2020-21 Pre-Registration and Facility Fee

Dear Members and Fellow Curlers,

The impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our curling club is a story not much different than most other recreational facilities. We had to close our doors just as we were entering our busiest time of the year that ultimately cost us the largest revenue-generating events of our season.

Instead of celebrating a hard-earned financial turnaround from the previous year, we were left scrambling to find ways to keep the club solvent until we can start generating revenue again.

Some of the things we have done to keep the club going include:

  • Temporarily laying off non-essential staff
  • Applying for and receiving the Canada Emergency Business Account and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Applying for all eligible payment deferrals until our cash flow returns (e.g. Hydro, WSBC, PST etc.); and,
  • Cutting all but essential expenses e.g. suspending service and maintenance contracts, shutting off all unnecessary equipment, consolidating fridge and freezer storage to enable some to be shut off, unplugging any unnecessary machinery and so forth.

We also were successful in receiving our annual gaming grant just days before the government announced that all but health and social service grants would be delayed until next February. This grant can only be used to offset our costs to run our curling programs so that will help us later on when we reinstall the ice and start curling again in the fall.

With all this being said, the club still remains financially challenged, as we could not have anticipated in early March that this pandemic would carry on and push us farther away from a safe return to our beloved sport than anyone expected.

We have developed a safety plan for re-opening, which will be published soon, and have been working on an operating budget for this fiscal year that reflects our current reality. We have surveyed the leagues to help us determine how many of you plan to return to curling when the time comes. All of this was to help us forecast potential revenues, and figure out what our potential costs will be as well. Even with all our cost-saving measures and government assistance, we have found it difficult to establish a balanced budget without having to turn to you, our members and curlers, to ask for your help in a bigger way than ever before.

Your board had a very difficult discussion on August 5 with respect to the costs to re-start curling and the added expense to maintain the facility to meet COVID-Safe protocols so that everyone will feel comfortable and confident we are doing our best to prevent the spread of the virus. These improvements, both one-time costs and ongoing servicing, will require an up-front cost of approximately $20,000 before re-opening. After much debate, it was determined that the annual facility fee would need to be increased to $100 (plus $5 GST) at least for this season.

What we are asking from you today is to please pre-register to confirm your commitment to returning in mid-October and to pay the facility fee now, in advance, so that we can raise the additional funds required for pre-opening expenses.

Full league registration will open mid-September once the starting dates and regular league fees are determined.

This is a private facility and as such we are funded only by membership, commercial leagues and facility rentals. Public casual ice rentals are not allowed this season unless we move to level 4, so this is an income stream we won’t have this year. The lounge is only available to groups of 50 or less. It is because of these facts, plus other related issues, that we made the hard decision to increase the facility fee.

The facility fee will be reviewed again next year and adjusted accordingly based on our annual needs which, hopefully, will be less.

The facility fee is non-refundable, however should the pandemic resurge and we are forced to remain closed, the facility fee you pay now will be applied to next year’s assessment.

Our next step will be to release the return to curling guidelines for our club, which follows much of what CurlBC and Curling Canada have published, plus details for our facility plans for cleaning and sanitizing, operational changes, and also what curlers can expect and will need know in advance to prepare yourself for a safe return to curling at our club.

We are still working towards a mid-October start provided the pandemic settles back down, with a goal of opening registration in early September once we have a clearer picture of
how many curlers are coming back and the scope and size of our leagues. If there is a resurgence then we will adjust as necessary, ensuring we follow all the public health orders as required.

We trust that this explanation helps you understand the reasoning behind the fee increase this year. We want to reiterate that this decision was not made lightly or without considered discussion by your board. We (your board and staff) are working hard to find the best path to reopen our club, and we are relying on your support and trust that we are doing our absolute best to ensure that happens for you.

In the meantime, please keep following Dr. Henry’s sage advice ~ Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe ~ and hopefully we will eventually sweep this terrible virus away.

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