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Snow Chateaux - ceased trading but "phoenixed" to Alpinium Ski Chalets.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
These guys have ceased trading. A search on the CAA website doesnt' include them as being ATOL holders.

I believe they were ABTA bonded so I would suggest contacting ABTA immediately.

Whilst we longer dealt with them we have seen around 5 of our catered chalet operators cease trading since March and more will certainly follow. I think that as furlough is phased out the less secure businesses will falter. Overall I suspect that we will be a reduction in the catered chalet market by about 60-70%.

https://www.snowchateaux.com/

Sad


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 16-10-20 12:35; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not good news. Say what you like about individuals and companies (SC seeemed to get a rough ride on here) but ski businesses going bust cannot possibly be a good thing for the industry as a whole...
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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?
froomie wrote:
Not good news. Say what you like about individuals and companies (SC seeemed to get a rough ride on here) but ski businesses going bust cannot possibly be a good thing for the industry as a whole...


Absolutely, as agencies we are all looking over our shoulder to see who will be next. Hope you are doing well all things considered mate.
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I had a fantastic week in one of their chalets a few years back and couldn't have asked for a better trip. Sad to see them go.
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@Snowfinders, sad news for any company but given issues surrounding them and others this year, perhaps not a shock. Out of interest, which are the others that have succumbed? I know of Ski Val
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@Snowfinders, like @Zermattandchips, said, we also enjoyed a brilliant week in one of their La Tania chalets just over two years ago.

@Montana, Ski Val went out of business just before the end of the 2018/19 season I think.

If supply reduces by 60-70%, then chalet type trips likely to become very expensive. Many operators, such as Mark Warner and Ski Olympic, had already offloaded chalets and chalethotels in the previous 5 years or so.

Sad for all concerned.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I think with the rise of self catering and more people prepared to self drive chalets have become less popular, I have had loads of catered chalet hols but not been on one for ten years now.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've avoided catered chalets for a few years now got fed up of listening to absolute legends who've skied everything better than you, been everywhere and done everything I couldn't care less.

That said sad news for any business.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 15-07-20 12:07; edited 1 time in total
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@James77, +1
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I've shared the dinner table with some awsome bulls-hitters over the years - bless 'em all!
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I've managed to avoid the absolute legends, but not by avoiding catered chalets. More by going as a group, and selecting a chalet that we aim to fill. Some years people drop out so a room becomes spare, which the TO then fills with another (unsuspecting) couple - who for the most part have been great, and usually join in with skiing, night out, and chat/banter in the evening.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just a little update on SnowChateaux, I've just noticed their MD is also registered with another travel company. They've done this before I think and rebranded as a new company. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/12376744/persons-with-significant-control
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I remember arriving in St Anton to find a legend who had arrived early & got a bit of skiing in on the 1st afternoon. “What’s the snow like?” I ask. “It depends what you prefer” comes the reply. It turns out that this legend is skiing on a pair of 10 year old 222 Downhill skis he had found in a skip some years before!!!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

It turns out that this legend is skiing on a pair of 10 year old 222 Downhill skis he had found in a skip some years before!

Pretty sure that does indeed qualify him as a legend.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@midgetbiker, bellend more like!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Beanz wrote:
Just a little update on SnowChateaux, I've just noticed their MD is also registered with another travel company. They've done this before I think and rebranded as a new company. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/12376744/persons-with-significant-control


It's a tailor-made sailing holiday company -set up December last year.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Two more companies here, also Michael David Kew but this time born June 1960 not July 1960. Odd.

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/zEc1TS0AL5G0EAD265x8wshODQk/appointments
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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?
@DJL, They bought More Alps predominantly based in La Rossier
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@DJL, it's hardly surprising that someone who is a director of a winter sports holiday company might want to set something up to fill the summer period, especially if the margins and success of the winter business were waning. To set up a new company in December in anticipation of folding due to Covid would have been truly prescient.
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I meant it was odd that the dob was different.
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DJL wrote:
I meant it was odd that the dob was different.


Often happens with companies house - they get the dob wrong by a month or so maybe even a year. Usually when third parties fill in forms.
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So it appears that although Snow Chateaux used the ABTA logo they were not bonded and were just affiliated to the code of conduct. What a farce that ABTA allows this! We pay ABTA thousands each year and jump through hoops with reporting to fulfill the obligations of being a full member.

https://www.abta.com/news/snowchateaux-limited-ceases-trading-advice-customers

I will post this on theh refunds thread as I know some on there had bookings with SC.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 24-07-20 18:15; edited 1 time in total
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@Snowfinders, Linky noworkee
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Snowfinders wrote:
So it appears that although Snow Chateaux used the ABTA logo they were not bonded and were just affiliated to the code of conduct. What a farce that ABTA allows this! We pay ABTA thousands each year and jump through hoops with reporting to fulfill the obligations of being a full member.


