by Lisa Grimaldi | April 01, 2008

Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch


Bachelor Gulch

Following a spate of negative headlines in the business and consumer press, troubled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. pulled the plug on a ski event for mortgage bankers that was scheduled to take place in late February at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, a ski resort in Avon, Colo. According to a Feb. 26 Wall Street Journal report, the company has reduced its work force by 11,400, or 19 percent, since last July.

In a statement, the Calabasas, Calif.-based CFC said that “in light of recent events,” it had decided to cancel all gatherings with business partners and clients for the rest of the year, moving quickly after being criticized for planning what U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others had called an inappropriately extravagant trip.

At press time, a spokesperson for CFC confirmed that two incentive programs slated to take place at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla., in March and April also had been canceled.

Sounding a note of caution in reaction to CFC’s much-publicized cancellations was John Reed, chairman of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association, an organization devoted to the development of best practices for credit unions in the area of home financing. “I don’t necessarily feel that all strategic, well-functioning conferences should fall under the budget knife,” he told M&C, “but certainly those conferences that don’t pack a real strategic punch could be eliminated when dollars are tight.”