The Arc1950 Owners’ Association

 

The Arc1950 Owners’ Assocation is the only independent organisation representing apartment owners in the village.

Why Join the Arc 1950 Owners’ Association?

As written in our Rule Book (and as registered with the French Authorities), the OA exists with a number of aims, principally to:

  1. provide a platform for discussion and communication amongst owners,
  2. provide representation of the owners to our service providers
  3. work with and influence our service providers
  4. help promote the village, to the benefit of all stakeholders
  5. use Association funds to seek appropriate external advice
  6. provide the opportunity for social events and gatherings.

It is run on a volunteer basis, by owners, for owners, and has an annually elected committee as well as other members who willingly give of their time and expertise. Subscription is kept to a minimum – often being zero, and voted each year at the AGM.

So how do we meet these objectives, and what have we done so far?

The website

www.arc1950owners.com

We have a lively and informative website, where fellow owners share ideas, information on all subjects,  and can buy, sell or swap  car park spaces, equipment  and even owner weeks internally.  Access is restricted, so that a full spectrum of views can be expressed without fear of reputational damage to our investment, or causing upset to our providers (They are of course informed when a subject ‘trends’, but names are removed!)

It also provides contact possibilities with like-minded others when in the village, or for children / teens looking for company of their own age.

Documents of general interest are also stored here, such as ASL releases, the P&V price lists, guides to tax returns, commentary on restaurants and ski runs,  etc.

Representation / Working with our Service providers

When HMC were in charge, when ITW took over, and when PnV were negotiating the takeover deal, it was the forerunners of the OA, and subsequently the OA committee members who travelled to Paris to make sure that the apartment owners – their needs and their investments – were not forgotten during the discussions.  Owner feedback regarding duvets, shower curtains, through the offices of the OA has encouraged P&V to move quickly to upgrade the older blocks.  More recently, discussions regarding the digital TV switchover led to the offer of an option for furniture changes (if so desired) by individual owners.

When the ASL was run by a steering committee dominated by Intrawest staff, with a lone voice from the owners,   it was the OA that first of all supported the ‘strike action’ taken by a few owners, and then subsequently helped renegotiate the terms and conditions of representation. This has resulted in a new, owner-friendly ASL with 4 of its seven board members being owners, as well as bringing profligacy and waste under control.   Thanks to the efforts of your OA representatives the ASL charges are now significantly below what was originally promised by Intrawest, without compromising service quality.

A new vision for the ASL has been created thanks to the OA organising for qualified owners to run pro bono workshops and discussions on the future direction. Another vision is now being considered… by OA members.

Similarly other owner skills have been brought to bear in the 2011 recruitment process of the ASL’s Operations Director and Marketing Manager.  Without the OA, it is uncertain that these vital roles would have been filled at all, let alone successfully. Subsequently, the OA has provided expertise on other recruitment, most recently for the new Operations Director starting in 2015

Your current OA Treasurer, Andrew Beale through happy circumstance, is also the President of the ASL – and that facilitates regular dialogue with the Mayor’s office in Bourg St Maurice and the lift company. So whilst they may not always do exactly what we want (we acknowledge that they may have other political pressures to consider…), our voice is heard: loud and often.   For example, details of the discounted lift pass scheme now in operation across Paradiski were finalised with representatives of the OA.

There are close ties between the OA committee and the Head of the Bourg St Maurice Tourist Office (Eric Chevalier, previously an Ops Director of 1950) and the Head of France Montagne, Jean-Marc Silva – also an ex Operations Director.  These influential network links keep us informed about the mountain and the market, enabling us to keep our members in the loop.

Other benefits

We have negotiated an annual discount of €60 (more if you have two apartments), with both of the main suppliers of Accountancy services to village owners.  This discount is not available to non-members.

Utilising  the OA network, plus some original seed-finance, the action group from Sources de Marie have been instrumental in getting the promised Spa finally built.

Advice relating to Foreign Holiday Lets and the potential for tax relief, plus discounted advice for tax returns to HMRC  were negotiated through the OA network:   again, with expert owners sharing knowledge and contacts.

Two highly enjoyable summer social events have been organised in London, and we hope to encourage more members to take advantage of the opportunities to run their own local meetings, anywhere in the world.

Although in its infancy, there is a “Linked–In” page for professional networking opportunities.

And there is an intangible benefit too – other apartment owners in and around France have noticed the work being done at 1950, and publicly acknowledge the benefits of our strong Owner’s Association –  to the extent that it is becoming a factor in the decision-making process of new purchasers.

There is plenty more to do however:  for example working with the ASL to improve the service quality of the village retail outlets; injecting new options to improve the summer returns; and one of the biggest tasks currently being undertaken, investigation of the lease renewals.

In this latter regard, the OA has engaged external expertise on behalf of the membership, such that advice is pooled and importantly, not repeatedly paid for (potentially seven hundred times).

This activity is being driven by a sub-committee, again volunteering their time on behalf of the OA members. The deliberations, recommendations and templates are made available to all paid-up members of the OA – who will then be able to decide the best course of action for themselves, informed by a greater level of expertise than would normally be available or affordable.

Note: P&V originally determined to work with individual owners, but have now officially recognised the OA as representing a substantive group, and are talking to us about the future.  Together, we are more effective.


So:  why should you join the OA?  Simply because we help you get more out of your investment in Arc1950, and the more of us there are, the more representative and effective we can be.

Want to know more? – please email president@arc1950owners.com with your questions – I’ll do my best to respond quickly.

Convinced?  Please go to the OA page and join us.

Jim Wilks
Arc1950 OA President 2015-16