Skyline and Co-op Membership
As members of the Bear Valley and Highway 4 community we welcome Skyline as the new owner of Bear Valley Mountain Resort. They have a very successful track record in developing and operating resorts with an emphasis on hospitality operations. It would be easy for us to say, "Thank you for buying and good luck on your investment in Bear Valley!", as this community has done for the past 45 years with a series of well-capitalized and under-capitalized partners. As a community we should not simply leave it up to Skyline when we have a unique opportunity to play a role in assuring that this edition of Bear Valley's future is its most successful.
About Skyline Investment, Inc.
Skyline’s revenue in 2013 was $CAD 92M. While a chunk of their business comes from selling condos and other real estate assets, the bulk of their revenue comes from hospitality operations including the different amenities they operate at all of their properties including the Horeshoe Valley Ski Area, the Marina at Port McNicholl and the golf club at Deerhurst. Skyline Financial Report Here
Skyline and SkyLife Club Business Model
One of the most important elements of Skyline’s business model is their reliance on membership based programs for capital as well as input to leverage and inform improvements on their investments. In an August 12 article in the Calaveras Enterprise, Michael Sneyd, the CEO of Skyline stated “Skyline would not have invested without this showing of community support,” he explained. “At all of our properties, we have a membership club-style program. We’re quite used to working with the community and finding a win-win for their involvement, the resort activities and capital improvement plans.” Read Complete Interview Here
At most Skyline properties that community connection is through a concept called their Skylife Club. A membership gives singles, couples, and families access to their various resorts in Southern Ontario where members receive discounts and other benefits when they choose to go skiing, golfing, boating or patronizing different businesses and properties for rent at the different resorts. You can see examples of the different offerings available for Skylife members and their families here: Read Details about SkyLife Membership
Bear Valley is a single resort with a single major amenity, the ski resort and lodge, so an apples to apples comparison of the benefits offered by the Bear Valley Mountain Co-op and the Skylife program is not possible, but it is clear that both the investment in a SkyLife membership and the monthly dues are substantial in order to provide access and benefits to the exclusive amenities offered by the various Skyline properties in and around Toronto.
Skylife Compared to Co-op Membership
The SkyLife Club is owned by Skyline and in contrast the Bear Valley Mountin Co-op is owned by its members. This means that the membership fees and dues from SkyLife members go into Skyline’s general fund. While there is a Skylife advisory board, just as there will be an advisory committee from the BVM Co-op, the final decision for how those funds are spent is decided by Skyline. In contrast, Skyline has agreed to allow the Co-op autonomy in deciding how its membership fees are invested. In addition, a Co-op membership fees is quite affordable today. Over time as both Skyline and the Co-op collaborate to invest in more amenities, benefits are likely to be expanded and current charter members will look back at today’s membership fees and realize the bargain that they made.
Skyline + Co-op Collaboration
In conclusion, Skylife’s business model is highly dependent upon the community for both capital and input on what improvements should be made. Skyline has recognized the unity that is represented by the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative as well as the substantial resources that both its current and future members can bring forward to help Skyline accelerate the development of Bear Valley into a resort that is uniquely positioned as an authentic and affordable family-oriented alternative to larger Tahoe resorts. Skyline has a great track record with its business model in Southern Ontario. As a current or future member of the Co-op we have a unique opportunity to reshape the future of Bear Valley and receive the following in return: Co-op Member Commitments and Benefits
The result of our collective contribution will be a better Bear Valley than ever before, a resort and surrounding economy which we can enjoy and pass on to our children and grandchildren. As a BVMC member we thank you very much for your continued support. If the co-op did not exist, then Sklyine would implement a membership club model to help them with incremental capital and advisory support. As the Bear Valley Mountain Co-op we have a very clear and affordable alternative to such a club that is most equitable to the community and also provides us with substantial benefits and autonomy as members in how our dollars are invested to improve the resort and community.