September 1, 2017
School is in session! Well not for some of us who are long past those years but at least for our kids and grandchildren. We wish everyone a great beginning to the school year and we hope to continue to see our families on the weekends and perhaps a special night out in the middle of the week during the school year.
Busy, busy, busy
As the saying goes there is no rest for the weary. Some think of August and September as somewhat sleepy months as the summer wears down but at EYC it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In addition to the CRAB regatta, the Annapolis Labor Day Regatta, the J/22 East Coast Championship and the International 505 regatta the house committee featured the Eclipse Party, the always popular Music on the Deck series and has the fun Speakeasy coming up in a couple weeks. In addition to this active schedule we hosted a couple private events such as a 200-person wedding that was fun for all.
The challenge for us operationally is that this is also the time of the year when we lose about 75% of our servers as they head back to school just when we need to double those numbers to accommodate the active social schedule at the club! Kudos to our management team and service staff for working double time and double hard to make the events happen!
Most don’t know the requirements that happen behind the scenes but they are many. So next time you see the staff hustling to meet the service expectations during these busy periods I hope you will give them a pat on the back. A little positive motivation goes a long way to keeping our staff happy and working hard to service our membership.
The service challenges that exist in clubs are ever present and we are always looking to improve. Toward that end we have been listening particularly close to our members and trying to determine where we can make ourselves better. Of course, hiring and retaining staff become one of our greatest challenges but we also are looking at many other ways to improve the member experience.
One such change that has already occurred was that we have begun scheduling a server in the bar area on every night of the week. We listened to the comments that were coming in and felt this would be a way to acquire a more immediate and attentive service. Since our bartenders are often kept quite busy behind the bar and don’t have the opportunity to get out from behind the bar as often as superior service might dictate we thought it was well advised.
As we do with any staffing change we will continue to monitor its effectiveness and make adjustments as necessary but we look to our members to utilize the additional staffing to your benefit and let us know if it is working as we have planned.
There are more changes that have been implemented and I will continue to update you in the VFB to keep membership abreast of what we are doing to improve the value of membership as it relates to the food and beverage offerings at the club.
As some of you may have heard (literally!), the club suffered a couple lighting strikes a week or two ago which took out some of our equipment and unfortunately struck one of our dry sailed boats. The surge went through our lines and knocked out our protectors and some switches during operations on a busy Friday night.
Fortunately, I was able to connect with our IT team within moments of the strike and work on fixes that had us back up and fully running within an hour. A few borrowed switches, a couple swapped out cables and a lot of hustle kept operations running without any of members ever realizing there was an issue. Fortunately, warranty coverage replaced the bulk of the items at no charge so the repair costs were nominal given the severity of the strike.
The fire service provided in our marina to keep our boats safe was recently upgraded. The pipes that were originally installed in the marina to provide water to the fire department had finally met their match as the salt water ate through the pipes corroding them and creating holes that would not allow the system to pressurize. We therefore were forced to replace them and we did so with an upgraded stainless steel product that should last a much longer time than the 10 years we got out of the old ones.
We were able to have the pipes installed during the work week while the marina activity was low so most of our members were probably not even aware that the work had occurred. Thanks to Nan Walker, who worked with the installers to ensure there was no interruption to our junior sailing program which took place while the work was active. The kids had a blast and now the marina fire system should be set for a number of years.
OK, I agree it is a little early to be thinking about Frostbiting but it’s never too early to reserve a slip for the season. EYC has short term leases available in our slips for those individuals who may wish to take advantage of racing out of EYC. Contact me for rates and availability and reserve your slip now.