Vagabond Ski Club - Information for Prospective Members
Club Structure and Membership
Vagabond is an Incorporated Association under Victorian law with tax exempt status on the basis of being non-profit. The club started in Melbourne in the late '70s, with the lodge opening for the 1982 season. Members have a wide range of talents and interests. There are many families, including second generation. A number of members live outside Victoria.
To be a member an individual person over 16 years (no companies or joint names) must hold a debenture.
There are currently 48 members, collectively holding 86 debentures (ie many hold 2 as a result of a split a few years back). Refer to the Booking Policy section below to understand the difference whether holding one or 2 debentures.
To become a member a person needs to acquire an existing debenture from a current member. The committee can arrange this.
The Lodge & Site Lease
The lodge is generally accepted as one of the best club lodges at Hotham. More info on The Lodge tab, or read more in the download.
In 2003 Vagabond was granted a lease renewal for 40 years.
At the time this was the longest lease offered to a club, indicative of the Resort Management assessment of the quality of accommodation, the condition and ongoing enhancement of the lodge, and the management practices.
All members share responsibility to contribute funds for the club to be solvent.
The club aims to finance its operations and the ongoing lodge maintenance and improvements from annual subscriptions and booking receipts (from both members and the public after a members preferential period).
Our tax-free, non-profit status does not allow distribution of profit to members.
The club is free of debt, but has a provision for a small overdraft (not used for many years).
Historically, the club (via member decision) has raised capital by member levies rather than borrowing. The last major improvement was the addition of 2 rooms in 2009, with capital improvements and maintenance continuing every year.
The committee is authorised to apply a capital levy of $500 per debenture per year without further approval by a general meeting, however further major improvements and financing options would be discussed and agreed by the members in a general meeting.
Value of Membership
Club membership does not mean cheap skiing, but the non-profit club structure provides an economic way to access accommodation of Vagabond's standard.
Many people, particularly families, value the club lodge experience over apartments due to the opportunity to bring a group and to meet others. Membership provides preferential access to this accommodation, as well as getting to know and ski with a community of members. The bonus is a peaceful "holiday house" to enjoy alpine walks or cycling in summer.
The Policy is reviewed by the Committee annually.
The key features of the 2014 policy are:
- joining fee of $200 for new member
- annual subscription of $175
- capital levy of $275 per debenture.
- Optional (see below) Booking Deposit of $500 - linked to booking discount
- Optional Working Bee (2 days) to earn $500 to spend on bookings
Rates & Member discounts
- Room rates are set and publicly advertised to reflect seasonal demand.
- There are 2 levels of member discounts from these public rates. - 55% off for one room per night occupied by the member (or partner and children to 25)- Booking Deposit paid on time
- 20% off for all other member bookings (includes friends)
- there are no limits on the number of nights or value
The policy provides options for members to choose what suits them eg by not doing a working bee but paying some extra for bookings instead.
There is still a base level of annual charges for all members which represents a contribution to maintaining the asset.
The only difference between a member holding one or 2 debentures is the capital levy. There is no distinction concerning access to bookings or discounts.
Most demand is for non-sharing room, hence the advertised rates are for a 'whole room'. Check the rates page & online booking system to see current published rates.
Members have a preferential booking period, after which the club accepts bookings from non-members. The initial part of the members' period has a room limit mainly to ensure school holidays are accessible for the members' immediate family.
Balloting (eg for busy school holiday periods) has not been needed for many years.
The club generally lets 2 or 3 midweeks (Sunday through Thursday nights) to school groups, which provides a sound financial base for the season. Member charges and benefits are per financial year (1 Oct to 30 Sept).
Cash balances (positive or negative) are carried forward, normally with a late fee if owing.