A three time winner of both Robb Report's Best of the Best and Business Britain's Best Internationally awards, the Solstice Collection was widely regarded as having an unmatched portfolio of luxury vacation homes available to members.
Launched in 2004 by Graham Kos, Solstice Collection virtually created the ultra-luxury destination club demographic with a portfolio of $6.5 million homes and membership deposits north of $1 million to join. "Solstice was born of a passion for style and luxury with a sense of being 'home' when you are away from your primary residence," Kos wrote. "Solstice is on the leading edge of what I believe to be the most important new trend in real estate in the coming decade. I believe this trend will redefine the way that people use and evaluate second home lifestyle options. With this belief, I have developed a shared-use concept in 'ultra-exclusive' properties which allows members to maximize their luxury and variety while at the same time minimizing their expense and inconvenience so that they may retain and invest the bulk of their investment capital into higher return/lower hassle venues."
Originally planned to include just seven elite level properties and a yacht and just 42 full members, the club saw success during their early years and eventually expanded beyond Kos's original vision. The club offered two different membership plans that provided 28 and 56 nights of annual travel. Solstice branded themselves as an "Equity Membership" as redeeming members received 80% of the then current value of the membership, theoretically allowing members to receive more than they paid in.
Early in 2006, Kos was introduced to Tim Wolff, Co-Founder of Parallel, Solstice Collection's main competitor at the ultra-luxury price point, through a mutual friend. Agreeing that neither could ever dominate the space, the two began discussions on joining their respective clubs together. In November of 2006, the formal merger was announced.
The new club featured an all-star cast of destination club executives including Chad Morse, Graham Kos, Tim Wolff, Jeffrey Scult, Mark Cibik, Mark Cain, and Michael Ducamp.
In May of 2008, Kos and an unnamed outside investor purchased a controlling interest in Solstice and took over the role of CEO. Wolff and Morse stepped down from their management positions but remained members of the club, but the coming year would prove difficult for the elite club.
As real estate prices began to drop and interest in the club lessened, momentum came to a stop. A $23.6 million debt owed to Fortress Investment Group came due and the club was unable to pay. By March of 2009, Solstice voluntarily petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, estimating assets, including 14 properties and yacht, of $1 million to $10 million and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million.
Carolynn Rockafellow, an outspoken Solstice Collection member who had praised Solstice's offering to our friends Susan Kime and Fractional Life, was appointed to Chief Executive Officer. Since the filing, the club has continued to to seek out a way to continue operations, but the ultimate fate of the club and its members are still undetermined.
To learn more about Solstice Collection, please visit any of the club's quick links found to the right or request a free copy of our Destination Club Guide.
You Might Also Be Interested In...
Yellowstone Club World