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VIP SKI go into administration

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ousekjarr, Personally, I welcome your insight, Thanks. My accounts knowledge is less deep than yours, but the duck is quacking, even with my interpretation. There was a programme on Panorama recently looking at 3 companies in GOC and the effects of Covix. The one that went under, cue misty eyed shots of crying directors, had a similar multi company structure. I'll be keeping an eye out after their sale of assets, marquees!

Likewise, I will be looking at ATOL 'failed to renew' pages on 1 Oct 21.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ousekjarr wrote:

As I said at the beginning, I'm an interested observer rather than an ex-customer, but on a skiing forum I think there is some benefit in shining a light on failed ski holiday companies especially when they are resurrected, as a business which fails once always has the potential to fail again and its future customers should have some information to help them in understanding the risks to their holiday and/or their money. Again, there's no hint of wrongdoing in what the Sturts have done beyond maybe claiming that VIP Ski built and own the chalets when the legal owners are a different company with the same directors, but I suspect none of their customers were aware of any of this, and even now I suspect many won't care.


This & perhaps a lesson that misty eyed "regrets" over the failure of a business rather too much play on a wrongful perception that the regretter has lost everything rather than carefully separated and salted things away to minimise personal downside exposure. In that respect I guess Alpine Elements was more of a straightforward FU.
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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?
@Dave of the Marmottes, yup, rather than giving the impression that their business burnt to the ground with everything in it but they'll start again and rebuild, the reality is maybe more that a shipping container in the car park caught fire, and only the staff and customers got burnt, while the owners bought the remains of the container for its scrap value and already have another one on order.

Interesting also that the "Deed of rent deposit" charge against the company registered on 27/6/1995 by Maple Oak PLC was satisfied in full on 13/11/2020, 4 days before the administrators were legally appointed on 17/11/2020, and while the company who became the administrators were advising APS Select (providing adhoc insolvency advise from 18/9/2020, and then engaged to prepare for administration from 9/11/2020). I would guess this was for their office building which they leased at 57 Putney Bridge Road in London, as the parties involved were commercial property developers and the deed names Mowlem as one of the parties. It seems the advice from ReSolve Advisory was to slash the costs immediately, which should be no surprise.
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@chocksaway, Was that the tipi company by any chance ?
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@skitow, I couldnt possibly confirm or deny wink
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Would be very interesting if ex-VIP personnel ..... and not in a dissection post mortum.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 19-01-21 19:33; edited 1 time in total
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@skimastaaah, The proof isn't in the pudding.

The proof of the pudding, is in the eating.

(It may look good on the outside, but only when you eat it, will you know if it was made properly).
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!
Any views on comparison between VIP ski and Ski Amis? - who went bust a fortnight later, with a hint that they too will probably be phoenixing.
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Thanks to all (except the usual hateful ****y) contributors , especially ousekjarr. As a lifelong customer of many chalet holiday companies (including VIP, just once) I much appreciate the research revealing what a complicated and precarious business it can be.
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@NickYoung,
Quote:
..not in a dissection post mortum ...
easy to say the pud is "off" when the chef has gone awol. Ski Amis is not (was not) in the same league as VIP, and having eaten both puds I never returned to Amis.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@skimastaaah, I must admit, shonky business practices like this leave a bad taste. Paying "yourself" off, then killing the business, only to phoenix debt free...

Made even more bitter by being entirely legal.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Could it be rather than pay it off, both sides agreed to settle (dissolve) the deed so that another (the new) company could take over the property immediately without any issues.
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@pieman666, The issue seems to be that the 2 sides involved, are the same entity (though legally structured as separate).

Company A, paying Company B off, days before admin, when both companies are owned by the same people...
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@NickYoung, @pieman666, the settlement of the charge against the company is between APS Select Ltd and the landlords, Maple Oak PLC who have been through several name changes in the intervening 25 years - see https://app.duedil.com/company/gb/01469541/cedar-maple-oak-ltd

I think this is fully legit - the advisors were brought in to save or dispose of the company, and presumably as a result of their advice they made some staff redundant and closed the office before terminating the lease. There's enough meat on the bones here without inventing a new bone entirely.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ousekjarr, Oh sorry for not being clear - I was not referencing any particular companies with my comment, simply the principle involved.

