Travel Pulse is reporting that a proposed merger involving YTB and LTS Neutraceuticals has been put on the back burner and that their CEO has resigned. In addition, they have cut their headquarters staff by a full third in hopes of saving $2.7 million dollars.
Over the years, YTB has gone through several CEOs and other senior level executives in an attempt to turn around the company to earn a profit. YTB's operating losses have been the norm for many years.
YTB has yet to file it's 2011 8K (annual report) with the Securities Exchange Commission and has filed for two extensions claiming executive level departures as the reason. While the report (as of latest extension) is due on June 15th, it remains to be seen if YTB can produce it. According to Travel Pulse, they also indicated that their 10Q (quarterly report) will not be filed in a timely fashion and are addressing this. I suspect that the company will soon be delisted and revert to a private company where legitimate financials will no longer be required to be shared.
There was no mention of the merger with Sixth Scott, LLC or First Travel Alliance. Other than an announcement that Royal Caribbean was again salable, there has been little public indication that this merger is going forward.
A current YTB member reflected that it seems all of the products they were bringing to market are no longer the focus of the company despite significant investment from the YTB members.
And that is a good question?
The current push is for The Leadership Summit (which appears to be a higher dollar reiteration of a past program) where YTB Directors pressure the lower level members to attend these "training sessions" at a cost of $495 (one time fee) an $125 per month. The Directors have been giving marching orders to have 250 enrollments in their area for the summit to happen. The program also requires you to attend (read: pay) a minimum of 12 sessions over a year at an area location (usually involving travel expenses--currently the only areas that have achieved the 250 registrants are Baltimore and Toronto) and you must bring one new prospect with you each month. Once three prospects are enrolled in the program, for $149 monthly fee is waived. Sound familiar?
If the enrollment is successful, this will be a huge cash influx to YTB. To sweeten the pot, YTB has now followed the lead of other MLM companies and is offering a lease reimbursement program for a luxury car--but only if you enroll in the program. Ironically enough, before YTB began to crash and burn, their recruiters were mocking the other MLMs for their car promotions. Now it has come full circle.
While the program alludes to be somehow connected with Franklin Covey, Franklin Covey would not confirm their involvement.
THE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT COURSE COMBINES THE GENIUS OF FRANKLIN-COVEY TRAINING WITH REAL-LIFE ENTREPRENEURS AND LEADERS THAT WILL SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCE – AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY AT AN INCREDIBLY LOW PRICE FOR TRAINING THIS POWERFUL!This is very similar to the tactic YTB employed years ago when they claimed that Roger Staubach, Serena Williams, and yes, even Hillary Clinton were RTAs selling travel through YTB. At one point an independent Director also claimed that Joel O'Steen and his ministries were associated with them--a claim that O'Steen vehemently denied.
As it has been with YTB for many years, there is always another program that will bring the promised successes to the masses--but it always comes with a price. Way back when, it was $500 and $50 a month for a travel site. But then when that did not work out it was because the RTAs did not buy the Success From Home paid sponsorship magazine at a cost. And then the training was holding them back from riches, and then it was because they were not selling the stuff in the mall, it morphed into girdles, coffee, electricity, and so on, and so on.
Each new program infuses just enough cash into the company to launch the next one, kicking the company down the lane just a little. Will YTB ever get to it's destination? Or will the rock that is YTB be kicked off the road. Time will tell.