I can’t believe I’m starting with those words, but with Thanksgiving next week and Hanukah and Christmas just around the corner, we are approaching that very busy time of year.
So before your attention turns to the holidays, here’s a brief update covering the QLLA fiscal year, which ended Oct. 31, and a progress report on improvements underway that I hope add to your enjoyment of the Club.
The Numbers. At Thursday’s Board meeting, Treasurer Paul Marinelli reported on results for FY 2017. Revenue of $10.2 million beat the budget by $356,000, while expenses remained firmly under control. The bottom line - another strong year for QLLA with EBITDA of $1.1 million vs. a budget of $678,000. The excess leaves us with a healthy surplus after making payments on the pool and contributions to the $1 million self-insurance fund. Roughly half of the surplus will be used pay down pool debt, with the remainder going to our operating contingency fund. Credit to the management team and the Finance Committee for keeping QLLA ahead of the curve.
Base Lodge. We’re in the midst of “stick season” in Vermont, which like “mud season” in the spring is a good time to get projects done. One of those involves sprucing up the Base Lodge, including painting the interior, reconfiguring the upstairs to add 60 more seats and changing the food court and kitchen areas to ease lunchtime congestion. Additional cubbies also are being added. The work began the first week of November and will be done by the start of the ski season, which – weather permitting – is set for December 16th.
Starter Area. With the courses closed after another great golf season, work is ongoing to create a more functional and attractive 1st tee area. A new starter shack is under construction and the rotted railroad ties will be replaced by stone walls as part of a landscaping upgrade. Cart parking also will be expanded to eliminate bottlenecks by the water station. As BOT member Ken Lacasse says, “it’s all about the flow.” The project will be complete by spring.
Locker Rooms/Fitness. Nice as the new facilities are, it was evident this past summer that the floor and shower tiles needed to be replaced. That work started a week ago and is on target for completion by Thanksgiving. The timing is perfect as Health Club activity is ramping up. Yoga, spin classes, boot camp and aqua fit are among the activities scheduled throughout the winter months. Details for sign up are available on the web site, at membership services and at the fitness desk.
Real Estate - Property transfers have been strong over the last 12 months as evidenced by a 25% increase in transfer fees to $410,000 (roughly 100 sales) for the capital reserve fund. Lots, condos and homes continue to sell as real estate agents report a general increase in activity. Our most recent transaction occurred this past week as QLLA sold a Mill Run condo acquired through the foreclosure auction in July. The sale is important in that it means a non-performing asset is back on the books as a positive contributor to the association.
Board Changes. I wanted to take a moment to note that Trustee Paul Reagan is stepping down from the Executive Committee. Trustee Kathy Hickey will take his place as Vice President. Paul will remain Golf Committee chair until his six years of Board service ends in July. Paul has been involved in Club governance for most of the time he and Jane have lived here, first on the Strategic Planning and Finance Committees and in recent years as a Board member, Vice President, liaison to the Review Board and head of the Grievance Committee. Kathy, who as a Board member chairs the Nominating and House Committees, will keep those duties as she joins the Executive Committee in the VP role. Both Paul and Kathy are not only committed members and thoughtful trustees but also great people who are fun to work with.
In signing off, I hope all of you will take a moment to recognize the work of our employees and make a contribution to the Holiday Bonus pool. I think you will all agree that our team goes the extra mile to make the Club a special place for all of us.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and QLLA staff, I wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable holiday season.