And yes, it surely will be legal.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@peerless ploughman, Ski Amis was in business from 1989 until December 2018 when the owners sold up to Travel Marketing Group Ltd (TMG). TMG seems to have been founded for this purpose, and borrowed £1.1m from the previous owners Eduard and Christine van Zadelhoff and a syndicate of lenders, as shown by charges recorded against the company. After one season, they sold the business in July 2019 to a management buyout operating as Time of Your Life Travel Ltd, and then liquidated the TMG company with a deficit of £1.4m including its shares in SA Realisations Ltd which was formerly known as Ski Amis Limited.

Time of Your Life Travel consisted of three managers within Ski Amis, including the granddaughter of the founders, the operations director, and someone with experience of multiple management roles who became the finance director. With the shortened 2019/2020 season due to Covid and no prospect of a 2020/2021 season, they went into administration in December 2020 with assets of £210k and a deficit of £455k including £185k to ABTOT and £136k to SARL Reberty Village who were presumably their primary landlord.

Which goes to show that when you take over a successful business, it pays to know what you are doing, and even then, you need timing and good luck.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pruman wrote:
...If HMRC are a creditor they WILL go after Directors who prefer themselves to their creditors...

Yes, and straightforward when Directors pay themselves dividends / high salaries directly in preference to other creditors. But if they achieve the same result by paying slightly high property rents to legally independent companies who then pass their 'profit' to the same directors, it can be a lot more difficult for HMRC to get anything back.

As above, not saying VIPSki did this - but the opaque structure with overseas property companies, Swiss company etc makes it more plausible.
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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?
I think this is a very useful thread, although about a rather sad and somewhat demoralising topic.

It's a bit snowHeads does Watchdog, Panorama and Inspector Morse, at least as far as a desktop investigation allows. Potentially we gain more insight into how this part of the travel industry works and what that might mean for the money we spend in it, for the proprietors, employees, suppliers and other interested parties.
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@PeakyB, definitely. Having a better understanding of where your money goes is never a bad thing, and as there is (or at least was...) always a steady stream of people asking for recommendations as both customers and potential employees of these companies, more information should always be welcomed as long as it is factual.

The UK ski chalet business model is pretty much broken now by B****t, but no doubt some of the higher end companies will try to keep it going for a while yet with EU staff even though in many cases that means higher costs. If a 24 person chalet can't be staffed, I don't see much hope for it as a self-catered offering as there can't be many groups looking for 24 beds, and people will be much less likely to share accommodation with strangers if there is no staff oversight to give the appearance of keeping things sane.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
lower wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
@lower, There was literally 4 weeks of the season left and 3/4 of the seasons takings in the gas tank.
I'm not accusing or defending any one. I would have thought after 30 years of succesfull trading and making a profit. There would have been a bit left over to ride the storm.

They went bust in November. The season hadn’t even started.

They had allowed customers to defer 50% of the payments until 4 weeks before travel. How does that equate to 3/4 of the seasons takings?

They’d lost the end of the previous season, and it was completely unknown how much of this season would run. They’d have had to staff and gear up for the entire season with associated costs, and with hindsight we now know that it was unlikely any holidays could go ahead. They were probably struggling for bookings as customers were understandably nervous about booking.

That would have potentially meant a whole season’s worth of cost with no revenue on top of the costs they no doubt picked up at the end of last season. I think they would have needed more than just a bit left over.....

I run a business. I can assure you that when you have no sales you rack up losses far faster than you earn profits when times are good.

I’m not surprised they went into administration and it was entirely sensible and normal for them to structure the business in a way that protected their asserts.

I also think it’s entirely unfair to trash someone’s reputation when you no idea of the detail. If they had regularly bubbled the company, I’d agree with you. But the are literally thousands, if not hundreds of decent companies going bust at the moment through no fault of their own.