https://www.abta.com/news/snowchateaux-limited-ceases-trading-advice-customers

I will post this on theh refunds thread as I know some on there had bookings with SC.
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@Snowfinders, take the full stop out at the end of the link
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@Snowfinders, so ABTA promote their organisation with the tagline "Travel with Confidence", encouraging travellers to think if they book with a company which displays the ABTA logo then they have protection, but in the case of Snow Chateaux they were not actually bonded? As you say if ABTA knowingly allowed display of their logo without requiring Snow Chateaux to explicitly and prominently make clear that they didn't actually have ABTA bonding then it's a farce and customers must just learn the lesson that display of the ABTA logo by a travel company without explicit reference to a bond is worthless. Sad
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Alastair Pink wrote:
@Snowfinders, so ABTA promote their organisation with the tagline "Travel with Confidence", encouraging travellers to think if they book with a company which displays the ABTA logo then they have protection, but in the case of Snow Chateaux they were not actually bonded? As you say if ABTA knowingly allowed display of their logo without requiring Snow Chateaux to explicitly and prominently make clear that they didn't actually have ABTA bonding then it's a farce and customers must just learn the lesson that display of the ABTA logo by a travel company without explicit reference to a bond is worthless. Sad


Agreed. I'm furious that this is allowed. It's an utter disgrace and a farce. I offer no defence at all.
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As always, the devil is in the detail

From their ( cached ) website, under 'Foreign Travel Advice'

"We are a member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct.
The travel arrangements you buy from us aren’t covered by ABTA’s scheme of financial protection. "

Who reads all the small print....!?!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Snowfinders, will you be giving some feedback to ABTA as a full bonded member regarding your concerns about this?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@albob, the place to put the words about "not being covered by ABTA's scheme of protection" should surely be right next to their display of the ABTA logo?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Indeed..
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Alastair Pink wrote:
@Snowfinders, will you be giving some feedback to ABTA as a full bonded member regarding your concerns about this?


You can't see the steam coming out of my ears....100% will I make my feelings known. Will it alter the system? I very much doubt it.
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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?
His Summer company is a sailing business Etvade. I have been chartering and flotilla sailing in Greece for about 15 years. I have done a massive amount of exploring different companies and sailed with most. However I have never heard of Etvade (I would remember such a name). The Beach Club mentioned is run by a well known sailing holidays company Seafarers. Many of the flotillas are sold by numerous 3rd party companies. I imagine Etvade is just selling on other peoples holidays.

Good luck to him this year. Doubt many are sailing in the Med in 2020. First year we are not.
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Looks like they might be going back to use the morealps brand. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10474421
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Interesting that he may be the director of Snowchateaux but he is not a (serious) shareholder, whereas he is the sole shareholder in Etvade. There are two persons listed as significant (having control) shareholders, one with between 50% and 75% and the other with between 25% and 50%. Morealps is dissolved and More Holidays has an active proposal to strike off.
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If I remember rightly it's the same guy that had another La Rosiere based company called Snowcrazy who also disappeared.
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Beanz wrote:
If I remember rightly it's the same guy that had another La Rosiere based company called Snowcrazy who also disappeared.

Yes I believe they bought Snowcrazy who ran the old Ski Olympic chalet hotel in La Rosiere, i forget its name now - it had the old macerator toilets. Roc Noir - name has just come back to me. Knocked down and rebuilt as a lux accommodation I believe.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Beanz, Just checked with a buddy who worked for Snowcrazy, you are bang on.
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I've had a look at SC in Companies House and, wow, there's a lot of complications revolving around directors with small shareholdings and controlling investors (by virtue of appearing to own a lot of shares) who are not directors. At 31 May 2019 some or all of the shareholders had also loaned the company over £2,000,000, with more following - I wonder how much they got back?

A question about SC - when they sold accommodation, did they also sell lift passes on the same booking, even at a later stage?
In France ski lifts count as transport - when the vat rate on transport changes, so does the vat rate on lift passes.
If they sold accommodation and "transport" were they selling two components under French package travel rules? In which case were the directors personally responsible (edit) for selling package holidays without bonding?(end edit) That's something for a French lawyer to chew on!
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Nemisis wrote:
I've had a look at SC in Companies House and, wow, there's a lot of complications revolving around directors with small shareholdings and controlling investors (by virtue of appearing to own a lot of shares) who are not directors. At 31 May 2019 some or all of the shareholders had also loaned the company over £2,000,000, with more following - I wonder how much they got back?

A question about SC - when they sold accommodation, did they also sell lift passes on the same booking, even at a later stage?
In France ski lifts count as transport - when the vat rate on transport changes, so does the vat rate on lift passes.
If they sold accommodation and "transport" were they selling two components under French package travel rules? In which case were the directors personally responsible (edit) for selling package holidays without bonding?(end edit) That's something for a French lawyer to chew on!


Point of sale was technically in the UK but that would be a moot point anyway as the Package travel regulations (PTRs) are under EU legislation. A lift pass purchased later than accommodation, or vice versa, does not form a package.
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