This is a snippet from a long email to a Galt’s Gulch Chile salesman from a potential investor. This couple likely had several hundred thousand to invest in GGC, judging from the reference to the founders level.
The email is dated Aug 21 2013. Their $300,000 investment would have gone a long way to providing GGC with the funds to pay the first installment of $1.47 million due to the Lepe seller, Guillermo Ramírez, on Sep 14th, a little more than three weeks away.
As it turned out, that first payment was missed by Johnson, forcing him to pay a fine of $200,000, not the only late fine by any means. According to the GGC accountant, more than $1 million in late fines were paid by Johnson during the last four months of 2013.
Our overall experience of the GGC visit was mixed, to say the least. The property itself and its proposed potential are spectacular. If vision meets reality your team will have truly accomplished something. To this extent we were more than impressed. Beyond the location and vision aspect however, we couldn’t have been more disappointed.
A project of such dimension and financial commitment, especially for those of us considering Founder participation, there was not so much as a crude promotional pamphlet let alone one of scope and detail. There was no formal or even semi-formal marketing approach or engagement process that could help potential clients like ourselves stay oriented through the visitation period. I was truly lost throughout the visit. The few people we did meet were presented without context and quite frankly they showed virtually no interest in our being there.
As for Jeff [Berwick] or Ken [Johnson], well we managed to hook up with Ken the day before returning to Santiago, but that was through the determined efforts of my wife, not Ken. When he did arrive late in the evening at our hotel in Viña del Mar, he was his usual haggard, uninterested self. He appeared to be completely disinterested in discussing the project and more interested in sharing some crude thoughts on athlete’s foot and Jeff’s infidelity goings on in Paraguay, I believe. Mark my words, neither my wife nor I are prudes, far from it, but we did not travel half way around the world at great cost for that kind of engagement. We came to develop new relationships, potentially buy a piece of property, meet some individuals in the Bull Terrier world of Chile, and check out business/employment opportunities. All matters short of the Bull Terrier people fell far short. I expected to engage in meaningful dialogues as to the overall opportunities possible, but in the 9 days there it was quite apparent that the GGC individuals had other more pressing matters.
As I mentioned to you, we were not in Chile to possibly buy a passive investment property, we were there to make a decision on investing in a property that we would build on and live in. We are hands on people that want to contribute in any way we can. Not once, did we have the sense that our involvement was welcomed our required. Prior to leaving for Chile, weeks earlier, I completed on the GGC website a questionnaire pertaining to becoming a GGC team member. As of today, I have never even received a response to my inquiry. A small issue, but in the context of everything else, consistent with an attitude of disregard.