President’s Message June 14, 2021
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is getting closer!
If you are like me, you are ready to put down your mask and get back to watching your kids play anything! Or, like me, you are tired of beating all your friends at singles and are looking forward to finally getting back to some indoor mixed doubles! Woot woot!
I promise… it is sooo close!
But not quite yet!
Joanna and the staff have simply done an amazing job over the past sixteen months keeping our club open, our members safe, and our staff showing up each day doing their very best under extremely challenging circumstances. On behalf of the entire Board, please join me in thanking our team for their above and beyond efforts.
As per recent communications from the club, you will see that starting this week there are some updated (and reduced) restrictions, with the hopes that even more options will be available to us starting on July 1st. As we move forward this summer, the staff and board will continue to follow the same principles that have guided us since this pandemic started in order to keep our members and staff as safe as possible. For guidance on our mask policies, spectators and guest access, and other requirements, we will continue to follow the recommendations from the health authorities, the sports authorities and other industry best practices.
On that note, thank you to everyone that has been extra cautious while at the Club. Your efforts and support are greatly appreciated. That said, we still have numerous instances where families have seemingly expanded their bubbles to an inappropriate size and are not consistently following the policies. Please remember to follow all the restrictions put in place by the health authorities and the Club. Staff deserve to be treated with respect and have the authority to ask you and your family/cohort to leave if they feel that members are putting others at risk; please do not question or argue with them about the policies. Remember, these rules have been put in place by the Club and the Provincial Health Officer, and must be abided by at all times, by all members.
All that said, I am hopeful that we will enjoy a ‘normal’ summer in no time.
As you may recall, a year ago I sent out a message stressing the financial pressure that the club might experience due to the impacts of Covid-19. We just ended our fiscal year-end on April 30th, 2021, and by all accounts, we were somehow able to weather the storm due to three key factors. First, like many businesses, we qualified for various government wage subsidies that helped us keep the club open and mostly, allowed us to not lay off many of our valuable employees. Second, for unknown reasons, we had an exceptional year of movie rentals (including Disney’s Mighty Ducks 2). Third, although group lessons were on hold, we had a significant demand for other club programs. As a result, instead of a significant loss, we are projecting a potential break-even for the 2020/2021 fiscal year. We are just completing our annual KPMG audit and will have more details at our AGM in late summer/early fall.
In planning for our fiscal 2021/2022 year (May 1 st 2021 to April 30th 2022), we are not as optimistic. We know that government assistance will likely diminish, and there is no indication that we can expect to have another exceptional year of movie rentals. This summer we will continue to see reduced revenue in certain areas caused by Covid restrictions, such as non-member program registrations, food and beverage, outside event rentals and even reduced group lessons. In addition, like other businesses and clubs, our expenses continue to rise with significant increases in items such as property taxes, insurance, minimum wage and additional cleaning costs.
As a result, the Board recently approved the recommendation from the Finance Committee to implement a 3% dues increase which will be reflected on your July statement. We had decided a few years ago that we would try to eliminate any large increases and have small dues increases when needed to keep up with rising costs. This year is one of those years. We know that no one wants rising fees, and we continue to seek ways to mitigate expenses while maintaining and improving member value and satisfaction.
In reference to this, it’s important to state that we are in the process of completing $500,000 of capital improvements over the past twelve months, which includes a complete repair of the outside tennis courts. Unfortunately, to finish this job right, we need a couple of weeks of dry weather which will hopefully happen sometime before the last two weeks of September.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to welcome the close to forty families that have joined the club in the past few months. We are thrilled to have you join the NSWC family and hope you quickly connect with all of the amenities, programs and new friends that you have time for. We look forward to seeing you join a tennis ladder or a senior men’s hockey team or even volunteer on a committee. I’d also like to welcome the dozen plus families that have joined our summer membership program. With our initiation fees increasing from $10,000 to $15,000 on September 1st, now is the perfect time to take up hockey. 🙂
So that’s it for now. If you have any questions or comments specific to the Board, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of my fellow Directors, thank you for your patience, support and continued commitment to your Club!
James Cronk | Board President