TRAVELHOST INC. — They just want your money
Do not waste your time or money with Travelhost. They operate like a franchisor but skirt franchise law very carefully. They make their money on market turnover and printing, NOT on providing national name recognition and quality service. They are, in fact, a very expensive printer. You would be MUCH better off launching your own travel magazine. You cannot make money with their extremely high printing prices. I speak from experience; I lost everything I have and still haven't finished my bankruptcy because I cannot afford to pay my attorney to finish it up.
So how have they gotten away with this scam all these years? Very simply, really. They "reject" your application as a publisher if you ask too many questions. For those of us too naive or excited to ask enough questions, they "approve" you as an "Associate Publisher, " then proceed to tell you when you will be publishing and how often. They make you follow their graphics standards and use their covers, as well as some pages they control. When you run out of money, they keep encouraging you to go one more issue. When you can't pay for printing, they "graciously" offer to provide your printing up front. Then, when you go under, they "graciously" offer to forgive the printing debt--in exchange for you signing a legal release that you won't sue them. Brilliant!
That is the ONLY reason there hasn't been a class action law suit against them. There are very few of us out here who haven't signed their release. The other scam they run is to tell you you can't sell regional ads unless you are an "associate publisher" vs. a "distributor, " and that is another $30, 000. Nobody I knew of ever sold a regional ad, because they aren't able to provide the demographic and readership information one would need to sell a regional ad.
Take my word for it; they don't give a rat about you. They just want your money. Several of us calculated what their turnover rate is, and we figured that we had about a 10% chance of making it a year. That means they took my money knowing full well that it was 90% likely I would fail and lose everything I had. How's that for ethical.
Don't give them a dime. If anyone you know wants to launch or buy a Travelhost Magazine, tell them to launch their own and save the $30, 000. It isn't that hard, but you have to have a reasonable printing expense, otherwise you cannot make the numbers work. They know that, too.