October 10, 2013 Posted by tallen in Business, Local
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The Club at Spanish Peaks back in business

By Joseph T. O’Connor Explore Big Sky Senior Editor

BIG SKY – Representatives for The Club at Spanish Peaks have announced the first new membership terms and conditions for the 5,300-acre private club since its former owners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in October 2011.

EBS on Sept. 23 received a copy of an email from the club’s ad hoc committee to its approximately 200 members outlining the plan between members and the club’s new owners, CrossHarbor Capital Partners and Boyne Resorts.

John Romney, chairman for the ad hoc committee, feels this is a new beginning.

“Nobody knew what the offer was going to be,” Romney said of the agreement, reached two months after the club’s July purchase. “Basically they’re welcoming back all the members. If you were a member before, you won’t have to pay anything. People thought they were going to have to pay $20,000 to rejoin the club.”

In the new terms and conditions, existing members are grandfathered in, while new property-owning golf and ski members will pay a $40,000 deposit, and social members are responsible for $20,000. Annual dues will cost $9,500 and $6,500, respectively, according to the membership summary attached to the email.

Returning club members will get 80 percent of their cumulative dues back upon selling their Spanish Peaks property, according to the summary. Refunds are also being offered to returning members who lost out in 2011.

“We all had membership deposits that were lost in the bankruptcy,” Romney said. “I lost $80,000. It’s gone. Now I can get a check back, [and] that’s great. [CrossHarbor] didn’t have to do that at all.”

Before the bankruptcy, The Club at Spanish Peaks charged $8,000 for golf/ski homeowners, and $5,500 for social members in annual dues, Romney said. Although the new dues are higher, Romney says the increase is not extravagant and believes the service will reflect it.

“You want to have a balance of reasonable services with reasonable dues. And you need a reasonable number of members.”

The membership summary noted that, while the club will remain private, it reserves the right to increase national memberships – those offered to non-homeowners – and ski/golf memberships, “…based on market conditions and to ensure long-term sustainability of [the] club.”

Currently, the number of ski/golf memberships is capped at 395.

One immediate change is that non-member Big Sky Resort skiers will now have access to the Sacajawea and Lewis and Clark ski lifts; however, the public will not be able to utilize other club services. Club members can use these chairs without purchasing a Big Sky lift ticket.

On July 19, CrossHarbor and Boyne closed on the purchase of The Club at Spanish Peaks’ assets.