GG is a winner. Is it as rustic as some of the Canadian locations? No. Is it as pretty as the country club-like Petoskey KOA? No. But it works for me.

    Some of the RV sites near the entrance are really close to the main road. I think most of those folks are long-term stays. BUT… To anyone reading the complaint and seeing “20 feet from highway 28” for the “PRIMITIVE sites” should read the rest of the person’s complaint with some skepticism. Twenty feet is seven steps!!! Some sights are relatively close to the road that separates the campgrounds with Lake Superior. The distance might be 50 – 100 feet away with a steep incline through brush and trees. Any person camping can walk through a path and up the hill and cross the road and get to a public, but not busy, beach and watch the northern lights on a good night! Fence? Why have a fence in the UP? What would he be trying to keep out?

    Ranger Jeff, while a typical quirky Yooper (which, I guess, makes me a typical quirky “troll”), has never appeared to me to be anything except a hard-working, enthusiastic gentleman. What I know of Jeff is pretty basic. He is a life-long Yooper whose family has a pretty strong history in the area. He’s a degreed engineer. He’s a Ham-radio operator. He restores old cars. He’s a sculptor. For years and years during the off-season he was a ski pro/instructor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He’s an entrepreneur who built the campgrounds largely on his own. Couple of kids… Wife (or ex-wife… I could never quite figure it out?) is on site with the fudge shop.

    The fudge shop alone is worth the trip!

    The first year out to GG my parents left early and Ranger Jeff told them he would not send them their money back, but would credit us or them for the next stay. He did. REPEAT... HE DID.

    Now time to rip on the statements:
    “PRIMITIVE sites”- Do you want a primitive site or one with water and electric? I’m confused?
    “far from facilities”- So, again they want PRIMITIVE sites, but want to be able to unzip the tent and relieve themselves on the wall of the bathrooms. The facilities are probably no farther than 500 – 1000 yards from the furthest reaches of the habitable campgrounds.
    “HOOP & HOLLER”- Thank you Ranger Jeff for thinking of the guy with two young kids with four grandparents with a 1/100th of a million dollar RV.
    “VERY specific w/our questions… several times”- organized enough to be detailed about their needs, but not organized enough to send the check in a timely fashion... hmmmm...
    “VERY friendly until our second vehicle arrived”- did all this “KKK-Homophobic” behavior happen after the second vehicle arrived or before? And to get this correct, you wanted to have three sites, your check hadn’t cleared or been received, your second vehicle hadn’t arrived yet (no mention of how late the second party was and how many were in the first arriving party), AND you were paying with a COMPANY CHECK? Sounds somewhat improper from a tax standpoint, unless the company is the named the Gay-Interracial-Traveling-Freeloaders. You probably arrived on a Friday or Saturday when a check could not clear.

    Can you blame him for being skeptical?

    IF Ranger Jeff has any preconceived notions or stereotypes, you did nothing to convince him otherwise. You stayed and did not pay- even for the time you camped. You accuse him of Bait and Switch, accuse him of being homophobic and a racist. Pretty strong stuff. I would be surprised if this was the first time you’ve skipped on a payment.

    As far as the posting about the tank fill... Don't know what to say, I guess. Ask before you buy? You were 50% off your guestimate anyways, right?
  9. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Okay Jeep_Guy are you the Yoopers son or dad?
  10. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    This thread of comments makes me think that a member that is eternally a "1 Posts" wonder should have their posts and the thread removed after a certain time. Seems like they can throw something up here that just keeps going ... and going ... and going ... without ever participating again.
  11. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

  12. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Well, I'm not really commenting on the merits of the post because I don't know. It just seems like there's something wrong with this 'shotgun' method of complaining without really getting any discussion with the individual that is complaining.

    Anyway, I'm through. Just a thought that I had. Probably shouldn't have said anything at all.
  13. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    I agree with you Clodhopper. I hate the shotgun complaining and never a follow up. We should remember that there are two sides to a story. guess we could foward it to Jeff and see if he would comment. I also object to calling him Ranger. Kinds of puts a black eye on our Rangers that perform a great service but know that was a tongue in cheek remark.
  14. Jeep_Guy

    Jeep_Guy New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Very funny SnowbirdInFlight!!!

