Off-Piste and Lost: Ski and Snowboarding Holiday Companies and Insolvency

March 12, 2024

When it comes to holiday companies and insolvency, we are seeing increases in ski and snowboarding companies in the press. So far this year, we have seen two UK ski/snowboard holiday companies announce insolvency and closure.

Powder White closed its doors after 20 years in business, declaring itself to be insolvent, whilst Esprit Ski announced that it would close at the end of this season after 41 years in business.

Challenges faced by these ski and snowboarding holiday companies with insolvency looming

With the ski and snowboarding holiday companies facing insolvency, we note some common themes and challenges among them, they are;

  • Inflation and a challenging economy making holidays and travel more expensive and therefore out of reach for many people
  • Poor snow conditions in Europe during the 2022/23 season
  • Covid closed off travel and severely affected seasons, with each country having its own Covid restrictions.
  • Brexit made it harder to get UK staff the requisite visas to work in Europe.
  • The above points only serve to compound cash flow issues and profitability, which in powder White and Esprit Ski’s cases could not be recovered from

Holiday companies and insolvency

At BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency, we have advised numerous holiday companies over the years regarding their financial positions and how to restructure or complete a controlled closure.

There are always various parties and interests to manage in these situations. The three main groups to consider when a holiday company is facing insolvency are:

  • the consumer, i.e. those with a holiday travelling abroad
  • the premises owner, i.e. the hotelier or villa owner
  • the holiday company/broker and their employees, i.e. the one we are often providing advice to

Considerations for holiday companies facing insolvency

When BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency are providing advice for holiday companies facing insolvency, some considerations to take into account are listed below:

  • What are the cash flow projections, and when will the company run out
  • Can the company pay its staff to enable it to trade on and manage bookings?
  • Has the consumer travelled yet, or are they already on holiday, and if so, can the company get them home if closure is required?
  • Has the premises owner been paid, and is that in full or in part, i.e. will there be accommodation if the consumer travels
  • Can the company be restructured, rescued and continue
  • Is there a business to sell, be it to a competitor or restructured via an insolvency procedure
  • Often, these companies have seasonality, and if they can break even but cannot be saved, then when is the least bad point at which to close the business?
  • Are client deposits held in trust accounts?
  • Is the client ABTA or ATOL registered, which could help consumers

How can BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency help holiday companies facing insolvency

At BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency, we carefully consider the financial situations of our potential clients, no matter what their industry.

  • We assist our clients to plan a way forward that protects the business as much as possible
  • We provide a clear plan for recovery or restructure should one be required

Our step-by-step approach looks like this:

  • The first step is listening to our potential clients’ issues
  • Secondly, by discussing and diagnosing the situation
  • Finally, ascertaining the options available

If you run a holiday company or any other business and require help or advice when it comes to insolvency or your financial situation, then contact BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency today. There is no charge for our initial meeting; it is in confidence and without obligation.

Please speak with any of the BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency management team if you have any concerns so we can assist you.