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Stowe, Vermont
Sun Peaks, CA
Steamboat, CO
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Club Policies

Financials:

  • General: The Holmdel Ski Club (herein, the Club) is a not-for-profit social club. Trips are run with the intention of each trip breaking even.   All trip participants share equally in the expenses of a trip such that trip participants do not benefit financially from any Club activity.  The Club's ByLaws are available here.  Each trip has a fixed price so that the participants know the final price when they commit to the trip. Any exceptions to the fixed price will be explicitly stated in the trip description. An example might be a potential increase in airline taxes or fuel surcharges which is beyond the Club's control.  There are also rare cases where a late signup for a non-double occupancy room might incur a "single surcharge" from  the service provider.
  • Membership: The Executive Committee determines when and how a person becomes a member.   The minimum requirements are that the person is at least 21 years of age and has attended a Club trip as a guest. Only members and their guests can participate on Club trips. Guests cannot bring along other guests. A prospective member is a non-member who has requested to be placed on the Club's mailing list.
  • Setting the Price:  The Club's Executive Committee estimates how many people are expected on the trip.  If the Club estimates 40 people, then the Club breaks even at 40 people, has a surplus if there is more than 40, and loses money if there is less than 40. The surplus and loss is usually very small, maybe between $5 and $10 per person.  If there is an anticipated surplus, then the Club will provide extras such as wine and cheese on the bus or a wine and cheese party at the resort.   If there is an anticipated loss, then some of the planned snacks or perks are eliminated.
  • Price Rates for Children/Seniors: The Club will try to be as fair as possible, passing back any savings to the child/senior.  Please realize that when the Club purchases group lift tickets, the age-related discounts, if any, might be different than the discounts associated with full-price tickets.  Proof of age will be required for special age-related rates, especially for seniors, children, and teenagers.
  • Minimum Age for Trip Participants: We all know that minors cannot legally sign a contract and are therefore not bound by the Club's liability waiver. However, despite what most parents believe, in most States, including New Jersey, a parent also cannot legally sign away their child's legal rights, so parental waivers are not always upheld in the courts.  The State or the child (upon reaching 18) have the right to sue for perceived negligent acts or injuries that have occurred to them during their childhood. Trip leaders and our Club's tour vendors are at risk of years of future legal liability anytime a child participates on a Club trip. Therefore, Club policy requires that participants on an airline-based Club trip must be at least 18 years old by the first day of the trip. The trip leaders of Club bus trips might allow younger participants - please check with the trip leader on the age policies affecting a given trip.
  • Physical Checks are frowned upon due to their habit of getting lost in the mail. If a participant can't send payments via P2P then physical checks are the accepted last resort. All physical checks are deposited in the Club's escrow-based bank account as soon as they are received by the Club's treasurer.  When a person is confirmed on a trip, their funds in the Club's escrow account are transferred to the Club's operational trip account. This is a change from past policy when checks were not deposited until the person was confirmed on the trip. Direct person-to-person payments are automatically deposited to the Club's escrow bank account, making the prior "don't deposit until confirmed" policy infeasible. In the case of a wait-listed person making a payment and subsequently cancelling before being confirmed, a full P2P refund will be issued. All physical checks should be payable to "Holmdel Ski Club" and mailed to the Club's treasurer's address below. Upon mailing, please send an email to treasury.hsc@gmail.com and the trip leader's email address so that they can anticipate your letter and reply to your email when the letter is received.  Please do not use UPS, FedEx, or other delivery services that require a signature.  As odd as it may seem, the street name is indeed Raritan Reach, with an R; It is not a typo.

