On Wednesday 7/29, an open board meeting was held after the competitive curling meeting. Some key financial decisions regarding the club's future were discussed and are still being debated. We encourage everyone to attend to provide input! Here are notes from the 7/29 meeting:
Bonspiel May, 2010
- BUDGET: Lyle presented a copy of last year's bonspiel budget alongside projections for next year's costs. Last year's budget ran a 2-5k deficit (depending on calculation method and possibilities of recouping some additional money.) Next year's projected budget is showing that it might cost the club about 1k to operate - though we hope to revise some numbers and our goal is to run a 1-2k profit. (This may depend some on the success of our Olympic season recruiting and our ability to possibly negotiate a better deal with SI.)
- BOARD GIVES GO-AHEAD: Up until now, the club was only investigating the possibility of holding the spiel. At this meeting, after reviewing the budget and other considerations, the board members present voted unanimously to authorize hosting the bonspiel (assuming final details can be worked out with SI.)
- OTHER NOTES: The spiel will almost certainly be held in Fremont, but there is a chance it will be held in Oakland. Mason is working on possible draw schedules.
- WHEN WILL IT START?: In order to start curling at Oakland, some issues still need to be resolved, including rock storage and equipment procurement.
- ROCK STORAGE: There is no secure place to store stones in Oakland where they can have snow put on them. So, we must buy a freezer in order to curl there. We currently estimate that a freezer will cost between 4.5 and 7k to purchase (transport and assembly not necessarily included) and we will also have to determine the cost of power and who will pay for that (a rough estimate made at the meeting was 2k per year, but Barry will try to get a more exact figure for the next meeting.) SI at Oakland is currently not able to purchase that for us, but they did suggest that they might be able to pay the up front costs and that we would work off the debt by holding corporate events in Oakland. (For reference, we earn approx. $10 per person at events.) (More on this topic in the next section.)
- OTHER EQUIPMENT: Oakland would have been able to use WCC rocks during the summer season, but will need its own rocks during the fall, winter and spring. (And it now appears that summer curling in Oakland is unlikely unless a freezer can be purchased and installed quickly.) Ideally, Oakland needs: 5 sets of rocks, 10 hacks, 2 pebblers, 2 wooden racks, 20 sliders, 20+ brooms, and (optional) ice grooming brooms, scoreboards, stabilizers and delivery sticks. The club will need to purchase most of these items. All of this brings us to:
Rock Refurbishment and Other Equipment Needs
- WHAT IS OUR ROCK SITUATION? The SFBACC owns 8 sets of rocks. (7 sets are in the bay area, 1 is still with the Simi Valley CC, though we hope to have them back here soon.) To run our operations in 3 rinks, we need a total of 15 sets of stones - these 8, combined with 4 belonging to SI, give us 12.
In more detail, we have (or have access to):
4 sets of insert rocks owned by SI (a.k.a. the "Fremont" rocks), EXCELLENT condition
2 sets of red trefor "SJ rocks", recently refurbished, EXCELLENT condition (only 1 sec slower than the "Fremont SI rocks" and with excellent curl)
2 sets of red trefor "SJ rocks", FAIR condition (these are the "slow" rocks from SJ)
2 sets of rocks in storage, POOR condition (though they should be refurbishable)
1 set of rocks back from loan to WCC, FAIR condition (should be refurbishable)
1 set of rocks in Simi Valley (condition unknown, but presumed to be POOR, but refurbishable)
This means that we need to eventually refurbish 6 sets of rocks, which will cost approx 15k.
- FREEZERS: All of the rocks need to be kept in freezers - AND NOT STACKED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER - in order to stay in good condition. We will not be bringing out our refurb rocks until we have freezers to store them in, so obviously, we need freezers before February! Freezers will cost 4.5-7k each (with possible additional cost for transport/assembly) and we may be responsible for power costs, which could run 2k each (better estimates are in the works.) That would work out to 13.5-21k for freezers plus 6k per year for power. (Though maybe SI will buy a freezer for their Fremont rocks.)
- HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THIS??? The club has about 15k in its savings. We MUST purchase 1 freezer for our refurbed rocks, so we should plan for 7k mandatory for that, which would bring us to about 8k in savings. We need at least 7k to start curling in Oakland. And we would like to spend an additional 20-25k on rocks and freezers, etc. Plus, we may have significant ongoing costs associated with the freezers. This means we need to look at financing options. We are going to talk to SI about other possible events-for-freezers deals, etc. (For reference, we earn approx. $10 per person at events.) Other options include issuing bonds to club members (members make a loan to the club and the club pays it back over 5 years, or some such, as was done in the early days) and winning the lotto. Anyone with any ideas or interest in making tax-deductible gifts to a good cause is welcome to join us at our next meeting to discuss all this!
And a final note from the note writer (Gabrielle): In case all that seems grim - remember where we were four years ago: The club had about 25 members and curled only 6 times a year. Now, we're about 100 members strong and hope to grow to over 150 (maybe even 250) members by the end 2010. We curl year round - soon in 3 locations with 5 sheets each - and have curlers competing in every major national event. We have an up-to-date web site and dozens of certified instructors. We host bonspiels and are in a position to consider hosting a national championship. We've come a long way! These equipment acquisitions and the expected member growth of 2010 will help vault us into an even stronger, more sustainable mode with faster rocks and better curling for all.