"Nobody likes this but they understand and are supportive" said Jim Tousignant, CEO of Ultimate Escapes when commenting on his clubs recent member assessment.
Jim talked through the assessment this afternoon with SherpaReport, "As we sit here today we are over 900 members and approaching $16m in commitments" he said.
The club is still working through all the responses from its 1250 members. Given that members can communicate by email, fax, post, phone or send in checks or wire transfers the club wants to make sure that it has the correct response for each member.
"We are trying to be very courteous and respectful - people may have faxed confirmations to the wrong number or got the wrong wire transfer details" said Jim. If the club records indicate that members have not yet committed to the assessment then it follows up with them to make sure that its records are correct, but "if we don't hear by this Thursday 5th at 5pm then membership will be suspended" Jim continued.
"It's not a pleasant thing" said Jim, "but it wouldn't be fair to members who have supported the assessment if we didn't suspend members who don't commit."
Suspended members can pay the assessment and any late fees and will then be reinstated and go back to being a member in good standing.
"We gave people lots of initial information to make decisions, and have gone even further with transparency and disclosure", he stated, "this will also benefit future members who can share in this disclosure and transparency".
"We have plans over the next weeks and months to have lots of touch points with members including email, conference calls and "town hall meetings" Jim noted. The club plans to hold these meetings in the top twelve or so cities around the country where there are a large number of members - places such as Chicago, LA and San Francisco.
"We're also looking at holding an event in Orlando for a weekend for the club to get together with all its members - we want people to feel this is there club" said Jim.
"At the end of the year we will have fewer, stronger clubs with models that work, so overall it will be a good thing for the (destination club) industry" he concluded.