    Holmdel Ski Club
    c/o Steven Krapes
    17 Raritan Reach Rd
    South Amboy, NJ 08879-3440

  • Sending Trip Checks via Bank BillPayer Service:   If you are using a BillPayer service to send your trip payment then make sure that the name you enter into the system is Holmdel Ski Club, not the name of the Club's treasurer. The Club does not use account-numbers for trip participants, so you can leave "account number" blank or enter any random value.  Upon issuing the BillPayer transaction, please send an email to treasury.hsc@gmail.com and the trip leader's email address so that they can anticipate your letter and reply to your email when the letter is received.
  • Direct Person to Person PayPal Payments/Refunds:

    OCT 2017: Due to a critcal problem with how the Club's bank handled the Club's migration from clearXchange to Zelle[1], the Club has adopted a new electronic banking policy that supports PayPal as the one and only way to send and receive electronic payments. Please no longer attempt to transfer money directly from your bank's online web site or mobile app. If you try to use your bank's "send-money" service, there is a good chance that the Club will never be notified that your transaction was attempted and failed. 

    The Holmdel Ski Club participates in the PayPal digital payment service for electronically transferring money with trip participants. After several years working with some of the other P2P providers, the Club has found that PayPal has superior reliability when faced with transferring money between different banks. PayPal allows you to initiate a transfer that takes money from your bank account and sends it to the Club, without having a prior PayPal-wallet balance. So in essence, PayPal is a way of sending money directly from your bank to any PayPal subscriber. Sending paper checks through the US Postal Service is becoming obsolete and is currently very slow. The average check that the Club receives takes between 7-10 days to arrive, which frequently delays the sign-up process. Lost checks are common. The PayPal P2P service also provides tracking of the money transfers - much better than trying to track/replace a lost paper check in the US Mail. PayPal P2P transfers are different than the old way of transferring money that required the sender to know the recipient's bank routing code and account number.

    PayPal Account Setup: Before you can send money from a PayPal account to the Club, PayPal requires that you link and verify your bank account that will be the source of all future payments.

    • Go to https://www.paypal.com and create your account using your personal (not business) email address
    • On your personal home page click "Link a card or bank".
    • On the next page click on "Link a bank account".
    • If your bank is listed, then PayPal has a special relationship that may allow you to link to your bank account instantly by entering your bank's online userid/password and possibly responses to security questions.  If your bank is not listed, then click on "I have a different bank" to enter your routing/account# and then wait a few days to verify 2 small test deposits. The "instant" method is quicker but not as reliable as the multi-day "verify 2 small deposits" method. The Club would rather have you wait the few days to verify the 2 small test deposits than have you mail a physical check, regardless of any payment deadline.
    • While not absolutely required, it is highly recommended that you configure your PayPal account with a second type of financial identity verification to further prove who you say you are, which will remove transaction amount limits and make your money transfer instantaneous (rather than in 3-5 business days). Do this by linking your debit card (even though you should never use that debit card to fund a Paypal payment due to the 3% charge). PayPal will make a small transaction (e.g., $1.95) to your debit card and then you'll need to view the transaction on your bank's online account statement to see an accompanying verification code embedded in the debit transaction line item. PayPal will then refund you the amount of this transaction. 

    PayPal Send-Money Instructions: Click this link: https://www.paypal.me/HolmdelSkiClub
    The Club set up a custom link to receive money from members. The custom link is a short cut that bundles the following steps.

    • Log on to paypal.com (or sign up and create an account)
    • Click on "Send & Request",
    • Under "Send Money" select "Send money to friends and family in the US". 
    • Use treasury.hsc@gmail.com as the email contact name of the recipient. Click continue

    Click on the $0.00 field and overtype the amount you wish to send. Do NOT click the "Paying for goods or a service" box. On the next page select your source of money (typically your bank since it's free). Click on "Add a Note" and state the trip destination (eg, Vail) and the name(s) of the people to which the payment is to be applied. Then select "Send Money Now".

    You may send one deposit for multiple trips and multiple people; just include that info in your note. When you send a PayPal payment, your money is typically withdrawn from your account immediately. PayPal payments are automatically deposited to the Club's bank account, regardless of the person being confirmed or wait listed for the trip.

