YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

And, if they’re not, please email us, UPCC.Masterplan@gmail.com

These are questions the RD and administration have received from residents and members as of 6/25/22. Many have been edited to be more concise and/or combine other related questions that have come in.

FINANCE

During takeover, we were promised no additional assessments. What happened to all that money from the first bond we are still paying for?

The planning group, which started the process to purchase the Club in 2018, did not make such promises. They knew UPCC was a 30-year-old country club with little capital investment by developers and, in fact, discussed seeking a larger bond to cover the modernization needed. Municipal bonds require the funds be spent or under contract within 3 years, certainly inadequate time for a new Board to develop a responsible long-range plan and get it underway. The planning group predicted – 4 years ago – another bond would be needed in about 3 – 5 years to fund the improvements needed.

Why should I pay for a Club I don’t use? Why should I pay for a golf course I don’t use? . . . for a fitness center I won’t use? . . . for pickleball I will never play? etc.

To preserve the quality of our community and our home values, the Club must offer the quality and range of facilities and services that potential home buyers want. Compare housing values in University Park and University Place, with no club.  Many are very similar, built by the same builder at the same time.  Our homes values are 10-30% higher than in University Place.

Some members and residents think about paying only for the things they use and think that commercial facilities outside UP are substitutes for a club experience.  That line of thinking suggests we don’t need a club at all.  We can clearly play golf elsewhere, go to dozens of restaurants within a mile, play tennis and pickleball at Longwood, go to several fitness clubs nearby, even play cards in a bridge club.  In fact, there are at least two other nearby country clubs we could join.  UPCC is a place for our members to share experiences and form a ‘social fabric’ of enduring friendships.

Appealing to a broad range of interests and types of members enhances a club’s overall membership satisfaction and the ultimate success of a club.

How are we going to pay for all this?

We propose a municipal bond specifically for Phase 2 projects, no matter the ultimate scope. Without a bond, we cannot address even the critical infrastructure needs such as the kitchen and golf course irrigation.

The Recreation District has the advantage of funding capital investments in the Club through a low-cost, tax-free, long-term municipal bond. To complete Phase 2, we must acquire a large sum of money. This bond will be paid off over 30 years by homeowners on their annual property tax bill. That means, unlike an assessment, current homeowners pay off the bond only as long as they live here and enjoy Club benefits – even for homeowners who never use the Club, the benefit is reflected in the value of their homes. If home values continue to increase as Phase 2 nears completion, homeowners get an immediate benefit and are not paying for future owners to reap the benefit.

But . . . we also need capital reserves . . .

On top of the bond, you want us to pay for a capital reserve too?

Yes. A viable country club must have a capital reserve.  UPCC is a 30-year-old club; when residents purchased the Club in 2019, there was no capital reserve, only the $4 million remainder of the bond which is paying for Phase 1 projects. So, the reality is we must start from scratch.  This summer, a highly qualified consulting group (Club Benchmarking) will provide the Board with information that will assist in determining the appropriate level of capital reserves required for the Club.

The current proposal for a long-term capital reserve spreads the burden depending on the value the Club brings to a person.  The approach is balanced to get a contribution from resident members (5% of dues); a higher contribution from nonresident members (10% of dues and higher initiation fees); and from all homeowners, a real estate transfer fee (to be determined, likely less than the initial proposal of .7%). As well, a certain percentage of outside golf revenue will go toward capital reserves. Under this plan, the Club would build approximately $10 million capital reserves in 10 years. The Board would then reassess if/what fees should be adjusted or eliminated.

Who pays that transfer fee when I sell my home?

If approved by the RD Board, most likely, the fee would be the responsibility of the seller and likely built into the asking price of the house.

If the transfer is a percentage, it will keep rising as property values go up. Aren’t you going to raise more than you need for capital reserves?

Of course, property values can go in both directions. The transfer fee would be only a part of the funding of a capital reserve for the Club, but once capital reserves are deemed sufficient, each source for the reserves, including the transfer fee, would be reassessed to see if it is still needed.

Why not split the bond into 2 steps? First the critical needs, then make decisions about the more controversial issues of space for a fitness center, offices and meeting rooms?

