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Ski Club of Great Britain Chief Exec resigns

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
hamilton wrote:
@On the rocks, the AGM pack indicates '1000' freshtracks places sold. Dunno what the total # of places is... but that represents a sizeable turnover. hopefully some margin in there....


Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity. Well let's do some rough maths with a finger in the air. The Club has about 20 staff - let's be kind and say 15 are involved in selling/marketing/operating of holidays, and managing the Reps. Total staff costs were £670k to 04/2020 but since thinning down it might be circa £500k. So roughly £350k of that might be just the staff costs relating to holidays. In other words, for each of those 1000 holidays, maybe £350 of it is HQ staff costs alone. Then there's the cost of providing a Rep for your trip, plus a % of the overall overhead, like office space etc. Not difficult to see how the price of each holiday might need to carry a £500+ overhead burden before ANY profit is made. This has to be why the prices, like a low season week in Solden for £2199 (not including flight), have to be so unrealistic.

Any sensible business person, with skin in the game, wouldn't/couldn't operate like this. I don't think there's much room for margin and definitely no room for error. Without their investment income, it simply wouldn't be sustainable in my opinion.

1000 customers across a 20 week season would fit neatly into maybe just two resorts, but then you'd have revolting Reps. The comparison is made with Snoworks - well the vast majority of their trips are mainly Tignes, Meribel, St Anton and a smidge of St Foye, La Plagne and some exotica.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pruman wrote:
... but then you'd have revolting Reps.
I think you'll find that SCGB Ltd Director Gerald Aitken has been consistently revolting in these pages, so that's perhaps not an issue.
The cross-subsidization of revolting Reps seems to be a significant business challenge for them though.

They must love this thread.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Pruman wrote:


Any sensible business person, with skin in the game, wouldn't/couldn't operate like this. I don't think there's much room for margin and definitely no room for error. Without their investment income, it simply wouldn't be sustainable in my opinion.
.


It's not just unsustainable it's mental even if the numbers are out by a bit as @gerry will no doubt tell us in defence of his beloved without answering anything of substance. The only conclusion is that the gravy train riders have seen the broken bridge over the gorge but are determined to ride it harder and faster until they have to jump off (or the deluded stay on board).
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@Dave of the Marmottes, This is what I've been saying all along. In their hearts they know it's doomed in anything like its current 'jobs for the boys' form. Rather than deal with that problem they are focusing on sucking as much out of the soon to be corpse and obfuscation, rather than any notion of cure.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
eblunt wrote:
In their hearts they know it's doomed


and, now I've had sight of the Report & Accounts, that doom is also illustrated on paper.

Percentage of membership aged 65+ is increasing
55-64 increasing
24-44 is only 10% of the membership
1% of the membership is under 24
Nearly 70% of the membership is south of a line from Norwich to Bristol
93.1% English resident
Only around 700 members from Scotland

It's really the GSCSEE (Geriatric Ski Club of South East England) - I hope Trademark Tony has grabbed that one, they might need it.

This is not a Covid or Brexit thing, the graphs have been heading in the wrong direction for a long time. 1% of Members are under 24, ONE PERCENT!

So, if anyone is joining the Zoom AGM on thursday, the question must surely be along the lines of:

What's the plan Stan?
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Anyone Zoom onto the AGM yesterday? I was busy hoovering.

But, judging by the Facebook group - Ski Club of Great Britain. Members: past, present and future! it was possibly a bit of a back-slappy affair.

(side note. If you go onto Facebook and find the Ski Club of Great Britain. Members: past, present and future! group. Look at the main picture. Am I right in thinking the guy on the left is a Member with member in hand relieving himself?)


Pisteoff asks......
Quote:
Did you attend SCGB AGM? Are you optimistic about the future of the Club, if so why? Can it once again be a thriving club?


Member with head in sand replies
Quote:
Trevor, Angus and the current council have done a great job "stemming the bleeding". The club once again looks stable and no reason for it not to thrive. By separating the holiday business from the membership the club is in a good position - even if covid decimates the season. No other British club (from what I know) provides the same service.


- The 'bleeding' is merely masked by the exceptional performance of the Club's investments (which are on paper and can go up as well as down)
- There is a big reason for it not to thrive and that is the age profile and the relentless loss of Members year-on-year since pre-Covid
- Separating holiday biz from membership biz still adds up to the same group performance
- What 'service' exactly?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Pruman,
Quote:

(side note. If you go onto Facebook and find the Ski Club of Great Britain. Members: past, present and future! group. Look at the main picture. Am I right in thinking the guy on the left is a Member with member in hand relieving himself?)
Laughing
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
It seems as if the Snow Clubs Hon President didn't bother to attend the AGM...

https://twitter.com/ChemmySki/status/1463938163261456388
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Just out of curiosity, what would happen to the assets of the club if it were to fold and what are the processes for that to occur ?

