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Leigh tells us:
> Actually, this happen all the time with many businesses (think of how
> many people have lost their lifetime health club memberships with
> health clubs that later go belly up).  The "lifetime" contracts usually
> die with the change in ownership unless specifically provided for i the
> terms of transfer.  Not necessarily fair, but perfectly legal.
>
> A class action suit will likely go nowhere on this issue, although
> some skilled legal counsel may be able to greenmail a small
> settlement out of the owners.  But would anyone do it on a full
> contingency basis?  Extremely unlikely.

Emerging from a few months of ignoring SkiVT-L ...

I think you are making an incorrect analogy here.  First, I agree the new 
owners are indeed perfectly correct in not honoring those lifetime 
season passes.  They bought the assets from corporations held by the 
American Skiing Company and got the State of Vermont to transfer the 
lease over to them.  They did not buy the Sherburne Corporation that 
sold those lifetime passes.

However, the American Skiing Company is not bankrupt.  Among other 
things in the SEC filings, there is a $3 million escrow account 
associated with the Killington asset sale.  If nobody makes claims 
against Killington, that money goes to ASC.  The lifetime pass holders 
have a contract with a corporation held by ASC.  I suspect that the 
Vermont Attorney General's office will go after that $3 million to 
compensate the lifetime pass people for ASC violating the contract.  
There may very well be another escrow account associated with the sale 
of Mt Snow (I have never looked).  The People's Republic AG office 
could grab that one, too if it exists.  There are also considerable ASC 
assets a couple of states over in 'Chromer and Skip King land.  I 
presume a lein could be placed on Skip's old haunts at Sunday River or 
at Sugarloaf.

In the end, everybody is mostly happy.  The new owners don't get stuck 
with a bunch of people skiing for free because of some deal done in 
ancient times.  The lifetime pass holders get enough compensation that 
people who bought lifetime passes recently on the resale market don't 
get screwed too badly.  ASC gets $3 million taken from them as a final 
parting shot.

I believe Preston Smith & family own a significant chunk of the original 
lifetime passes that have yearly transferrable skiing rights.  I see quite 
a bit of irony in Pres getting a big chunk of cash out of ASC at this late 
date.

Geoff

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