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Frequently Asked Questions

What assumptions are built into the Annual Operating Budget in the Business Plan?
  • We'll operate year-round
  • Membership estimates are based on current active members as of September 2017 (~130) plus our average Olympic year bump. Second and third year membership projections are based on Evergreen and Coyotes average year 2 and year 3 growth rates.
  • Lease calculations starts from once we're operational (assuming 7 months from lease signing to opening) and includes carrying costs in the first year and 3% annual increase beginning Oct 2018.
  • License and permits (not associated with construction) are for alcohol (one-time expense) and business license (annual).
  • Insurance is based on quoted rate from our current carrier.
  • Utilities estimate is based on 80% of Coyotes Curling Club's actual 12-month usage at PG&E rates (adjustment made for climate/volume).
  • For league revenue, members are assumed to curl an average of 1 time/week year-round at $30/game.
  • The membership fee will increase to $80 annually.
  • Bar revenue is estimated at 1 drink/member curling an average of 1 time/week year-round + $3k per bonspiel (first year pro-rated to 4 months in case we need additional time for permitting). Bar expenses are estimated at 60% of revenue.
  • Bonspiel revenue/expense calculated at actual current GGB revenue/expenses minus the cost of ice and equipment rental. Two additional no-frills (lower expense) bonspiels added in years 2 and 3.
  • Lessons are based on quarterly lesson series with 24 participants.
  • Corporate events are based on actual corporate events booked through OIC and group events booked through SFBACC (excluding public LTCs), in Oakland only, with pricing adjusted to Seattle's per-sheet pricing model. A modest increase in years 2 and 3 are attributable to marketing outreach efforts.
  • Learn-to-Curl estimates are based on actual past Olympic year LTC revenue in year 1 and assumed at 32 participants/month at $35 each for years 2 and 3.
Are the estimated capital costs realistic, and what happens if we run into unforeseen issues and costs?

The capital cost projections for the facility were based upon consultation with a structural engineer, refrigeration contractors, general contractors, and specialty contractors, as well as the appropriate departments at the City of Oakland. With this amount of involvement, we do not foresee large issues developing or cost overruns. While unforeseen issues and costs can occur, there is a contingency built into all costs for budgeting purposes. For a detailed breakdown of capital costs and the assumptions made, please refer to the Capital Costs Estimates document.
Is it reasonable to expect volunteers to take on some of the construction work, and will that put our schedule at risk?

The simple answer is: yes, it is reasonable to expect volunteers to take on some of the construction work. The key here is that we are only planning to ask for what our volunteers are able to give. We have a number of talented people with some very helpful skills and experience that we plan on leveraging to help keep us on schedule AND under budget. Although it takes longer to plan, volunteers can significantly reduce our costs. As labor is a significant portion of project costs in addition to materials, our internal labor and expertise can contribute to a major reduction of overall costs. We foresee a combination of volunteer labor and paid professional labor for the timeline that is being proposed.
Is the schedule realistic? / What happens if we incur delays?

The proposed schedule is based on the natural sequence of events starting with the signing of a lease. After the lease is signed, we will proceed with the permitting process, begin all the improvements/construction, order and install the refrigeration equipment, and finally, prep the ice. We are then open for business. We are fortunate with the Enterprise Way property that the primary construction we need to work on is a wall to enclose the ice house, new bathrooms and fire sprinklers. In the event we experience delays, it would likely add weeks and not months to the schedule. To minimize the financial impact, we have negotiated the lease so that we are not paying rent for the first 4 months following CUP approval for the building.
What's the risk of running out of money during construction or once we open our doors?

A lot of time has gone into developing realistic capital and operating budgets, so the risk is low. Nonetheless, even the best laid plans always have risks, particularly in a market as abnormal as the Bay Area. So what can we do to minimize those risks? First, we have developed a sound fundraising plan that should meet our goals which is laid out in the business plan. Second, we have negotiated lease terms that allow SFBACC to back out of the lease up to the point our conditional use permit is approved by the City of Oakland, which we estimate to be 90 days from the time we sign the lease. If we terminate the lease, we forfeit 2 months of the security deposit. There is a risk, but we feel that we have mitigated that risk to the maximum extent possible with this particular venture, and are comfortable with this tolerance.
What can we do to protect our assets in the unlikely event we are experiencing financial difficulties?