Just wondering if it's being kept going as some sort of zombie-like affair as a few people think that if they keep it going for a bit longer and the membership continues to decline rapidly them as a consequence it were to be wound up they might benefit from a distribution of the assets
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@dsoutar, what assets? They may have about 4 years left before they run out of funds completely on the current approach - could be longer if they bump the membership fee up or change the strategy significantly, but could be much shorter if they screw up and lose £1M in a year again. They have investments worth about £1M, but those are subject to sale to cover ongoing costs, so unless they can cut the membership down to under 100 within the next year and then wind up the club there will be nothing to distribute.
ski holidays
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I wonder how you shut a "limited by guarantee" company, and if they've any specific statutes which describe how they will do it.
Perhaps those would have been drawn up when they became a company a few years ago, so maybe people here have copies.

Separating out their subscription business from the holiday company is at least "doing something".
What did they claim was the rationale for that, and what does it mean exactly? A stand-alone travel business... hmm.

The demographic has obvious downsides, but they're also likely to have more disposable income than younger people.
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
philwig wrote:
I wonder how you shut a "limited by guarantee" company, and if they've any specific statutes which describe how they will do it.
.

The Club articles don't allow for a distribution in the way envisaged above, members wouldn't want it and carpet bagging wouldn't work ... not that there is much in the way of assets left anyway.
Members want the club to thrive again, and are strongly loyal - and they are proud of their history, generous and supportive (within the Club mainly) - all fantastic qualities. It is a remarkably rich place to start from, but also one that drives complacency.
It is remarkable is that we hear no-one putting out a new vision for the Club which can grow - one that appeals to a wide group of skiers including those in their 20's 30's and 40's. and can drive membership. Talk is mostly defensive and arguing the problems are all 'in the past, fault of bad management then', and the club has been saved/turned around (a rather generous interpretation of a year in which the club has lost slightly less than its investment returns, after £1m+ of membership income). And dressing up some movement of the deckchairs (and internal separation of Freshtracks and membership) also takes eyes away from the real challenge.
Stopping the bleeding was only a starting point - necessary, but pointless in itself. To me Council has fallen in to almost exactly the same trap they were in before, not facing up to the challenge and believing their own rhetoric. And blaming their predecessors, exactly as their predecessors did before them (and some have managed to serve in both regimes, saying the same thing). Not daring to make the difficult decisions, and not daring to challenge the way things "have always been".
Where is the vision of a compelling, in resort offer for all skiers, young and old? Without this the club cannot survive to any significant extent.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

It is remarkable is that we hear no-one putting out a new vision for the Club which can grow - one that appeals to a wide group of skiers including those in their 20's 30's and 40's. and can drive membership


They have eyes yet cannot see. They have ears yet cannot hear.

Ignore the high priests of the SCGB (TM) and their Roman PraeGerryan guards!

Davina! Your time is nigh.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
philwig wrote:
I wonder how you shut a "limited by guarantee" company, and if they've any specific statutes which describe how they will do it.
Perhaps those would have been drawn up when they became a company a few years ago, so maybe people here have copies....


pisteoff wrote:
The Club articles don't allow for a distribution in the way envisaged above,..


The Club Memorandum and Articles from 2001 are on the Companies House website. (They may of course have been amended since then). Memorandum paragraph 7.2 states: "If upon the winding up or dissolution of the club there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall be paid to or distributed among the Members of the Club equally".

If it is wound up with debts then current members, plus any who left in the previous 12 months, are liable for a contribution of up to £1. (Which in practice probably wouldn't be worth collecting).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The Memorandum of Association for the club is freely available via Companies House - https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/04312167/filing-history/MTY4ODg4OTRhZGlxemtjeA/document?format=pdf&download=0 - with a separate Articles of Association following after the legal forms. As these are from 2001, the quality is not wonderful but the detail is clear enough:



Even back then they were incapable of doing anything as simple as numbering paragraphs...

Contrary to the statement by @pisteoff above, article 7.2 clearly states that all remaining assets will be divided equally among the remaining members.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@ecureuil, <snap> - if they have been amended since, they've failed to file that amendment with Companies House, and so the change is null and void - see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/life-of-a-company-event-driven-filings/life-of-a-company-part-2-event-driven-filings#change-of-constitution
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Pruman, noted. Although the club is split into 2 separate sections, ‘membership’ and ‘holidays’. My point was simply that at face value, 1000 places at (avg) 1k/place is a hefty turnover…. Clearly someone has to work the numbers to make that a -profit-…. But its possible. Whether the price is perceived as ‘fair value’ for the product is another matter.
As for the repping… its long been an open secret that the non-skiing member subsidised the reps service…. And long may that continue!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
hamilton wrote:
@Pruman,
As for the repping… its long been an open secret that the non-skiing member subsidised the reps service…. And long may that continue!

