VIP SKI Goes Out Of Business
17th November 2020
Last modified on November 19th, 2020
The company had been going for 30 years and has been unable to survive the Covid-19 crisis. UPDATED
It focused on the higher end of the market offering holidays mainly in France, but also in Austria.
It ran 60 of its own chalets in the Alps, in 10 different resorts including Val d’Isere, Morzine, Avoriaz and St Anton.
“Despite the wonderful support of our guests, colleagues and partners, we have been unable to navigate the extraordinary challenges of managing a winter ski operator through the current Covid crisis.
“We are sorry to announce VIP SKI has ceased trading today.”
The administrators have been called in.
Mark Supperstone and Simon Jagger of ReSolve Advisory Limited have been appointed as Joint Administrators.
They have issued the following information for people who have booked for next winter or are owed money:
Package holidays (including flights)
If your booking included flights, you will need to contact the CAA as your booking is protected by their ATOL scheme (no: 3556).
If you booked a non-flight package or accommodation only, this is protected by ABTOT (no: 5240) or by your credit or debit card issuer.
If you paid the Company directly using a credit or debit card you will need to submit a claim for a refund to your card issuer.
“The loss of VIP SKI will be mourned not just by its legions of returning customers, but also by its colleagues in the UK snowsports industry,” said the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.
“I have spoken to a number of people who are very sad and genuinely surprised as it was a very well-run company with a solid customer base and offered an excellent product.
“Some of the senior staff are friends and loyal readers of PlanetSKI who I have known for many years.
“The people at VIP were part of the fabric of the UK snowsports industry and will be sorely missed by us all.
“It was thought that the top-end of the market would be less vulnerable than the lower-end, to the severe impact of Covid-19.
“My understanding is that the closure was purely due to the pandemic, rather than Brexit worries, an unsound financial position and the other pressures.
“The company would have had to refund much money after resorts closed back in March as the season came to an abrupt end.
“Very few people are booking for this winter, and therefore parting with money, and with numerous outgoings to commit to in a very unstable time the numbers would simply not have added up looking forwards.
“I suspect that sadly a number of other companies will go into administration shortly and we will see a further reduction in holidays from the major operators.
“I expect further announcements very shortly.”
There has been swift reaction from PlanetSKI readers over on social media:
Mal Sargeant:They were a superb brand, portfolio and company. Such sad news.
Tracey Hill: Such a shame for those relying on this company
Fiona Jane Best: Another blow for skiers and the ski industry. Sad news.
AJ Johnson: RIP ski industry.
Lydia Crisostomo: Such sad news.
Julie Thomas Harrison: Really sad.
Camilla Brownlow: Such sad news, they were a great company and looked after our clients so well. My thoughts are with all the super people who worked there.
Gareth Ebbage: Sad news. Tough times for ski and travel. The light at the end of the tunnel is still a few months away.
Mal Sargeant: They were a superb brand, portfolio and company. Such sad news.
Becky Horton: So sorry to read this…
Adrian Gravil: Such sad news to hear. Only went with them once but was an awesome trip to Lech and will be remembered always.
Catherine Cooper: Oh no that’s a real shame
Holger Gassler: Sorry to hear this
Liz Vizard: We were looked after by them so well in Val d’Isere. Probably the best catered accommodation we ever had. Such a shame.
Tracey Hill: Such a shame for those relying on this company
Dar Sigala: So sorry to hear this. I have faith and hope we are at a turning point for lives and business to be reborn and rebuild our futures..The vaccine is close . If there was a way, I would say hold on.
The loss of VIP SKI follows the demise of Harris Holidays that ran Ski Weekends.
Many others have been slashing their programmes for next winter.
The Managing Director of VIP SKI, Andy Sturt, has this message that is posted on the company’s web site under the words, “We are so sorry our doors have closed.”
“I need to let you all know that we ceased trading last night and I have today placed our Tour Operator in administration, without doubt the hardest decision of my life.
“I never considered VIP SKI as my business, but rather a community of people and skiers; hundreds of thousands of guests, tens of thousands of colleagues, landlords, partners and suppliers, many of whom have become close friends, drawn together over the last thirty years around a common love of skiing and unbridled enjoyment in happy selfless service.
“Until the very end I have always cared deeply about everyone who has been a part of this journey and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
“Since the day that Covid was added to our lexicon we have tried desperately to wrestle a path through incoherent, inconsistent and sometimes deeply unhelpful government guidance on refunds and travel restrictions, a patchwork of European lockdowns, flight cancellations and a complete and absolute lack of specific government support for our sector.
“Despite the support of our guests and many of our partners, it has proved impossible to navigate a way through this.
“Without a sea change in booking behaviour, for which I can see no reasonable expectation in the short term, I cannot in good faith continue to trade and put our colleagues, guests, landlords and partners through the absolute chaos, personal misery and additional financial loss that would ultimately occur were our failure to happen in the middle of the ski season.
“I am sincerely sorry to all of you; colleagues, guests, landlords and partners alike, for not being able to find a way through this and for letting you all down.
“I will continue to work tirelessly to try and assist our Administrators, ReSolve, to ensure that this painful process is executed as professionally and courteously as possible.
“Thank you all for being a part of my journey over the last thirty years.
“After a little break I hope to try and find a way of rebuilding from scratch and making a new home for you all that I can be proud of once more.”