To address even the critical infrastructure needs (kitchen, golf course irrigation and parking lot), we need a bond. The costs of issuing a bond are sizable no matter the amount. We would incur those costs twice if we were to break it into two separate bonds, especially if bonds interest rates continue an upward spiral as presently forecasted. As well, you can see what a cumbersome process is involved – especially for volunteers – to get a bond approved, as well as the reactions of residents to another request for a bond.

Why didn’t you raise enough money in the first place? Why are you pushing a second bond so quickly?

When the community bought the Club, the bond included $4 million for the obvious, immediate needs as well as Phase 1 projects. Municipal bonds require the funds be spent or under contract within 3 years, certainly inadequate time for a brand-new Board to develop a responsible long-range plan and get it underway. In the past two years, we have worked on a Masterplan, based on input from the community and consultants; an influx of capital is needed to undertake any projects. Given the current favorable bond rates and the forecasts of rising rates, we are eager to start the bond process moving.

Is a $15 or $18 million bond enough to cover Phase 2 improvements?

We are actively working to determine a solid number to cover the projects that will ultimately go into Phase 2. With inflation, interest rate increases, supply chain issues and so many other variables, it is challenging. Time is certainly not our friend. As soon as we have more refined estimates for the improvements and we have a better grasp on the timing of the bond (and the bond interest rates at that time), we will share the recommended amount of the bond and the rationale. We want to be very sure we request enough to complete the job. We certainly do not want a future Board to come back asking for another bond or additional funding for the foreseeable future.

How much am I going to pay for this new bond?

The amount you pay will be determined when the Board determines the allocation approach to be used. The 2019 bond was based on a “50-50” allocation approach. The rationale behind that formula is that 1. All homes in UP derive value from our greenspace and a vibrant Club; 2. More expensive homes derive proportionately more value. So, for the first bond, half the annual payment was a flat fee for all homes and half was a percentage of the home’s market value as determined by Manatee County. This seems the most equitable formula, but the Board has not made the final decision.

Why does the Club offer all these amenities that don’t pay for themselves?

Unlike a business, a country club offers a lifestyle or overall experience for members. Not just golf on a beautiful course, but a host of things big and small: meeting new friends; hanging out; activities like cards, dancing or bingo; displaying art; even waitstaff who greet you by name and know your member number. These myriad experiences constitute the “product” UPCC offers members. Most of these amenities cannot be reduced to specific profit-centers. Few country clubs across the country run food and beverage operations or fitness centers that yield a surplus. We are fortunate to have a stellar golf operation that does bring in revenue so outside golf and member dues, subsidize an array of amenities. We continuously look at all operations to make sure they run efficiently from both a financial and operational standpoint.

Will we be asked to pay for a Phase 3? What is on the drawing board we don’t know about?

We believe Phase 2 will take UPCC well into the future. We have no additional plans other than to sustain a viable, up-to-date country club. But, is that for 10, 20 or 30 years? The community and the Board you elect in the future will make those decisions.

What assurance do we have those capital dues won’t go up every year?

While new to UPCC, capital dues are used by many clubs, religious organizations, etc. to cover future expenses of maintenance, repair and updates of facilities. We can’t promise there will never be an increase or even no increase within a certain number of years, but we are studying the issue with the help of professionals to ensure the plan adequately funds our capital reserve needs into the future.

Instead of annual capital dues, why not issue a larger bond payable over 30 years?

It will take 10 years or longer to build reasonable capital reserves. The purpose is to cover future maintenance, repair or replacement of existing equipment and facilities. Municipal bonds, on the other hand, are intended to complete long-term capital investments paid for with long-term bonds.

Why should I, as a resident, invest in a club we don’t own but is a public entity?

It’s true that residents do not “own” the Club as do members who own a share in a private club, but we elect the RD Board and provide input on how the Club is managed. In many ways, the Club is private-like and is comparable to many private country clubs in our area. As a Recreation District, we have an advantage over private clubs in that we can use a tax-free public bond to make improvements instead of relying only on member assessments and fees.

As a Club member who doesn’t live in UP, I agree we should pay toward the bond and capital reserves, but I also feel we should have a say in what the bond covers.