Yes - and members are happy to do so. As the reps service declines so do membership. The interesting thing is that as a member of a club you pay for things which you may use, which you think are good ... even if you don't use them. - you might join because someone takes you along to a repped day and you enjoy it ... and stay a member for the other benefits, snow reports, discounts etc and the possibility you want to ski with a rep or meet up with members some time in the future. The other benefits are simply not compelling enough to attract new members, this should be obvious in the numbers. There has long been a strong belief that the reps service has been central to club recruitment and retention. The issues in France mean that there is effectively no Club presence in France (except in Val D'Isere - big thanks to the group there) and to my mind the Club has long been in a nonsense denial of the importance of this. It is crucial for its survival that the Club has a meaningful in-resort presence in France ... snow reports and group skiing are central to this.
Council are not addressing this and are at best plugging a few holes in the hull - leaving the gapping hole - and rearranging some deck chairs. This is the reality - reflected in declining and aging membership and ever diminished benefits - yet if you argue this and put forward plans that would create a new sea worthy vessel - you are seen as negative and attacked. I can't see this changing, however I do think the opportunity for a British Ski Club for the C21 remains.
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hamilton wrote:
... My point was simply that at face value, 1000 places at (avg) 1k/place is a hefty turnover…. Clearly someone has to work the numbers to make that a -profit-…. But its possible. ...
It's a very modest turnover. TUI will hit that number with about three charter flights.
If that's all they have, it's so small it's probably not for example cost effective to buy them.

When they bought their Tour Operator, how much did they pay and what numbers of holidays
was that operator selling at that time?


hamilton wrote:
... As for the repping… its long been an open secret that the non-skiing member subsidised the reps service…. And long may that continue!
A variant of the gym subscription model.
However I think the point is that the model is no longer even legal in some countries, even if people were willing to "subscribe" in order to restrict their choices to that one gym.
It's a tough sell if you're trying to get new customers.

pisteoff wrote:
... It is crucial for its survival that the Club has a meaningful in-resort presence in France ... snow reports and group skiing are central to this.
I'm not sure that one specific country is all that important.
Many of us find the idea of paying for "snow reports" from a Tour Operator an unlikely concept.
"Group skiing" I think is a niche thing as probably always was. You can do it for free in most North American resorts,
or just book a chalet holiday and be sociable.. or use a Tour Operator who offers that service.
Why would anyone "subscribe" to restrict themselves to one single Tour Operator?
ski holidays
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philwig wrote:


pisteoff wrote:
... It is crucial for its survival that the Club has a meaningful in-resort presence in France ... snow reports and group skiing are central to this.
I'm not sure that one specific country is all that important.
Many of us find the idea of paying for "snow reports" from a Tour Operator an unlikely concept.
"Group skiing" I think is a niche thing as probably always was. You can do it for free in most North American resorts,
or just book a chalet holiday and be sociable.. or use a Tour Operator who offers that service.
Why would anyone "subscribe" to restrict themselves to one single Tour Operator?


Agree with this. I've no direct evidence but I suspect SCGB holidays primarily attract people who want to do relatively adventurous social skiing but without necessarily having a group or even partner of their own. It's highly likely that the group element is part of the attraction and was certainly for the rep lead skiing of yore, where members would much prefer that to going solo and busking it with people they happened to meet organically.

Now if you assume that rep led skiing is dead ( or is after a few run ins locally in resort with the new Schroedinger's rep model) - it's perfectly logical to see that the "club" simply becomes a TO offering the type of camerarderie and holidays that its members want. And it could thrive at that under a KISS approach. At the same time it could get off the teat of underserved members' subs and be honest with them. Result - no need to worry about falling member numbers, in fact no real need to have paid membership at all. Plus they could specifically target hols at the younger demographics with less of an "old man" feel about them like bigging up afternoons at the Folie or cheap bunking in Morzine or Sauze or suchlike. I sense from the same old defensive BS on @pisteoff's faceache page that no one however has the wit or ambition for the things that could really take them forward, and that members have fallen once again for the "It was all the fault of past mismanagement and we've put all that behind us". I mean MAYBE that's true but if I was throwing good money at ot it would be more in hope than expectation.
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Sadly for our British friends on their island... the season is over for the majority of them and all other types (winter sun) of overseas vacations...

I think they can thank Premier Johnson and his cohorts for the catastrophic mixed messging/Uturns and general mishandling of whole pandemic in the UK ...

We will miss you all on slopes this season ..
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@stanton, You must be a Russian troll bot, of course the UK will be skiing in Europe this season, a few rules and a few extra ££'s wont stop us!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Aren’t there like 100 SH’s skiing in Tignes?

And ironically Austria is in lockdown and St Anton is still closed?
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BobinCH wrote:
Aren’t there like 100 SH’s skiing in Tignes?

140 snowheads (+ about 9 no shows) - about double the number who have come on SCGB Freshtracks most popular holiday, Premier party.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 8-12-21 7:58; edited 2 times in total
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pisteoff wrote:

SCGB Frashtracks most popular holiday, Premier party


Perhaps they were worried it was sanctioned by Boris?
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