    PayPal Disclaimers:

    • When linking your bank account, the PayPal "Instant" process seems to have issues validating the security question responses for certain banks, such as PNC (e.g., upper/lower case response issues). If your instant signup fails, use the "I have a different bank" process.
    • Do NOT click on "Pay for goods or services" since PayPal deducts 3% of your payment as a transaction fee for a "commercial" transfer. HSC will reject/return all commercial transfers. HSC is NOT considered a business to the banking industry.
    • If your list of PayPal funding methods only includes a bank account and not a debit/credit card, then your transfer will take 3-5 business days and be labeled as an "eCheck payment" (which is an acceptable way of paying the Club). If you also include a debit/credit card as one of your PayPal funding methods, and the card has not expired or is not about to expire, then payments made with your bank account as the payment method will be transferred instantaneously to the Club, rather than in 3-5 business days. The debit/credit card registration is considered by PayPal as a secondary/backup form of financial identity proofing, even when that debit/credit card is not used as the funding method for a particular transaction.
    • Avoid using a debit/credit card as the source of your payment since PayPal will charge you a 3% fee.
    • PayPal might send you a text message to confirm that you intended to make the transfer; respond 'Yes'.
    • PayPal might limit how much money you can send or withdraw (e.g., a refund) per day if your bank account is not yet verified via multiple attributes (e.g., debit card, SSN). You can see how much money you can send or withdraw by clicking on "See how much you can send with PayPal", which is in the lower left corner of your personal home page. There are instructions on what you can do to lift those limits.
    • Even though PayPal owns Venmo, HSC does not support Venmo due to its low daily dollar limits on sending money and transferring HSC's Venmo balance to HSC's bank account.  

    RECEIVING A REFUND FROM THE CLUB:
    The Club uses PayPal to process refunds for all participants. Before the refund is initiated, the Club's treasurer will send you an email to confirm your current PayPal email account registration.  Then the Club will transfer your refund to your PayPal account wallet and you will receive an email from PayPal. You can then log in to www.paypal.com (or click on the link in the email) and transfer your wallet balance to your bank account.
     

  • Additional Surcharges:  Any additional airline tax or fuel surcharge imposed before our final ticketing is beyond the Club's control and will require an adjustment in the final price to be paid by the trip participants.  If the airline charges for checked baggage, then the trip participant is responsible for that payment.
  • Bounced Check Bank Fee:  If you write a check to the Club and it bounces, then you must reimburse the club for the bank fee that is imposed onto the Club.   Your reservation, deposit, and/or final payment will not be considered complete until the bank fee is paid.   Typically, the bank fee is around $20 per check.
  • Single Signup Rate Policy: If a person signs up for a trip as a single and requests a roommate, with the goal of reserving a spot at the double occupancy rate, the Club will attempt to match the single person with a roommate of the same gender.  If a roommate match is not immediately available, the single person who signed up will be given an unconfirmed reservation.  As soon as the Club is successful in finding a roommate match for the single person, the single person's unconfirmed reservation is promoted to a confirmed reservation at the Double Occupancy rate. If the Club is unable to find a roommate match by the trip's Final Payment Due Date, then the single person will be given a choice of one of three options:
    • Cancel their reservation with a full and immediate refund.
    • Cancel their reservation (eligible for a full refund) and go on a wait list with a contingency sign-up if/when another single person subsequently signs-up for the trip so that both would pay the Double Occupancy Rate; or
    • Pay for the upgrade to a Single Occupancy room, if available, possibly with a contingency of being refunded for the upgrade price if another single person looking for a roommate subsequently signs-up for the trip.

    Contact the trip leader if you are signing up as a single and want to find out if there is another person that is looking for a roommate.  Note: If a person cancels and the Club is left with a single person in a double occupancy room, then the person who cancels will be responsible for the single person surcharge if the club is unable to find a replacement.  See the Club's entire cancellation policy below.