The Board wants your input and urges you to voice your opinions in public meetings and contacts with Board members. Your input will be solicited in the survey of all residents and Club members. However, per Florida statute, only homeowners can vote in elections of RD Board members and RD bond referendums.

The HOA or UPCAI has substantial reserves, why don’t they either loan or just share some of their reserves for the improvements in the Club?

UPCAI has developed their capital reserve over 30 years and understandably must keep it for ongoing maintenance, repairs and updates to the common property throughout the Park. In truth, the Club’s need for funds exceeds the UPCAI reserve. Florida Statutes 720.303 6 2(h) and the University Park Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions currently prohibit a loan of UPCAI reserve funds to UPRD.

Can you increase fees for resident and nonresident members to pay for the Club improvements and capital reserves thus lowering the need for additional assessments?

Increased initiation fees and dues would be very substantial to cover the needs facing the Club. And we would have to do it in just a few years to address the critical infrastructure needs. Doing so would put us in a very poor competitive position to other clubs in our area and we would anticipate a precipitous loss and downgrade in membership. Be aware, there are two separate financial needs here. The first is acquiring capital to make the needed improvements in a property that has been pretty much ignored for decades. This is the purpose of the bond. The second is generating sufficient capital reserves to maintain our present assets and future improvements. These funds would come from operations, initiation fees and an annual capital assessment as a percentage of dues. By the completion of the projects supported by the bond funds, we should accumulate the necessary reserves for the Club’s future.

Are other routes available to secure the required capital besides bonding?

A bank loan is more expensive than a municipal bond,  and because UPRD  is a government entity, we do not have assets that provide sufficient security for the needed funds. The option of an assessment on homeowners, of say $4,000/year for four years, would mean today’s residents bear the entire cost for improvements that will be enjoyed by future residents. A municipal bond is the least expensive way to finance improvements and it equitably spreads the costs among those enjoying those improvements.

If we don’t approve a new bond, what will happen?

If the bond is not approved, the Board may have to come up with a mix of assessments to homeowners and members to pay for the critical infrastructure issues and, at least, for the space needs that threaten the viability of the Club. A Club in disrepair will undoubtedly erode our property values.

Will you give us a breakdown of the cost for each project under Phase 2?

Our current estimates, as of early July 2022:

GOLF COURSE IRRIGATION $4 MILLION +
Kitchen expansion/modernization 2 million
Infrastructure/environmental for golf course 1.3 million
Parking lot reconfiguration/resurfacing 750,000
Renovate current pro shop to replace Varsity Club 600,000
Expand space for activities/meetings, offices and fitness 6.5 million
Subtotal: $15.1million

If possible, the bond would include:

REPAIR TO THE BOARDWALK 210,000
Entry view of lake 500,000
Water feature 100,000
2 tennis courts, if demand is strong 250,000
2 additional pickleball courts, if demand is strong 310,000
Cart path bump out 275,000
Subtotal: $1.6 million
TOTAL: $16.7million

WHAT’S NEXT?

What is your plan currently for Phase 2 of the Master Plan?

Since the first discussion of Phase 2 in March, we have received much feedback through several town halls, zoom meetings and many emails that range from rejecting any improvements to the Club to recommending more ambitious upgrades. We have removed the industrial-looking, monolithic building on Parcel L off the drawing boards. We have down-sized the projected amount of square footage for wellness/fitness, meeting/activity areas and staff space. We continue to receive a great deal of anecdotal feedback primarily regarding renovation/expansion/new construction and possible sites to answer the Club’s spatial needs. We will survey homeowners and Club members before recommending a final Masterplan Phase 2 plan. If the results are positive, we will then begin the bond referendum process. If a new bond passes, community input will continue to be solicited through the Advisory Groups and other means as the Masterplan progresses.

What steps must be/will be followed for the Phase 2 bond?

The Board will continue to solicit your input as it continues to work with consultants to develop and refine alternatives and cost estimates. This summer, residents and members will be surveyed. If the survey results are positive, the next step is a bond referendum of homeowners.  Each of the 1200 homes in UP gets one vote. If approved by homeowners, the bond will go through several regulatory steps and roughly 6 months later, the monies will be available to the Club.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CLUB AND OPERATIONS

How does UP compare to other Country Clubs?

