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VCC Statement to CIOG Members (Long)


Where Do We Go From Here?

(version française)

Dear fellow Intrawest and Embarc owners,

I read, heard and felt the frustration and disillusion permeating your Facebook posts. The recent decision of the Federal Court of Appeal accelerated a rising awareness among members that we have been and continue to be, like it or not, stuck with a deeply unethical business model that Intrawest Corporation set in motion and that DRI magnified when it purchased Embarc interests. I decided to write this post when I read Michel’s recent post in the Club Intrawest Owners Group (CIOG) Facebook group. Michel, well said. I know your sentiment echoes strongly amidst the thousands of members who are coming to terms with what they truly own: a mere right of occupancy secondary to DRI making our so-called-members-only-vacation-homes commercially available to the general public at a price often less than that of our maintenance fees. I share that frustration. Now, what should we do with this frustration?

A popular idea is to litigate our way through and through, either to get a full reimbursement, partial reimbursement and/or force DRI to implement Intrawest Corp and DRI promises at the time of sale (for example). Litigation is appealing right now because getting adversarial may have a soothing effect on our desire to exact compensation for being had. I get it. I’m a member of the Quebec Bar and I have seen my fair share of litigation. Let me say at the outset that the VCC is not and will not set aside litigation options when it becomes the best option available to us. And, until such time as it may become the best option, we are preparing for it. To be clear, the VCC is not bent on busting up the trust and liquidating Club assets and ending vacations in our Club. I for one have thoroughly enjoyed my vacation experiences in the Club! So what has the VCC been doing exactly if not going all out with the litigation option?

We have decided to follow this 9 step trajectory. It is now time to share with you what the VCC is doing behind the scenes:

  1. Legitimacy. It all starts with our actions being legitimate, that is, in the interest of fellow members. To this end, we are conducting a very detailed survey of members. If you have not taken it, now is the time. Why this survey? The VCC wants to advocate, on behalf of members, what members really want. We want to make it clear for DRI that we cannot be characterized as a bunch of a few radicals and rebels with wildly unbelievable claims. It all starts with legitimacy. Legitimacy starts with having credible survey results allowing us to back up claims of under what conditions and beliefs members made their purchase(s), what were the key reasons why they bought, were they told that the Board of their Club was fully controlled by Intrawest Corp (or DRI since the sale) and not by individual members, what objectives do they consider priorities, etc.. This survey is ongoing. We have now over 400 answers. We need more. Please submit your answers.

  2. Craft a Vision statement. No, not a boring corporate vision statement to hang on the conference room wall. More something that accurately depicts what members need in order to be happy with their Club. Something depicting the Club operating under an ethical business model. I am a firm believer that it all starts with knowing what we want. The VCC accordingly met for an all day meeting on 23 June and we crafted a Vision statement that you will find at the end of this post, below.

  3. Decide on a Mission statement. The Mission statement is derived from the Vision. It tells us what we will do to to achieve our Vision. And, since Embarc Club is managed by a DRI-controlled Board, we need our own association to be the true voice of members, unfettered and unshackled from DRI corporate interests. On a tentative basis, we are calling this yet-to-be-created association Embarc Owners Alliance. We will undertake consultations in August to offer viable name choices to CIOG and see what is favored by the membership. The Mission will be the Mission of that new Association. The Mission statement is also copied below.