    Interpretive Observation: Since only the last male or the last female to sign-up on a given trip would possibly be subject to the above Single Signup Rate Policy, it is highly advantageous for singles to sign-up as soon as the trips are announced.  Note that under no circumstances would a single person for whom the Club cannot find a roommate ever be forced to pay a single surcharge or suffer any financial loss. 

  • Trip Insurance: All participants are encouraged to consider purchasing commercially available trip cancellation or trip medical insurance. Providers frequently have policies that support pre-existing medical conditions but only if the enrollee purchases the policy within a certain number of days from the initial trip deposit. The definition of what constitutes an initial trip deposit can vary with different insurance companies. Is it the date the person wrote a check (or sent a P2P payment) or is it the date that a person was confirmed on a trip when the Club applied any escrowed funds to the trip? For people sending the Club money during a pre-registration phase or for waitlisted people, these dates could be weeks or even months apart. From the Club's treasurer's point of view, any money sent to the club before a person is officially confirmed on a trip is considered the creation of a generic escrow account and not a deposit for a particular trip, since those funds could be used for any trip.
     

Trip Logistics:

  1. Filling a Trip: During initial planning, a trip that is anticipated to have a high level of member interest will be assigned a pre-registration phase to help the Club estimate the number of rooms to book.  Key to the new policy is using a sign-up prioritization point strategy based on the member’s level of prior participation. The Club maintains a data base that grants one frequent traveler point for each night a person has traveled with the Club over the past decade. For example, participants of the 2016 Sugarloaf bus trip accrued 3 frequent traveler points, the Vail trip folks got 7 points, and the Zermatt trip folks got 11 points. The Club confirms trip participants based on filling an available size room (i.e., single or double occupancy), so prioritization is based on summing the points of the people that will occupy a room. In the rare case of a tie, the points computation is changed to sum the last 9 years (then 8, then 7, etc) until the tie is broken. The points approach has been introduced to handle the case when more people sign up for a trip than the Club has space. The multi-phase sign-up approach described below has been introduced to avoid the frenzy of the prior “whose check arrived first” approach. The published single sign-up rate policy and cancellation policy continues to apply to all registration phases. All trips include the Member Registration and Open Call Registration phases. Note that a member's frequent traveler priority is relevant only within a single registration phase. For example, a person who signs up during the Standard Member Registration phase can never bump a person who was confirmed during the pre-registration phase, regardless of their frequent traveler point value.

