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Ski operator ceases trading following Phoenix collapse

Ski operator Take Me To (Ski) today confirmed it had ceased trading along with sister company, coach and river operator Phoenix Holidays.

A receptionist at Take Me To said a number of clients were out in the French resort of Tignes, the only destination featured by Take Me To, and these would be returning home on Saturday. No further holidays will be operating.

She said a couple of people were still in the company's Gloucester offices manning the phones and cancelling existing bookings, but she was unable to say how many clients were affected.

Unlike Phoenix Holidays, Take Me To holidays were ATOL-protected, but it is not clear whether the company has gone into administration, which will mean customers will have to claim refunds from the Civil Aviation Authority, or if the company is giving clients back their money.

It was licensed to carry 1,728 passengers a year.

Administrator for Phoenix Holidays, Neil Marshall of PR Booth, said he had not been instructed to act on behalf of Take Me To. He said 54 people at the company had been made redundant, including 31 staff who based at a ski hotel in Tignes, which was being leased by Take Me To.

It is understood the hotel, one of two featured in the Take Me To Ski programme, ceased operating on January 1.

Phoenix Holidays operated a trust account to ring-fence clients' money until they returned from their holidays and Marshall said he was confident there would be enough money to refund all those who had booked with the operator.

"We are waiting to find out how many bookings there were and how much is in the trust account but we have been advised there should be no customer losing out," he said.

"This was a separate trust account run by a couple of independent trustees from a firm of accountants, I believe, and the company had already started refunding passengers before we were appointed so ours is very much a mopping up operation."

He said Phoenix was doing well until September 2011, after which there was a sharp fall in bookings.

With permission from Travelmole
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