Cordillera Club members upset over price hike |

Cordillera Club members upset over price hike

CORDILLERA, Colorado – Some Cordillera Club members are refusing to pay their 2011 dues and are encouraging others to do the same.

The club is embroiled in a battle between owners and members over increasing dues and the potential for decreasing services.

In the midst of that the Wilhelm Family Trust announced a 50 percent dues increase for 2011, from $12,000 to $18,000. It’ll cost $13,800 if members pay in cash or with a credit card by Feb. 4.

In a letter to members, David Wilhelm also announced that they’ll no longer deal with the members’ group, the Cordillera Transition Corporation, but only with a nine-member board of governors. The Wilhelms will appoint four of those governors and the members are supposed to elect the rest.

“Who in their right mind would pay $18,000 per year to join Cordillera in these economic times?” Cordillera member Lou Schultz wrote on the CTC’s website. “When you add the mandatory minimum, it will cost almost $20,000 per year to have the privilege of playing golf for four months. If you golf 50 times per year that comes to $400 per round.”

Other members counter that they joined the Club at Cordillera for the lifestyle, not for cheap golf. One accuses the CTC of using scare tactics.

The CTC is not telling members whether or not to pay, said Sarah Baker, of the Cordillera Transition Corporation, in an e-mail to the Vail Daily. The corporation is just expressing its opinion.

“The CTC believes that there are risks for members who choose to pay dues in 2011. The vague promises from Mr. Wilhelm, in the opinion of the CTC, do not protect them,” Baker wrote.

David Wilhelm disagrees.

“We are building this club for the members who, we trust, are as eager as we are to move the club forward,” Wilhelm said in his letter announcing the dues increase. “We are proud of what we have accomplished during our relatively short tenure of ownership and we know that a large percentage of the members are highly satisfied as well.”

Even if every member paid the 2011 dues, the CTC says the Wilhems can “hardly hope to break even,” Baker wrote, and that someday they’ll want or need to sell the club to the members.

“We will be ready to talk when Wilhelm is, but until then, we are simply waiting for the inevitable to happen,” Baker wrote.

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