Club Benchmarking, a firm that assesses national trends in country clubs, has identified three “buckets” that compare the viability of a club: Green, for clubs that are thriving in terms of membership and financial footing; Red, for those that are struggling and lowering prices to compete; and Yellow, for those that are trending one way or the other. Based on the Club Benchmarking information, UP falls in the Yellow bucket. The key to Green is reinvesting in a club to keep facilities and amenities ever changing with member needs.

In our area, many comparable clubs are relatively new with modern facilities. UPCC’s golf course, tennis, location and ”old Florida” ambiance are strengths but most of our facilities do not meet the expectations of current (necessarily future) members and homeowners.  With Phase 1, we addressed some of our major shortfalls. As a community, UP can decide whether to “Go for the Green” or allow the Club to continue a downward trend to Red and the implied decline in our community and related home values.

What happened to the original Masterplan we paid consultants to come up with?

As supported by most, certain aspects of the initial plan were incorporated in the Phase 1 improvements: dining renovations; pickleball courts; the plan to move the Pro Shop to the current Varsity Club location; additional space for wellness/fitness/recreational/meeting purposes; opening a view of the lake as you enter the Club campus. Other aspects were not incorporated such as the major redesign of the entry drive into the club, the “village concept” of many small buildings around the lake and the walking trail in Parcel L.

MEMBERSHIP

How do resident member fees compare to nonresident member fees? How many nonresident Club members are there as opposed to resident members?

In 2022, resident members pay the same amount as nonresidents. This is expected to change in 2023, as nonresident members will be charged a higher percentage of dues toward the capital reserve. As of 4/30/22, the number of memberships is:

TOTAL, including nonresidents NONRESIDENT
FULL 363 78
RACQUET 124 39
SOCIAL 750 96
TOTAL 1,237 215

 Does the Club make money or lose money on nonresident members?

The Club does not lose money on nonresident members. Currently, however, nonresident members pay the same club dues as resident members. The current club dues plan is expected to change because resident members pay toward the bond. The current proposal for 2023 dues includes changes so that resident members will annually pay 5% of their dues toward capital reserves, nonresident members will pay 10% of their dues toward those reserves and new nonresident members will pay a higher initiation fee than new resident members.

How do our Summer Member fees compare to other clubs in the area? Do we make or lose money on Summer memberships?

Summer members certainly help offset decline in use by members who leave UP for the summer. Current pricing is competitive, with plans to significantly increase the fee in 2023.

What is your goal with the Masterplan? Is it to increase Club membership?

The Board’s goal is to increase member experience for all members. The Masterplan Phase 2 is not specifically directed to increasing membership although that may well be a byproduct.  The goal is for a stable, self-supporting club that will continue to enhance our community and related home values. In terms of membership, the mission is to increase membership levels that balance desired usage with readily available amenities to members.  We are currently determining optimum membership levels in each category.

To make it a bit more attractive to us social members or to resident nonmembers, could you at least offer a discount on golf?

The Board is keen to entice Social Members to enjoy the Club. Positive experiences lead to increased support and possibly their purchasing passes or upgrading membership. Many recreational events, from Outdoor Movie Nights and ballroom dancing to Bandstand and Food-Truck Nights, are geared to all memberships. The Board is exploring further possibilities for enticing Social Members such as discounts on golf and other facilities.

How many residents are NOT required to be Club Members? How is that fair to the rest of us?

Per a contractual agreement with the developers of UP, owners of properties bought before 2007, are not required to join the Club. Currently, 430 homeowners are ”grandfathered.” Of these, currently 257 have chosen to join the Club; 173 are not members. When grandfathered homes are sold, the new owners are required to join the Club. UP homeowners, both members and non-members, are all required to pay off the bond that was used to purchase the Club. That will hold true for any future bond as well.

DINING and KITCHEN

We’re told we should expect an annual operating loss of $500,000 or more. Why can’t we get to revenue neutral for a restaurant that doesn’t have to pay a mortgage or rental costs for space?

