I have always found it fascinating how little our buildings get used in the off-season or non-curling time and how they sit there, generating little if any revenue in the off-season.
If you think of your financial statements, there are many costs that you incur whether you are open 6 months or 12″; insurance and property taxes as examples. The fact that many curling centres have little in capital reserves to replace aging or broken equipment; it makes a pile of sense to investigate ways and means to generate revenue from off season use.
The simplest idea of course, is to take advantage of the lounge area and the built-in food and beverage set-ups. You can easily host weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, engagement parties, service club meetings and any other dinner/luncheon that groups of people have in every community in our country.
Curling facilities can host all of these regardless of the set-up of the curling club.
If your kitchen is not big enough or you don’t have staff, enter into a partnership with a local caterer. They can provide dishes, cutlery and linen. You supply the tables and chairs and maybe let them use your kitchen to prepare food or keep it warm for serving. You would of course operate the bar and collect the rental fee.
A word of wisdom, however; most organizations have their functions at hotels or other venues set-up for this. If you are going to do it, the club must, I repeat must, look nice and smell good with cleanliness an absolute necessity. If you want to generate word of mouth support, you’ll need to be great right off the bat!
Club too warm in the summer? Air conditioning is an expensive luxury (if you have it, use it!) and if you don’t envision enough business to install it, keep your bookings to May and early June and September when the evenings are still cool and you can open windows.
Here are some great examples of what some clubs are doing to stay busy year-round (click on event to see story):
- Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club, Summerside, PEI
Skate PEI Awards night
- Victoria CC, BC
- Callie CC, Regina, SK
- Curling Beausejour, Moncton, NB
Canadian Blood Services honours dedicated individuals
- Estevan CC, SK
- Harriston CC, ON
- Amherst CC, NS
- Roblin CC, MB
Fly Fishing Championship
- Quinte CC, ON
and on and on…………….to find more examples, go to www.google.com/alerts and subscribe to their free news alert service. Type in “curling club” and you will receive daily reports of news stories where the words curling club can be found in the text.