High Country Club
Once a leader in the destination club industry, High Country Club was the second fastest destination club to reach the 100 member mark, trailing only Exclusive Resorts.
The club offered numerous membership plans, all at significantly reduces rates from those charged at other clubs. The combination of low membership deposits and annual dues was wildly popular, allowing the club to repeatedly acquire dozens of members per month and cement themselves near the top of the destination club sector in terms of members and a position with the Destination Club Association, a collection of the industry's leading clubs tasked with creating best practices.
As 2008 began, the club found it to be increasingly difficult to obtain credit. When real estate values began to drop and new membership sales came to a halt, High Country Club's equity in their property portfolio quickly eroded.
Without the wellspring of new membership sales for which the club had grown accustomed, the business model collapsed upon itself and the club filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after several new business plans failed to correct the inevitable.
In the club's bankruptcy documents, it was shown that properties were highly leveraged, executives were taking increased salaries, and annual dues fell far short of the club's annual burn rate.
Nearly 400 members were left without a club and rivals across the industry emerged with offers for the discarded High Country Club membership base, including Ultimate Escapes and Distinctive Holiday Homes. Paragon Destinations and The Phoenix Club both were created hoping to acquire High Country Club members and to fill the void the club left at the value level of the destination club sector.