Food and beverage operations are subsidized by member dues in virtually all country clubs. Club Benchmarking, the industry’s leading consultant, notes that more successful clubs actually subsidize their F&B more than less successful clubs.  Club dining in the evening draws guests only from residents and members; tables do not ‘turn’ 3 times an evening as in a restaurant (our members want to eat 5:45-6:45pm and linger after meals); and the Club takes measures few restaurants would consider, such as stocking a member’s favorite liquor, despite the profitability of doing so.

The Board started out with kitchen renovation at $1 million; now you’re saying $2 million. Why?

Since the Covid pandemic, the Club, in response to member demand, has expanded dining venues (outdoors in the evening, Boardwalk Café, etc.). At the same time membership has grown to 2,200 people.  Our kitchen can barely handle that capacity in the timely, first-class manner our members deserve and expect.  As certain equipment upgrades were considered, we came to realize a larger footprint was needed.  Inflation is also impacting many of our earlier estimates. We anticipate the expansion, reconfiguration, and equipment replacement will come close to $2 million.

If the Club restaurant was open for typical hours instead of closing so early, might you get 2 turnovers per table, increasing your revenue?

The biggest challenge is that members prefer reservations between 5:45 and 6:45pm which makes two seatings a night very difficult. Another issue is the continued shortage of kitchen staff. Our staff works one shift that includes both lunch and dinner. Many are already putting in 60-hour work weeks. When staffing can be expanded, our goal is to open at least one more night per week, particularly during peak season.

Will the fixes to the dining room acoustics be paid for under the Phase 2 bond or is the contractor covering the cost since they didn’t do very well the first go-round?

We are exploring the best way to improve the acoustics, from carpeting certain areas (reportedly much of the flooring could be re-used as we remodel elsewhere) to adding acoustical paneling on the flat areas of the ceilings. The latter is a more expensive procedure; the original vendor has agreed to provide the materials and install the flat panels for free, after we prepare the ceilings by dropping sprinklers, vents, lighting, etc.

Why not get rid of the loss-making parts of the Club, for example, food and beverage?

Food and beverage is the one activity enjoyed by all membership categories. To many, it is the heart and soul of the Club. A country club is very different from a business where profit for a particular business location is the objective. In our case, members’ lifestyle is the product, including an array of amenity opportunities, especially food and beverage, that contribute to that lifestyle.

Have you given thought to expanding the Lakeside room to increase revenues from weddings? The Grille/Lakeside layout isn’t very conducive for a large gathering. Is parking a limitation?

We are not currently looking at expanding the Lakeside Room, although we are considering repurposing the current locker rooms to serve as a dressing area for wedding parties. Under Covid, like many clubs, we have moved from emphasizing outside banquets to focus more on member needs and found the approach to be financially viable. Our indoor dining space is limited to about 150-175 for an outside event; the present parking lot is adequate for our banquet capacity.

GOLF

Why is the golf course irrigation going to cost millions of dollars?

The current 30-year-old system is obsolete and inefficient. We cannot get replacement parts any longer; we are purchasing used parts from other clubs in Florida where they have replaced their irrigation.  We average 2 major repairs a week which often disrupts play and requires increased maintenance costs. Our current system wastes water and doesn’t reach key areas efficiently.

New systems are computerized, far more efficient and . . . expensive. With supply chain issues and inflation, the costs will continue to rise. We’ve had “desktop” quotes near $4 million. It will take a vendor weeks of planning and designing to work up actual “good faith” quotes – that are only good for 15 days or so. We need to be contract-ready with a deposit to hold prices. The new irrigation will potentially bring us a 30% water saving, meaning more will be available for other water needs in UP neighborhoods and common areas. It can also reduce our electrical use by 20%.

Why not repair the golf course irrigation 9 holes at a time, so you minimize the loss in golf revenues and spread the costs over a period of time?

Installation of the new irrigation system will be timed to avoid loss of golf revenue and minimize interruption to play, as will the refurbishment of holes 19-27 this summer. The startup costs for installing new irrigation and the complications of managing an old and a new system at the same time would make it a nightmare financially and logistically to do over a period of years.

OFFICE SPACE

Why don’t you get creative on office space? Shared offices; rotate or 10-hour workdays; remote work.

