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08-10-18 01:44PM
curlerbroad is offline Click Here to See the Profile for curlerbroad Click here to Send curlerbroad a Private Message Find more posts by curlerbroad Add curlerbroad to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
curlerbroad
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Curling in the GTA

A golf and country club in the GTA that tolerates curling has just raised its fees by 30%...one way to get rid of curling - raise the fees. The GTA already lost one G&CC - Scarboro. Hopefully no more. Maybe it's time for Toronto to get a new curling facility built...

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08-11-18 07:59AM
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I don’t like paying higher fees than necessary, but, I assume they raised the fees because the costs/revenue ratio was deemed unacceptable for that club. There seems to be clubs that need more members and an equal number of clubs that are at capacity. Higher fees will deter some members from joining, but, a club has to be financially viable to survive. Still, a 30% increase is a bummer.

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08-13-18 09:53AM
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Exactly - there is a preconceived notion that curlers are cheap. However, the more amenities a club has the more expensive it is to run. Utilities, wages etc have all risen. I know of clubs in Ontario's cottage country that only run from October 1 to March 30 so they can avoid the summer utility rates which kick in April 1.

In a big city, things cost more. If you want to curl at a Country Club and get to use it (dining) all year round, now you pay for it.

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08-13-18 09:04PM
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"Maybe it's time for Toronto to get a new curling facility.."

Perhaps it is, but it would appear that the probability of this happening is somewhere between slim and none, and I suspect Slim left the building 20 years ago.

The basic problem here becomes evident when you examine the economics of building and operating a facility in Toronto. Assuming a facility of six ice sheets plus a clubhouse of approximately 10,000 - 12,000
sq.ft., the capital cost today would probably be somewhere in the $5,000,000 - $7,000,000 range, including project consulting and contingency. But, when you add in the prohibitive cost of land anywhere in the Toronto area, the whole project immediately becomes purely academic.

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08-15-18 03:01PM
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Good point, so the curlers currently curling at Country Clubs should start engaging and using it and enjoying lots of choice of leagues and ice times.

The regular curling clubs in the GTA are packed.

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09-04-18 01:34PM
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One less club to curl at in Toronto...Weston has cancelled curling.

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09-05-18 11:33AM
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nelsosi
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quote:
Originally posted by curlerbroad
One less club to curl at in Toronto...Weston has cancelled curling.


I read about this last night. Does anyone have any details about what led to this decision? was there any indication it was coming, or is it as out of the blue as it seems.

Where are all the Weston curlers going to go this year? the remaining GTA clubs won't be able to absorb them all.

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09-05-18 01:09PM
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quote:
Originally posted by nelsosi


I read about this last night. Does anyone have any details about what led to this decision? was there any indication it was coming, or is it as out of the blue as it seems.

Where are all the Weston curlers going to go this year? the remaining GTA clubs won't be able to absorb them all.



Sad to see when a curling facility closes - especially abruptly. Some of the members will re-allocate their refunded monies to other clubs - but I'm afraid a certain number will abandon the sport for reasons of: familiarity, fees, travel, friends, convenience, other.

I also suspect from a business point of view the Weston CC took things deep into the summer in order to see what their membership numbers (projected financial numbers) looked like before making the decision to pull the plug.
They were obviously not in the position to finance deficits - civic authorities like their taxes up-to-date, same with utility companies, ice & plumbing contractors, curling and non-curling staff.

The projections must have been chilling - perhaps only membership numbers far greater than prior years would have saved them. Who knows?

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09-09-18 01:27PM
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And then they called in the accountants.....

In order to be commercially/economically viable ( i.e. capable of generating a profit ) curling clubs in the GTA require, as a general rule of thumb, a membership in the 80 - 100 range for each sheet of ice.

In the Weston case, after making numerous annual attempts to increase the curling membership over a considerable period of time, they eventually were left with no alternative but to increase the annual fees ( 30% ) for the 2018-19 season in a final attempt to cover the financial shortfall and stop the bleeding. When it became blatantly obvious that this strategy was not going to be successful, a decision was taken to axe the curling operations and close the club's doors permanently.

The Scarboro decision was also heavily influenced by the fact they had 6 sheets of ice but only 275 members. That simply couldn't work forever and again, after bringing in the accountants, the Board of Directors supported by a majority of the shareholders voted to "eliminate the drag" once and for all.

In each case the proceedings had to be poignant. Neither, however, presented a particularly difficult decision once you accept the fact that curling clubs must be managed essentially as a business entity, not as an eleemosynary institution. That said, many have said it didn't have to happen. And they are correct, it didn't because both golf and country clubs have the financial capacity and cash flow to easily offset/neutralize any shortfall incurred by the curling operations.

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09-10-18 01:25PM
curlerbroad is offline Click Here to See the Profile for curlerbroad Click here to Send curlerbroad a Private Message Find more posts by curlerbroad Add curlerbroad to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
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Weston had a decent curling membership - over 325. There was a successful recruitment campaign last year and things were looking bright. Financially it was holding its own.

Sadly the current board of directors (there were no curlers on the Board) thought differently and determined that there was no place for curling at Weston.

Bottom line, the risk at Golf & Country clubs is if the Board does not favour curling, then curling will not have a chance.

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09-10-18 03:01PM
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quote:
Originally posted by curlerbroad
Weston had a decent curling membership - over 325. There was a successful recruitment campaign last year and things were looking bright. Financially it was holding its own.

Sadly the current board of directors (there were no curlers on the Board) thought differently and determined that there was no place for curling at Weston.

Bottom line, the risk at Golf & Country clubs is if the Board does not favour curling, then curling will not have a chance.



What other services & programs does Weston offer? I'm assuming a non-curler board indicates activities like: Golf (obviously), banquets & catering, hall rentals, cross-country skiing, etc.

If all or most then its hard to understand how the marginal costs of ice-making, administration, cleaning & extra utilities wouldn't have been off-set by 325 fully paid members & casual ice rentals.

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09-10-18 08:34PM
Deliverer is offline Click Here to See the Profile for Deliverer Click here to Send Deliverer a Private Message Find more posts by Deliverer Add Deliverer to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Deliverer
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quote:
Originally posted by curlerbroad
Weston had a decent curling membership - over 325. There was a successful recruitment campaign last year and things were looking bright. Financially it was holding its own.

Sadly the current board of directors (there were no curlers on the Board) thought differently and determined that there was no place for curling at Weston.

Bottom line, the risk at Golf & Country clubs is if the Board does not favour curling, then curling will not have a chance.



Correct. Weston did have a decent membership number in 2017. But after imposing the 30% annual increase for the 2018-19 season, the membership shortfall became more than critical. At that juncture only the Board could have saved the operation but they voted, as you know, not to.

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09-12-18 08:47AM
curlerbroad is offline Click Here to See the Profile for curlerbroad Click here to Send curlerbroad a Private Message Find more posts by curlerbroad Add curlerbroad to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
curlerbroad
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A very good assessment of what transpired by Doug Flowers (Goldline and former Weston curler).

http://www.curlingzone.com/post.php?postid=1999#1

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