President's Message - October 7, 2021
Traditionally, the Board establishes the budget for the club and course operations each summer and notice of your annual dues is sent in November. The budget is a collaborative effort beginning with our management team along with input from our Committee Chairs and then reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee and Board.
For the 2022 season, members will see a greater increase in their fees than in the past. The Board made the difficult decision to increase fees after careful deliberation and consistent with one of the key values of the recently developed Strategic Plan. That we, as a club, are fiscally responsible.
Two years of lost revenues, coupled with a significant increase in operating costs due to Covid, necessitates this increase. As well, our current capital funds are not sufficient to cover necessary work on the course, grounds and buildings. Continuing to defer this work will impact playability of the course and your enjoyment of the club as a whole. The Board has also made the decision that, going forward, capital reserves will not be used to offset operating expenditures so it is critical that we generate sufficient revenue to cover our operating expenses.
Overall, members will see an increase in their dues total of $403 for full members and $295 for twilight members for the entire season. (Please see attached dues sheet for all categories.)
2022 will also see the introduction of a member food and beverage commitment. The turnover of caterers at Blue, coupled with the instability in the food and beverage industry, demonstrates that a confirmed income stream is needed and needed now. All members will be required to make a $300 per season commitment towards food and beverage (excluding gratuities and HST). Members who have not fulfilled their $300 commitment by the end of the season will see their credit card charged for the outstanding balance.
Please see the Q&A’s below which provide more information on the dues increase.
President– BMGCC Board of Directors
Click Here – 2022 Annual Dues and Membership Categories
Click Here – 2022 Season Fees
1. Why are fees increasing?
The decision to increase fees is the result of careful deliberation by the Board of Directors and reflects one of the key values of the recently developed Strategic Plan. That we, as a club, are fiscally responsible.
More practically, the Board noted that:
- In the past, capital reserves were used to offset operating expenditure deficits. This practice will not continue. Sufficient revenue must be generated to cover actual expenditures.
- Current capital funds are insufficient to cover necessary work on the course, grounds and buildings.
- The need to relocate our main irrigation supply pipe due to upcoming road construction, by the Town of Collingwood, on Mountain Road will directly interfere with our water system.
- Continuing to upgrade our drainage system on the course cannot be deferred without significantly jeopardizing course operations.
- Continuing to defer necessary work will add to future costs and diminish the playability of the course and use of the clubhouse.
- Operating expenditures have increased significantly in the past two years due to Covid and are not expected to decrease in the immediate future.
- Government subsidies associated with Covid-19 are expected to end in 2021.
2. What is the Board doing to generate revenue other than increasing member dues?
In addition to the increase in dues, we hope that 2022 will see the return of increased guest and public play and Thursdays will again be opened to tournaments. Provided government regulations permit, we will also rent our facility for community group functions, celebrations, and other events.
Wait List members will also be invited to join the Club, in a controlled manner based on capacity, generating funds through initiation fees. We will also continue to monitor any government programs that might be available to us to offset costs.
3. If there is a shortfall in funds, why is the patio project proceeding?
Member’s dues are not being increased to fund the patio project.
Even in times of budgetary constraints, necessary work has to be continued to preserve the course, grounds and buildings.
The current patio awning is at the end of its useful life. There are significant annual costs to install, take down and maintain the awning. Building the new patio will avoid these annual costs and improve the patio area.
Members overwhelmingly voted in support of this project moving forward with 290 supporting the project and only 29 against.
4. What are some of the necessary projects needed and how was that determined?
Earlier this year, the Board established a 3-year Strategic Plan initiated by the 2020 Member Survey results and supported by an implementation plan.
In keeping with the value to be fiscally responsible, each committee chair, supported by the club management team, was required to identify and prioritize critical projects for implementation over the next 3 years.
Future years will see continued work on drainage, relocation of our water pipe system to ensure long term sustainability of the Club’s irrigation system, and planning for fairway re-routing due to adjacent residential developments.
5. When do I have to pay my dues and how can I pay them?
Members will be invoiced in three instalments on the 15th of January, February and March 2022 and payment can be made by cheque or credit card on file. No convenience fee will be charged for using a credit card. Members are encouraged to collect their points by using their credit card on file.
FOOD & BEVERAGE COMMITMENT:
1. Why are you introducing a food and beverage commitment at the same time dues are increasing?
Blue is behind the times in introducing a food and beverage commitment. Clubs across the Georgian Triangle have long supported their caterer by assuring them of a specific volume of spend over the course of the season.
Unlike other clubs, Blue has long asked our caterers to assume all of the revenue risk in running our food and beverage program. The new food and beverage commitment will provide our caterer with some income certainty. This will allow them to plan the season with appropriate staffing levels, food quality, and support the promotion and planning of our special events. It will also help Blue both attract and retain quality caterers.
An analysis of the amount of food and beverage money spent per member indicates that the majority of members exceed $300 per season.
2. Is the food and beverage commitment seasonal or monthly? When do I pay it?
The food and beverage commitment will be seasonal. We recognize that weather, vacations and other conditions could affect when you’re able to golf.
Members do not have to pay their commitment at the start of the year or even monthly. The food and beverage commitment will be charged to your credit card at the end of season only if you haven’t reached the $300 per member threshold.
For example, at the end of the season:
- You have spent $460 in food and beverage. You have exceeded the food and beverage commitment. Your credit card will not be charged.
- You have spent $286 in food and beverage. You did not reach the food and beverage commitment. Your credit card will be charged $14.
3. You have spent $28 in food and beverage. You did not reach the food and beverage commitment. Your credit card will be charged $272. Can I opt out of the food and beverage commitment?
No. All members, except golfers in the junior membership category, are subject to the food and beverage commitment.
Spousal members may want to ensure that their purchases are charged equally against their accounts so that both members individually have spent the required amount by the end of the season. Amounts charged to one account will not be re-allocated to another account by the Accounting Office.
4. Do the fees I pay to enter events like the Spring and Fall Field Day or Member Guest Day count towards my food and beverage commitment?
Every event`s entry fee will be divided into a food cost and a prize/ expenses cost. The food cost will count towards your $300 food and beverage commitment. Food and beverages ordered on the patio, in the dining room, for take-out or on the course all count towards a member’s annual commitment.
5. The 2020 membership survey clearly said members did not want to make Blue a private club. Isn’t a food and beverage commitment more appropriate for private clubs?
Food and beverage commitments are not restricted to private clubs. For example, Midland Golf and Country Club, a semi-private golf club with a similar membership to Blue, has a $300 food and beverage contribution as part of their membership package. Cranberry Golf Club, a mostly public facility, also requires a food and beverage commitment from its members.
The 2020 membership survey also highlighted that a quality food and beverage program was a very important element of member satisfaction. Introduction of the food and beverage commitment will help us continue to achieve that goal.