So many staff responsibilities require face-to-face interaction with members, vendors and other staff that such practices would not significantly reduce the need for more and improved office space. To attract and retain great staff, UPCC should offer a professional and safe place to work. Currently, some Club staff are working in an attic over the Varsity Club. To enter these offices, you must walk up 20 narrow steps; there are no windows or water (bathrooms are down those 20 steps); there is no break area; the second exit, in case of a fire, is through an area finished only with plywood; thus, the nickname “The Attic Dungeon.” This is not justifiable at a country club as prestigious as UPCC. We are assessing the costs of renovating this area as well as options including repurposing other buildings.

Why not just renovate the current admin office space?

We are looking at this possibility and the potential costs.

 Why can’t offices go in The Gallery at the Community Center, or why not expand that building for more office space?

The Community Center is owned and operated by UPCAI (the UP homeowners association). The recent renovations were designed to accommodate the UPCAI staff, 2 small conference rooms (15-20 people max) and a small art gallery for the community. The UPRD, as well as other organizations, can and do use the conference rooms. Our staff need to be onsite at the Club to deal with members, vendors and other Club staff.

ACTIVITY/MEETING SPACE

Is it meeting space or space for activities you are looking for?

Both. With a smart design, we would have the flexibility of smaller rooms opening into a larger space. Organizations, such as the Women’s Club or LGA, need space for board meetings and occasionally larger gatherings. Informal groups, such as card and mah-jongg players, could use more room. With additional space, a range and number of activities, from art classes and dance classes to Art in the Park, lectures, concerts and other entertainment could be offered and not interfere with dining.

Why not rent a space outside UP for large meetings instead of building a great big new facility?

Except for the need of smaller meeting spaces, it might be worth the expense, and complications of renting an outside facility (lengthy advance notice) for large gatherings, although it is likely that attendance would decline drastically.

Will there be art studio space in the improvements?

If the concept of a flexible activity/meeting area goes through, it could potentially accommodate art classes.

Are you planning an entertainment venue where concerts, comedy acts, lectures or even a show could be held?

If the concept of a flexible meeting/activity area goes through, it could accommodate various forms of entertainment.

Why can’t we play cards in the Community Center?

The Community Center is really an office setting. The 200 plus people who currently play games, cards, etc. on a weekly basis at the Varsity Club would be very disruptive to the offices…and there simply isn’t enough room.

VARSITY CLUB

Why not delay moving the Varsity Club until you see if the new outdoor dining/bar meets that need?

That suggestion has been implemented and the move will be evaluated at a later time.

What’s the plan to move the pro shop to the varsity club. What will go on there? What’s the timing?

We are delaying the Pro Shop move until after the first of the year as the current Varsity Club space will be needed for its current uses during construction/renovation of the outdoor Cafe. Assuming the desire remains for the traditional Varsity Club experience, the plan is to renovate/expand the “old” pro shop to accommodate that need.

What’s the square footage of the current pro shop? How much will it cost to add bathrooms and the deck? What will the capacity be when completed?

The current pro shop is about 1600 square feet. We are gathering design and cost estimates to ensure that the renovated building can accommodate the way the current Varsity Club is enjoyed.

 When will we be able to enjoy Friday nights at the Varsity Club again? Wherever it is, will it be open more than Friday nights?

The Varsity Club and Boardwalk Cafe are currently open Wednesday through Friday from 3-8pm for bar service. The Park Bites menu is available from 3:30pm-6pm on those nights as well.

Will the new bond pay for relocating the Varsity Club to the current pro shop or do you have the money for that now?

We will need funding from the new bond to renovate the current Pro Shop to accommodate the usage of the existing Varsity Club.

CROQUET

Why don’t croquet players pay for the croquet field you just built?

Now that the new croquet facility is in place, management is considering a Croquet Pass like the Fitness and Pickleball Passes already available to Social Members. Croquet is included in all membership categories; now that the field is completed, we are considering the return of offering a Croquet pass to Social Members. A guest fee is required for non-members.

How much did the new croquet pitch cost and how much to maintain?

The costs were just under $75,000; annual maintenance is negligible.

I thought the new croquet field was going to be regulation-size so we could host tournaments.

Yes, we had expected that as well. Space was not the restraining factor. It is the shadows from the building and trees that limited the pitch to less than regulation size. The grass on a croquet field requires unobstructed sun so the surface remains consistent and uniformly playable.

