June was another busy month for us! We drafted a FY19 budget, which we will finalize in July. We completed planning and pricing for a great slate of 15 ski flight trips, selected the lucky trip leaders, and posted the complete schedule on our website and in our magazine. We should be ready to start accepting ski trip reservations early in July!
One of the most promising developments in the past few years is that we have been very successful in getting our members to sign up for our ski trips much earlier in the year. Previously, ski trip signups didn’t really take off until mid-September, when we hosted our SkiFest kickoff. In contrast, by mid-September of 2017, our ski flight trips were almost 70% filled. This year we hope to do even better. So if you are planning to attend one of our great ski trips in 2019, don’t wait, sign up as early as possible.
There is a tremendous of amount of volunteer effort that goes on behind to scenes to manage and register almost 500 ski trip participants each year. A big part of this effort is processing payments. In order to streamline our workflow and reduce volunteer workload, all ski trip payments will be sent to the Club office for processing, instead of to the individual trip leaders. This will reduce paperwork, and also allow us to deposit the payments into our bank account as quickly as possible.
In my last President’s Message, I noted that the Club’s credit card fees almost doubled during the past year, ballooning from around $16K to over $31K in just one year. So far, we have been able to absorb credit card fees as a cost of business without increasing trip prices or our administrative fees. But, there is a limit. Credit cards are not going out of style any time soon, and we can expect our fees to continue to rise. Accordingly, at our June Board of Directors meeting we decided to eliminate the use of credit cards for installment payments, which in future must be paid by check. We also decided to raise the amount of the initial Advance Deposit payment from $250 to $500. These steps will help to stabilize the Club’s finances, and further reduce volunteer workload.,
On July 15 we will hold our annual Summer Picnic at the Carderock Recreation Center. This event will be FREE to all members and their families, but not open to the general public. Members may also register a guest for a nominal fee, hopefully someone who is a candidate for membership!
We are also busy planning two great events in September. One is our annual Volunteer Party on Saturday, September 15 at the Fairlington Community Center. This year we’re “kicking it up a notch” with catered food and a live band! The very next day will be our “Back to the Slopes” party at the Tysons Biergarten (easy Metro access, free parking), with German and domestic craft beers, free food for our members, and entertainment. Hope to CYA there at both events!