30-Year Old Ski Operator Ceases Trading, Unable to Survive Covid-19 and Travel Restrictions

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VIP Ski, coronavirus, covid-19, administration,
Credit: VIP Ski / SnowBrains

A British ski company that has been providing ski holidays to France and Austria for 30-years announced they had ceased trading with immediate effect, unable to survive the global pandemic affecting their business.

“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.”

– Andy Sturt, managing director

VIP Ski, who offered high-end trips and chalet stays across the Alps, has gone into administration, blaming covid-19 and the resulting travel restrictions enforced by the government.

A message on their website to customers with trips planned reads:

Please be advised that APS-Select Limited, trading as VIP SKI, has entered Administration on 17 November 2020, with Mark Supperstone and Simon Jagger of ReSolve Advisory Limited being appointed as Joint Administrators.

The Company has ceased to trade with immediate effect.

We advise any customers to visit The Civil Aviation Authority (“CAA”) website at www.caa.co.uk where you can find additional support. We will endeavour to update this notice as more information becomes available, however some initial guidance is below.

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). Further information can be found here.

Non-flight packages
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.

If you paid via any other method you will need to submit a claim to ABTOT. Further information can be found here.

Should you have any queries in relation to the Administration, please contact ReSolve Advisory.

Just last week a number of major UK-based ski operators announced they would be canceling all December trips, with one company, Interski, canceling all bookings for the entire 20/21 season.

Interski, who has been offering ski packages to the Aosta Valley, Italy for 40-years, has “made the exceptionally difficult decision to cancel all bookings for the Winter 2020/21 season.”

We have been actively monitoring the development of the coronavirus situation both within the UK and in Italy. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved as we had all hoped.  We have given a great deal of consideration to the various government restrictions on travel and tourism, and how to mitigate them, whether that be quarantine requirements, travel advice from the FCDO or the Department For Education, as well as in-resort limitations on the various activities to be enjoyed in the Aosta Valley.

Ultimately, the safety and enjoyment of our clients are of paramount importance and alas, we feel that we cannot ensure this nor meet the high standards of service to which our clients are accustomed. As a result of these restrictions and the trajectory of the Covid-19 situation across Europe, we have made the exceptionally difficult decision to cancel all bookings for the Winter 2020/21 season.

The current situation is negatively impacting all countries, economies , and individuals around the world and few people are unaffected. However, we have worked successfully in the Aosta Valley for nearly 40 years and we firmly intend to turn our attention towards Winter 2021/22 and another 40 years.  As a company, we are fortunate in that our decades of success will allow us to weather the current storm and guarantee our return to normal activities from a position of strength.

On behalf of the whole Interski team, we would like to wish you the very best in these challenging times and to thank you for your ongoing support. We hope to see you soon in the beautiful Aosta Valley. 

The Italian government has declared The Aosta Valley, Lombardy, and Piedmont as ‘Red Zones,’ meaning people can only leave their homes for essential reasons. Unfortunately, despite what we might think, skiing is not deemed essential.

The three areas, home to the country’s biggest and best ski areas, began the strictest form of lockdown on Friday, November 6, 2020. Calabria, in the south of the country, will join them. The restrictions are to be enforced for at least two weeks, and although not nationwide, will affect more than 25% of the country’s population.

The rules of the lockdown are:

  • No one will be able to leave or enter a “red zone.”
  • Citizens must stay home, except to go to work or shop for essentials.
  • Citizens can also exercise near their homes but must wear masks.
  • Factories will remain open, as will essential services such as pharmacies and supermarkets.
Aosta Valley, Italy,
Aosta Valley, Italy

Four other UK operators have also canceled all holidays until the New Year, with trips scheduled to begin in December being canceled. The UK’s largest ski operator, Crystal Ski Holidays, announced that all their ski holidays are still scheduled to operate as planned.

France, Germany, and Austria have all entered lockdowns, forcing their ski resorts to close. So far, Switzerland has yet to capitulate to the ravaging pandemic. Last week, Winter Park Resort, in Grand County, CO, announced they would be postponing their opening day due to, among other things, ‘health concerns.’

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