    Holmdel Ski Club 3-Phase Registration Process:
    1. [Optional] Pre-Registration Phase (April/May-ish): The Club sends members an email that includes an approximate description of a proposed trip with best estimates for dates and possible destinations. Anytime during the following 2 weeks, existing members and their guests (see Guest policy) may sign up and mail their escrow payment. (Technically, the money sent to the Club is considered an escrow payment rather than a trip deposit since the Club does not yet have an official trip with an official price.) At the end of the 2 weeks, the prioritization is calculated and the people who signed up are informed of their status: confirmed or wait-listed. If the final published trip itinerary is significantly different than the pre-registration approximate description, then participants are eligible for a 100% refund of their escrow. Otherwise, standard cancellation policies apply, which includes a $25 cancel fee. If a member requests a single occupancy room but single-occupancy pricing is not yet available, the member's escrow payment will be accepted and deposited into the Club's escrow account. When the Club has a firm price from our vendor the escrow payment can be applied or fully refunded. Members must _not_ take out trip insurance during the pre-registration phase since the trip price and dates are fluid, and it is even possible that the eventual trip is a different destination. When the Club has a signed contract and can officially offer a trip at a firm price, a person's escrow payment will be used to make an official deposit. Participants will be notified of the official deposit date so that an accurate "date of deposit" value, trip date, airline, and travel agent, can be entered into their insurance contract.
    2. Standard Member Registration Phase (June/July-ish): The Club sends members and prospective members an email with links to the Club's trip web page that includes a detailed trip itinerary (dates, destination, hotel) along with the date when sign-up begins. Anytime during the following 3-4 weeks, existing members and their guests may sign up and mail their escrow payment. At the end of those 3-4 weeks, the prioritization is calculated and the people who signed up are informed of their status: confirmed or wait-listed. Any non-member, non-guest sign-ups received during this phase will be deferred to the Open Call phase (see below). (Note: This late in the trip planning process it is much more difficult for the Club to add/remove seats based on sign-up demand.)
    3. Standard Open Call Registration Phase: After the 3-week Standard Member Registration phase ends, trip sign-ups from members and non-members are prioritized on a daily first-come first-serve basis. A person is confirmed on a trip when the deposit is received (via P2P automated transfer or a physical check mailed to the Club's treasurer) and the trip-specific sign-up form is received by the trip leader. Non-member sign-ups (i.e., non-members who are not guests of a member) are permitted only within the Open Call phase and are at the discretion of the Club's Executive Committee.
  2. Guest Policy: A member or member-pair (two members traveling together) may invite up to two guests. From a sign-up priority viewpoint, guests have no Club frequent traveler points and will be confirmed on the trip only after all other member sign-up requests have been processed within the given sign-up phase time frame (pre-reg:2-weeks, member-only:3-4-weeks, open-call:daily). For example, if a member signs up two guests during the Pre-registration phase, those guests will be confirmed on the trip (assuming there is space remaining) after all other pre-registration member signups have been processed, which will be at the end of the 2-week pre-registration phase. Additionally, if a trip will reach capacity by adding multiple guests, the frequent traveler points of the guest's member host will be used to determine priority.
  3. Required participant documentation:  Each trip requires that 3 pieces of information are sent to the trip leader, whose address is listed on the trip's sign-up form.   They are the trip-specific sign-up form, the trip-specific liability form (must be hand signed and witnessed), and emergency contact info (name, relationship, phone#).   Each person, including minors, must submit their own liability form.  If you are unwilling to sign your name to the statements on the liability form, then please do not register for the trip.   The trip leader will require that all participants have a properly filled out liability form before the trip begins. If you are parking your car at the Ericsson facility, then you will also need to provide your car identification info (make, model, year, color, license plate) and agree to the conditions described in the Ericsson liability release document. Again, if you do not agree with the conditions on that Ericsson parking liability release document, then you won't be permitted to leave your car on their property.
  4. Why ask if only one queen/king bed is okay?  For some lodging properties the rooms may contain either one large bed or two smaller beds.   It would be helpful to the rest of the Club members if the couples willing to share a bed would identify themselves as requiring just 1 bed.   The trip leader shall maintain each person's bedding information in strict privacy. 
  5. Post-registration Process:   After you send or email the sign-up form and P2P payment (or mail a paper check to the Club's treasurer), please send an email to the trip leader so that they can be aware of your interest in the trip.   The Club has had situations in the past where a member's check got lost in the mail and the trip leader didn't even know that they had signed up for the trip. The most traceable method of sending payment to the Club is to use the Club's P2P service to transfer money directly from your bank to the Club's bank.  If you do choose to send a paper check via your bank's BillPayer service, then make sure that the Payee is Holmdel Ski Club, and NOT the trip leader's name or the Club's treasurer's name.
  6. Use of Your Email Address: The email address that you provide on the sign-up form will be seen by other trip participants via emails from the trip leaders.   If you do not wish to have your email address visible to the other trip participants, please contact the trip leader so that your email address will be in a blind copy-to list.
  7. Children: Children under the age of 21 must be accompanied by and room with a parent or an adult club member who accepts responsibility for the minor and obtains a consent form (if child is younger than 18) signed by the child's legal guardian.
  8. Reservation Ownership/Transfer : Trip spaces are the property of the Holmdel Ski Club and reservations are assigned to the names identified in the trip sign-up forms.  The Club retains the sole authority to reassign cancelled spots to other members in order to maintain a fair and equitable wait list selection process.  Trip participants may not sell, assign, or transfer their trip reservation. The only exception to this policy is the transfer of a child's parent or adult sponsor slot, since the Club requires all children to be accompanied by and room with a sponsoring adult.