For this particular venture, we have negotiated terms to the lease agreement that enable us to terminate the lease with reduced financial impact, dependent on the owners’ ability to find a new tenant. In the unlikely event that we do experience financial hardship, we would open discussion with the owners early in the process, rather than after we’ve run out of funding, notifying them of our challenges and working with them to find a solution. The benefit to coordinating with the owners early is that it enables them to procure a new tenant while we continue to use the facility, since we would need to pay this rent anyway, whether or not we are in the building. The way the club has separated the DI (Capital Cost) Funds from the General Fund enables us to develop the DI Facility without touching the General Fund. With regards to our physical assets, those are also separated from the DI Operating Fund, which prevents us from leveraging those. Ultimately, our forecasting will not end with the construction of the facility, as we will need to continually forecast in order to prevent losing the assets we currently hold. See below or more information on lease terms.
What approvals are required from the City of Oakland?

The building we are intending to lease is currently zoned for group assembly use (which is the zoning category our club would fall under) and is permissible with the submission (and approval) of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application. This application will be submitted immediately following the execution of the lease and normally takes up to 8 weeks to get final approval. We will also need to apply for a Conditional Use Permit to serve alcohol, which we will submit soon after the CUP for the building is submitted. This application can take up to 12 weeks to get approved. All indications so far are that our intended use (a curling club serving alcohol to its members and guests) is not an issue, and therefore we should easily receive approvals for both applications.
How long will it take me to get to the curling club?

As you all know, that can vary significantly based on location, day, and time. Based on 2016-17 membership data, SFBACC has a diverse membership living in more than 50 different municipalities in the Bay Area. Here are the top 5 cities SFBACC members call home: Oakland (17%) San Francisco (17%) San Jose (15%) Berkeley (4%), and Sacramento (3%). Regionally, 41% live in the East Bay, 23% in the South Bay, 16% in San Francisco, 10% on the Peninsula, and the remainder are from Sacramento, the North Bay, and other outlying areas. As we've considered available locations for our dedicated ice clubhouse, one of the many factors we've looked at is whether we'll be able to serve the vast majority of our membership with a reasonable commute. While commute times will vary based on your starting point and the time of day, 94% of our Bay Area membership lives within 40 miles of the proposed location. We're committed to providing draw times that make the club accessible to members during low-traffic hours, and to continuing local arena curling where there is demand (see next two question below).
Will arena ice curling continued to be offered by SFBACC?

The club is happy to continue arena curling in any location, provided there is sufficient demand to cover ice costs (therefore not negatively impacting the club's finances). With the current proposed facility being in Oakland, we anticipate there may be sufficient demand in San Jose to continue curling in that arena ice location.
Will league times be scheduled to accommodate commute times?

Absolutely. With the luxury of having a dedicated ice facility, we can offer both evening draws during the work week as well as weekend draws. League schedules will be set to accommodate the needs of our current membership.
How do I volunteer my time to help?

We are going to need help with all aspects of making dedicated ice happen - fundraising, construction, events, and so on. If you want to help, please email ice@bayareacurling.com. We are also looking into an online system to let members know when help is needed, much like our volunteer webpage for LTCs and lessons.

Questions and Answers from the Member Q/A Meetings – September 2017

The current zoning classification carries a footnote that prohibits recreational use. How do we plan to navigate this clear obstacle?

The use type classification for our project is Group Assembly, not Recreational Assembly. The distinction being Recreational Assembly is a classification for outdoor facilities such as basketball courts, tennis courts, handball courts, lawn bowling, etc. Group Assembly includes fitness clubs, martial arts studios, etc with more than 3,000 square feet of instruction space. Additionally, the initial question was predicated on the 2013 Version of the Oakland Planning Guide. This restriction was lifted in the 2017 version.
Alameda County has a provision that a marijuana dispensary cannot be located with 1,000 feet of a recreational facility. How do we plan to navigate this?