Very well said.
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Just in case anyone is struggling with getting a refund from ATOL, CAA, ABTOT or their credit card company etc, i had an email yesterday from VIP offering assistance to any customer that needs info to assist with their claim. They suggested emailing admin@vip-chalets.com and they will provide what assistance they can.

Before any of the haters jump in, the email is suitably apologetic, but also makes it clear that VIP is now owned by an new company and that they are not in a position to carry over any deposits or make refunds themselves.
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Anybody know the situation with Ski VIP 2.0 and any ATOL / ABTA / etc bonding scheme?

Are they expected to be required to cover themselves.. ?
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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!
They are currently Closed - but from their website

"VIP SKI has recently been acquired by Vita Brevis Limited (December 2020) and it is going to take us a little time to put in place the necessary consumer protections in order to ensure that your funds are properly safeguarded. Until such time we will only be taking options to reserve your chosen holiday but we will not ask you for any funds. When the relevant consumer protections are in place and we are fully compliant with the Package Travel Regulations then we will ask all option holders to pay a deposit at which point the reservation will be confirmed and all T&Cs will apply.

In due course and before we accept any money from you then all flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website will be financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL certificate."
ski holidays
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Snowfinders wrote:
lower wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
@lower, There was literally 4 weeks of the season left and 3/4 of the seasons takings in the gas tank.
I'm not accusing or defending any one. I would have thought after 30 years of succesfull trading and making a profit. There would have been a bit left over to ride the storm.

They went bust in November. The season hadn’t even started.

They had allowed customers to defer 50% of the payments until 4 weeks before travel. How does that equate to 3/4 of the seasons takings?

They’d lost the end of the previous season, and it was completely unknown how much of this season would run. They’d have had to staff and gear up for the entire season with associated costs, and with hindsight we now know that it was unlikely any holidays could go ahead. They were probably struggling for bookings as customers were understandably nervous about booking.

That would have potentially meant a whole season’s worth of cost with no revenue on top of the costs they no doubt picked up at the end of last season. I think they would have needed more than just a bit left over.....

I run a business. I can assure you that when you have no sales you rack up losses far faster than you earn profits when times are good.

I’m not surprised they went into administration and it was entirely sensible and normal for them to structure the business in a way that protected their asserts.

I also think it’s entirely unfair to trash someone’s reputation when you no idea of the detail. If they had regularly bubbled the company, I’d agree with you. But the are literally thousands, if not hundreds of decent companies going bust at the moment through no fault of their own.


Very well said.


This is snowheads all over though, nothing but anonymous accusations and no accountability. I very much hope that the puffed up, arrogant owner of this site gets the shit sued out of him one day.
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@Gerry, you really are a nasty piece of work aren't you? Could it be that you are just a bit jealous about the success of admin in establishing snowHeads after the SCGB made the huge mistake of closing their forum to non members (subsequently reversed of course but by then too late) Madeye-Smiley
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Alastair Pink wrote:
@Gerry, you really are a nasty piece of work aren't you? Could it be that you are just a bit jealous about the success of admin in establishing snowHeads after the SCGB made the huge mistake of closing their forum to non members (subsequently reversed of course but by then too late) Madeye-Smiley


I may be wrong, but I am sure there was some facebook page set up by someone alleging wrondoing by the site owner.

I had a read some time ago, and it was all tinfoil hat stuff, laughable and clearly the work of someone with too much time and a lot of bitterness to vent - so entirely likely it was also Gerry. Very Happy
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 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.
@GreenDay, Yeah, that's DavinaGoldenballs (David Goldsmith). An equally sad fucker/loser Very Happy
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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
Gerry wrote:
I very much hope that the puffed up, arrogant owner of this site gets the shit sued out of him one day.


Please don't ever complain about someone attacking you personally or your ski club that tolerates you being this much of a bellend in public about a person who runs a site that is currently burying yours and has been for a decade.