TENNIS

Why would the Board spend $300,000 to build two new tennis courts and create a fruit juice bar and racquet shop? Only 86 UP residents are racquet members and the courts are empty after 10:30 am. Why should 93% of all UP homeowners pay for 7% of residents?

There are 124 racquet members, 85 are UP residents and 39 non-residents (some from Palm Aire, which has reduced their tennis program) plus currently over 20 summer racquet members.  Also, 40-50 full members play tennis who are not included in the figures. The 11 tennis courts are chock-full 8:00-11:00am during high season; that’s why inter-club play starts at 11:30am. With much of the racquet activity 8:00-noon, a place to share coffee, juice or a light breakfast, would be a nice amenity, especially since it’s not currently available at the Café. That said, downsizing the Masterplan probably means it will not be possible. Tennis is currently the fastest growing membership category at UPCC. If tennis membership doesn’t continue to grow, the additional courts will not be built.

Why not delay a decision on refreshments at tennis until you see if the new outdoor dining/bar answers the need?

We are. But we are installing an ice and water machine at the courts, much like on the golf course.

Why isn’t tennis open to the public like golf is?

Actually, it is. In practicality, members fill the courts most mornings when people generally prefer to play. Add to that, public facilities are widely available for free in the area. Any non-member who might come to play tennis is required to pay the current guest fee of $10. Unlike golf, where we can charge $130 and play is throughout the day, tennis is not an avenue for significant revenue.

Now that you’ve put croquet where additional tennis courts were always planned, where are you going to put the two new tennis courts in your plan?

Two new tennis courts would be added, if needed in the future and therefore we have not determined a site at this time.

Why does the tennis or the fitness staff need a separate office?

The staff need an area that provides a degree of privacy for consultations with members, conducting business with vendors and the other operational aspects of running the racquets and fitness programs.

How much does it cost to maintain the tennis courts, etc? I ask this vs what the tennis program brings in dollar wise?

Maintenance of the tennis courts is relatively inexpensive. Some of the tennis costs get intermingled with Fitness as they are within the same budget item so an exact figure is difficult to provide. We estimate the maintenance of the tennis courts is approximately $100,000 (one FT staff member plus operating supplies). Adding in salaries of the two professionals and receptionist, tennis shows an operational loss of about $250,000 per year. But as with any amenity, it is not quite the right question. Tennis members pay about $400,000 annually in dues. Dues and initiation fees provide the real revenue for a club. That’s why capital spending is important. The better the facilities, the more income.

FITNESS/WELLNESS CENTER

Why do we need a 25,000 sq ft, $6 million building?

The building concept that was initially presented was intended to serve multiple purposes under one roof, including Wellness/Fitness space, flexible gathering space for meetings and activities, and admin office space. In response to the concerns raised by members and residents, the Board has downsized the square footage to 15-16,000 square feet and is looking at various options for addressing the need for more space. Toward that end, we are looking at extending, renovating and/or repurposing current buildings as well as new construction options on a smaller scale.

Will the public be able to use a new Fitness Center? Would you charge a fee for single or multiple/monthly use?

At this point, we do not envision public use of an improved wellness/fitness center. Any Guest fees would be structured so that members would find the facilities readily available for their use.

Can UPCC get paid by health insurance or Medicare for fitness/wellness services?

We are investigating this question

How large is the current Fitness Center building? Why not add a second floor there?

The total footprint of the building is about 2700 square feet.  We are exploring the option of expanding the current Fitness Center or connecting it to a new wing/building, possibly even with a second story, in the Japanese Garden area.

If you start to offer PT at the fitness center, will you contract for it? Would it be covered by Medicare? Are you creating liability for the Club?

This is a need that will be researched in the future. Other clubs, such as Herons Glen, contract with a fully licensed, professional physical therapy company that accepts Medicare as well as private insurance.

MISCELLANEOUS IDEAS FOR AMENITIES

Where will you put a dog park?

UPCAI, the homeowner’s association, is studying the feasibility of a dog park. The Club complex is not a potential location.

How can we get Bocce in the new plans?

This is a need that will be researched in the future.