Cancellation: 

  1. Cancellation Policy:  A trip participant who cancels after their reservation has been confirmed will be liable for up to whatever they have already paid for the trip.  The Club will provide a refund based on what the Club can recover, on your behalf, from the various carriers, agents, resorts, etc. with whom the Club has arranged the trip, less a Club cancellation penalty of $25.  If a person cancels and the Club is left with a single person in a double occupancy room, then the person who cancels will be responsible for the single person surcharge if the club is unable to find a replacement.   Please recognize that such carriers, agents, resorts, etc. generally assess penalties commensurate with the likelihood of them being able to fill cancelled seats and beds. When the Executive Committee deems a trip to be completely filled, then anyone who is due a refund because of a prior cancellation will be issued a refund within 2 weeks, less any applicable vendor penalties and/or fees (e.g., airline name change fee, $25 HSC cancellation penalty).  If a trip does not fill, then all refunds will be disbursed after the trip has completed and a final accounting is prepared.
  2. Finding a Replacement: If a member cancels their trip reservation, the trip leader will use all reasonable efforts to find a replacement.  Getting a replacement does not necessarily lessen the penalties or fees charged to the cancelling member or change the date at which any refund is made.
  3. Refund Transfers: If a member cancels their trip reservation, when the dollar amount of their refund is known, the member may request that the refund amount be used as a deposit for another trip.  Also, a member may transfer a waitlist deposit check to any trip with openings.

 

Code of Conduct:

  1. Trip participants are required to act in a respectful way towards other trip participants and other people that are encountered on the trip.   The behavior of each trip participant reflects upon the Club as a whole.   The Club has a long reputation within the ski and tour operator industry as a well-mannered club.  Drunk, disorderly, abusive, or even unfriendly conduct that adversely affects the other participant's ability to enjoy the trip, will not be tolerated on Club trips.
  2. If a trip participant fails to abide by the above policy then they risk being banned from future Club trips.

Footnotes:

  1. While clearXchange used the routing#/account# combination to link with a bank account (which worked well for the Club), Zelle decided to use debit cards as the sole means to move money to non-Zelle-participating banks (i.e, the Club's bank). However, Zelle chose to use an uncommon debit-card transaction type ("funds transfer") that the Club's bank does not accept due to their belief that "funds transfer" transactions are more apt to be fraudulent. To make matters worse, Zelle, which also owns clearXchange, did not design their services with a fault-tolerant approach. The resulting behavior is that if a registered debit card transaction is declined, there is no Zelle notification or activity log entry, but the Club did receive a "declined" alert from its VISA debit-card provider (but with only a cryptic indication of who sent it). It was thought that deleting the Club's Zelle and clearXchange accounts would at least allow for notification of any subsequent send-money requests so that the Club's treasurer could send a message to the sender, but the result was even worse. Zelle continues to advertise to their banking partners that treasury.hsc@gmail.com is a valid recipient account, but when any send-money request hits that account, it is immediately and silently rejected. The Club has no indication that the transaction failed, or even that the transaction even took place. For shame on Zelle's software engineers for not thinking about this scenario and allowing accounts get into a limbo state. What the Club has noticed is that the two dominant banking system P2P competitors, Popmoney and Zelle, only care about transactions that stay within their participating banks. If a transaction is destined for the competitor's network of banks, then too bad. This is why the Club has moved to PayPal, which treats all banks as non-participating banks and with a superior user interface for both the sender and the recipient.

[page last updated: 11/20/2017 ]

 

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