Then again I feel for someone who carries the weight of all that anger every day, you must wake up every morning, look in the mirror and just feel pity for yourself. The rest of us can just look on your existence with a shrug of disappointment that you couldn't just be better.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Digger the dinosaur, nailed it. Very Happy
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@adithorp, +1
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I thought "gerry" had crawled back under his rock, but apparently not. How sad.

snowfinders wrote:
I run a business. I can assure you that [cash flow is part of that]
Yes, but one travel company owner was publicly quoted as saying essentially that he assumed the pandemic would end quicker and that the government would bail him out.
On the face of it, that's perhaps not a wise statement to make.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
philwig wrote:

snowfinders wrote:
I run a business. I can assure you that [cash flow is part of that]
Yes, but one travel company owner was publicly quoted as saying essentially that he assumed the pandemic would end quicker and that the government would bail him out.
On the face of it, that's perhaps not a wise statement to make.


Not getting involved in the Gerry discussion, but one company owner's comments should not be used to tar another.
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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?
Is our fave SCGB director off his meds? Dredging up a month old post to have a personal pop?

I'm sure admin would say the directors and owners of VIP Ski 2.0 are quite free to come here and correct any mis-stated facts and perceptions. Equally of course that would mean they would be open to cross examination by sH's sleuths. It's perfectly possible that the owners could genuinely regret needing to resort to phoenixing while at the same time breathing a sigh of relief that what they had earnt previously and stuck into other vehicles was protected.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, I get the feeling he may have had an enforced rest and has come back fighting..... Cool
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MorningGory wrote:
he may have had an enforced rest


Prison? Sectioned? Or bound and gagged in someone's cellar? Shocked Madeye-Smiley Laughing
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mg wrote:
he may have had an enforced rest
Most likely. He doesn't seem to have recovered at all.
Allowing this to continue may not be in anyone's interests.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
albob wrote:
They are currently Closed - but from their website

"VIP SKI has recently been acquired by Vita Brevis Limited (December 2020) and it is going to take us a little time to put in place the necessary consumer protections in order to ensure that your funds are properly safeguarded. Until such time we will only be taking options to reserve your chosen holiday but we will not ask you for any funds. When the relevant consumer protections are in place and we are fully compliant with the Package Travel Regulations then we will ask all option holders to pay a deposit at which point the reservation will be confirmed and all T&Cs will apply.

In due course and before we accept any money from you then all flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website will be financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL certificate."

It now looks as though they either haven't been able to get an ATOL certificate, or just decided to become an accommodation-only supplier, so they don't have to offer any form of consumer protection. And they don't seem to have opted for any of the alternative trust/bonding arrangements. So it is strictly 'buyer beware': pay with a credit card or have insurance that covers supplier failure.

The above statement no longer appears to be on their website!
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!
No flights offered - No ATOL required.
Not offering a package holiday just accomm plus a free transfer and offering to act as agents only for auxiliaries - so no ABTA required.

So your only protection is via the credit/debit card offerings.
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chocksaway wrote:
Not offering a package holiday just accomm plus a free transfer and offering to act as agents only for auxiliaries - so no ABTA required.


According to ABTA:

Quote:
A package holiday is a combination of at least two different types of travel services, which are listed below:

transport (such as a flight, coach or train but not transfers from an airport)
accommodation (such as a hotel, villa or apartment)
car rental
a tourist service (such as a tour guide or a trip to a historical attraction) where this is a significant part of the holiday either because of its value or because it is an essential part of the trip.
It counts as a package holiday if your travel company:

Has asked you to pay a single price through a single payment
Has let you select a combination of services – such as a flight and accommodation – before you agreed to pay for them
Charged you an inclusive or total price for all the services you bought
Advertised or sold the travel services to you as a package or similar term
Sold you one travel service; and then transferred your details, including your payment details to another company which you then booked another travel service through within the space of 24 hours.


I'd say holiday accom + transfer ('free' or not) constitutes a package.
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@Pruman, it says 'not transfers'
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