    I’m not one who typically posts anywhere, but again, felt that RJ was getting beaten down by someone who admitted they ran out on a bill. I’ve been next to tenters with brood of brats and over-indulgent parents… no thanks.

    And (yes) thanks for the link to the RV Parks Review. I will have to spend some time looking at the impressions people have about places I’ve already stayed.

    I had to chuckle at some of the GG reviews. The Rock Concert… was it Lea’s crew? A lot of what the people have said is true. The sites and roads are rock and sand, but I can’t say it has ever been really dusty. Frankly, when I camp I’m not really looking for a slab of cement to park on. I’ve got cement in my driveway. Most sites are big. Some are tight. We had enough room in our site to have my travel trailer (Prowler 32’ DBHS) with one slide, a Dodge Ram 2500 with an 8’ bed, and our toys (ATV, Yamaha 225, son’s lil’ Honda, etc.) out! Not too shabby.

    He is a bit harsh on the “no refund” issue.

    If a family is looking for a hot tub and a pool, a tour guide and someone to charge you five bucks for a split log in plastic wrap, GG is not the place to go. If you are looking for pleasant, scenic terrain right outside your door, it’s not the place to go. If you are looking for a wide space to park your stuff, a convenient spot to jump from and see other sights, a typically quiet place where you don’t feel like you are in the Costco parking lot, GG is pretty good. Just don’t ask for your money back…
  15. Jeep_Guy

    Jeep_Guy New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Hopefully this works... our site and my parents'.

    The fire pit to the right of our spot.
  16. hipfilms

    hipfilms New Member

    SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    any buisness is required to have a refund and cancelation policy, and it must be posted. is their a NO REFUND sign posted?
  17. rlmurraysr59

    rlmurraysr59 New Member

    Re: SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    I agree with Mr. Clodhopper. I have complained on this forum site a few times about my Fleetwood motorhome and the dealership. But before I posted anything here I wrote an eight page letter to Fleetwood voicing my dissatisfaction with the quality of their product. I read the original post and wondered why there was no mention of any correspondents with the Better Business Burea, the Chamber of Commerce where the campground is located, or even Good Sam or Woodalls RV directory. And like Jeep Guy I was left wondering about the check or cash for payment in full. I have pulled into campgrounds after hours and then left a check in a box on the office door. But there was a notice of what I was expected to do and how to do it. And if the reservation was made in advance wasn't there a confirmation given. Pig in a Poke isn't a good way to plan for a vacation trip.

    I think Ranger Jim should see the complaint in writing so that he can learn from it, and the Lea should verify her complaints with someone who can investigate. Jeep Guy, you should get a couple nights free camping for your letter of support.
  18. Jeep_Guy

    Jeep_Guy New Member

    RE: SCAM - Gitchee Gumee RV Park

    Hi All,

    Just returned home from a two week stay, one week at GG, one at the Petoskey, MI KOA. My 70-ish y.o. parents came with their dog and their 5thW. My sister and brother-in-law with a tent and a new ATV 4x4. All three parties stayed at GG. Only me, my wife and kids went to the KOA.

    Jeff is a pretty unique guy. Everytime I see him, the more I am intrigued by the guy. You have to meet him to know what I mean. He's creative, he's industrious, but he's probably not the most consistent-businessman-like RV park owner...

    My sister wanted a site for her tent that had water and electric, and because they arrived late at night and a day early, they set up on one of the many open sites near ours. He made them move right away the next day, trying to put them into "tent area". After clearing up the confusion, they did grab a different (not a tent) site near us that suited them fine. I'm going to prompt her to join the link and post a few pics. I know they really liked the campground.

    I did mention last year's campers to Jeff... and he remembered them! He said he did not receive their check, and I (probably) believe him :question: . He was not shy to say he did not want a rowdy bunch like that to ruin his park, and that he's got to keep things quiet for everyone. And again, I'm kinda' happy about it. There were a couple groups of young adults tenting not too far from us in the tenting area... No big deal. I too thought that he would want to know about the postings to understand what is being said.

    I did not look for a cancellation policy, but agree there should be one.

    As for the Petoskey KOA... It is a great KOA. But I'd rather be more in the woods. After a week in the UP forest, I felt like I was in a parking lot with pool.

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