IMPORTANT MEMBER UPDATE
Further to my previous update issued on January 4th, I wish to now provide a further update in relation to the current operating arrangements for the Eden Fishermen’s Club and Eden Country Club.
Now the immediate threat to the town and resident community has eased, the Clubs main focus is to turn our attention towards assessing the economic impacts and damage we as a business sustained arising from the loss of trade and the broader economic damage currently being experienced across the South Coast region.
The post-Christmas evacuation of seasonal holiday makers and many residents combined with the devastating impacts of the fire affected areas post New Year’s Eve has seen up to 80 % of the expected summer peak trade wiped off the map and as such an exodus of people that would be otherwise be active within the region and our clubs in particular.
Initial estimates by Bega Valley Shire Council have placed the loss of economic revenue to the shire in excess of $280 million with at least $120 million of that figure in lost income within the Motel, Tourist Park and Hospitality sector alone.
Some estimates place the loss of seasonal holiday makers for the region in excess of 120,000 people that would normally visit the region during the summer holiday period.
Another significant challenge we have faced has been the impact of smoke within the town, this has added further stress to our business with our golf and bowls activity being 90 % down on the same period last year.
To put this in perspective, in the week ending Sunday 12th January we recorded total golf rounds for the week at 45 players and bowls at 10 players, the lowest in our recorded history.
Given this situation, Club Management are continuing to assess the financial impacts upon our already weakened financial position leading into 2020.
As yet, small business assistance support from the government is not yet known. The Club is still processing our situation for immediate damages with the clubs Insurance firm and state emergency management office to recoup immediate expenses incurred operating as an evacuation centre which forced us to close both clubs for an extended period of time.
As much as the Board and Management team realise the significance for the club to restore to normal trade activity and restore public and member confidence and some degree of business activity returns, we must in the first instance secure our ability to remain a going concern and that at this specific moment, we are unable to make that qualified assessment.
The Board is equally aware that some members (and surprisingly many people within the local community who are NOT members) are using social media to voice their frustrations at the modified trading conditions (especially the Country Club), we note that the many of those individuals posting such views have historically spent very little on club services other than use the sporting facilities which runs at a significant loss every year. In some instances, there is no record of those members posting vexatious comments towards club management in particular have no record of patronising either of the two licensed clubs other than play golf or barely more than 1 drink a week, yet demanding the business remain open just on the off chance that they may go in one day and purchase a drink or meal!
Of equal note some amongst this group appear to have had a sudden outbreak of amnesia in regards to the clubs financial position posting comments that the recent fire posed no role in the limited trading at the country club. If they had looked at any of the clubs annual reports dating back to the 2008 they would be aware that Club has struggled for many years and not as immediate result of the bush fire crisis.
There will be separate Member Information announcements made in the forthcoming weeks in regards to the Clubs Financial position once the extent of the current crisis can be fully accessed.
It is worthy to note that the average annual club expenditure by sporting affiliated members at the Country Club other than their immediate golf and bowls membership fee is $ 1,200 per annum, yet the average annual subsidy provided by the club to operate the site is $899 per member and has been for the past 15 years.
The Club will continue in the immediate weeks ahead, use evidence based on sales and patron activity to assess the level of business support and adjust our operating schedules accordingly as demand dictates.
We are in NO position to increase costs to open and operate facilities where there are simply insufficient numbers of patrons to justify those outlays until such time the region and Eden community recover.
EDEN GARDENS TRADING TIMES
CLOSED Monday, Wednesday & Thursday
OPEN Effective 21/1/20 Tuesday 11.30am -9pm
Chefs Choice Open Lunch & Dinner
Members Badge Draw / Raffles
OPEN Friday 12 Noon to 9 pm
Chefs Choice open Lunch & Dinner
OPEN Saturday 10am to 9 pm
Saturday raffles return as of January 18th.
Chefs Choice open lunch & Dinner
OPEN Sunday 10.30am – 8pm
Chefs Choice open Lunch & Dinner
These times will be reviewed on a week to week basis based on the level of business activity recorded.
Decisions regarding opening the club on those days currently listed as closed will in part be decided by the number of players registered to play in either bowls or Golf events.
INTERIM BOWLS ARRANGEMENTS
Women’s Bowls Tuesdays from 10am
Midweek Mixed Social Bowls Moved to Friday commencing 1pm
Sunday Social Bowls 11am Sunday
INTERIM GOLF ARRANGEMENTS
Tuesday Pro Comp Tuesdays
Ladies Midweek Comp Wednesdays (Club Bar closed)
Chook Run Fridays as per normal
Saturday Comp As normal
Dads Army Sunday – as normal
Both Board and Management will attempt to keep our members informed of any additional changes as they come to hand, but we ask that you appreciate the severity and scale of the situation we are presently attempting to deal with.
Chief Executive Officer