April 24, 2001
It is with great sadness that we write to tell you that we must wind down the operations of iluvcamp. In short, this means that we will not be able to provide either camparent or campals this summer (though we intend to continue to provide a Trading Post alternative for the remainder of this season).
This has been the most painful decision of our lives. We have committed our lives to the camping industry, and we have poured the last two years of our lives into producing wonderful services for you, our colleagues, and your families. It breaks our hearts to know that we will not be able to deliver these services and thus that we will disappoint both you and them.
Hard as this may be to comprehend at this time, this decision is the lesser of two evils. In short, we concluded this weekend that we could either make this decision now and give you six to ten weeks forewarning or run the very real risk that we would have to discontinue our services in the middle of your summer season. After much soul-searching, we concluded that discontinuing now was the preferred and more noble course.
We feel like a child with a dying pet. The worst thing in the world is to say good-bye and put that pet to sleep, yet, at some point, that is the right thing to do.
How did this situation awful situation come about? The circumstances are complex. They involve a very hostile Internet business environment and several unexpected business factors that only came into clear focus last week. (Indeed, only two months ago, we believed so strongly that iluvcamp would overcome this hostile environment that we personally borrowed and then invested $500,000—a huge amount given our family’s limited resources.) The attached “What Happened To iluvcamp?” describes these circumstances in detail. We strongly urge you to read it.
We know that replacing iluvcamp’s services at this very late stage will be extremely difficult. As camp owners, we, too, will have to scramble to find alternatives. In several days we will email to you a simple “Resource Guide Page” and have asked your Regional Director to call you.
A little over a year ago, we held the first iluvcamp Advisory Board retreat. On the final night of our retreat, we sat around a roaring fireplace and asked each member of the Advisory Board and each member of our senior management team to talk about how they would like iluvcamp to be remembered 20 twenty years from now. It was the glory days of the Internet when almost every day you read about another young person who had made a zillion dollars. Not a single member of our team ever mentioned money. Rather, every one talked about doing something great for camps and families.
I am sorry to say that, in the last 15 fifteen months, we have lost a lot of money, but that sorrow cannot compare with the sorrow that we feel in having failed to do those great things for camping.
For the rest of our lives, we will be grateful for the trust that you placed in us. Also for the rest of our lives, we will deeply regret that we were unable to keep that trust. Please know that we began this challenge with hopes of doing something great for camping. We relinquish it now with the deepest regret, only because the alternative is worse.
Bo Baskin Steve Baskin
P.S. We have attached a “Special Thank You”. We hope that you will read it, too.