The clause has been included here for reference: “The application for such permit shall set forth, in addition to the requirements specified in Section 5.02.020, the fact that the proposed location of such dispensary is not within one thousand (1,000) feet, unless the City Manager or his/her designee in their discretion determines that the location will not impact the peace and order and welfare of the public, of a public or private school or a public library or youth center (serving youth eighteen (18) and under), or parks and recreation facilities or residential zone or another dispensary.”

After reviewing this requirement with planning officials, it has been confirmed that this requirement is only relevant to a dispensary applying for a permit, and would not apply to us (even if we were classified as a recreational facility, which we are not for planning purposes).
Have you looked into the Green Building Council (GBC) point requirements for the work you plan on doing, and have these factors been considered as part of your estimate?

Following the meeting, we spoke with a contact who was formerly a lawyer for the Oakland Planning Department, because we wanted to make sure we had chased this all the way to ground. He pointed out that you only have to provide the points relevant to the part of the property which you are modifying, and said that the point requirements are such that we should be able to achieve them with the Electrical and HVAC upgrades we plan on making. Our next step is to get our plans in front of a LEED AP with our proposed LEED Checklist to see if our expected achievements are reasonable given the current requirements.
Why are we not looking at partnerships with municipalities and other recreational groups, similar to the approach in Reno, NV, or Blaine, MN?

As discussed during the meeting, there have been a number of inquiries into such ventures in the past, as have been documented in the BOD Meeting Minutes during the DI Committee Reports. Unfortunately, while these types of ventures have been very successful in other locations, the climate of the Bay Area is not well suited to these ventures. For the last few years, we've worked in conjunction with the Bay Area Roller Derby Group and a local Winery to open up more options with regards to property size, and have been open to partnerships with other groups that may be good co-habitants. With regards to municipalities, the difficulty in the Bay Area is the lack of city owned land. Unlike most other parts of the country, Bay Area cities have almost no undeveloped land, and at this point, most of the developed land is being used for government sponsored housing projects. While we will continue to assess these options should the current venture not come to fruition, there are a number of challenges here that separate us from cities like Reno and Blaine.
Why are we not looking outside of Oakland?

The DI Search Committee (and our Commercial Real Estate Broker) have been conducting a search for any available property that meets our square-footage requirements and falls within our price range from Richmond to San Jose, on both sides of the Bay. The last three properties we have investigated deeply (LOI submission) have been in Oakland, San Leandro, and Hayward, all of which met the base requirements provided in the member survey a few years ago (close to BART, centrally located, space for parking, etc.). Through this process, we have learned that some municipalities are harder to work with, posing restrictions that are cost prohibitive for us, such as San Leandro.

This is one area where the club could always use your help! If you know of a property (or discover one in an online search) that has at least 15,000 SF and a gross rental rate of less than $18,000/month, and meets the membership requirements from the survey, we would love to hear from you!
There are a lot of people here with a lot of talents that could be useful. Why are we not leveraging them?

The points that were brought up in this meeting were all valuable, and a number of them have already impacted our course as mentioned above, and we have had follow up communications with many of you based on the items you shared with us during these meetings. As a committee, we are constantly looking for people to contribute using the skills and knowledge they have. However, we cannot leverage what we don't know exists. For this reason we would like to ask all of you, if you have any skills or talents in this arena, please let us know. The more people we have digging into things, the stronger our approach will be, and the more successful this, or any venture will be.
Why is this the first time we're having a meeting of this nature. Shouldn't this happen more often? Can we improve the flow of information to the membership? Can these documents we're looking at tonight, and others, be available on the website? Can we have forums for members to pose these kinds of questions, and for those in the know to share their answers with everyone?

As the club has grown over the years, the Board of Directors has tried to update our procedural approach to ensure the entire membership is included to the fullest extent possible. However, we have simply not done a sufficient job of that to date. With this in mind were are currently undertaking ventures to ensure improvement in this field, not just with regards to the DI Initiative, but with all aspects of club communication. Our Board Meetings are the last Monday of every month, (Date, Time, and Location are indicated on the Club Calendar on the website, and is updated a year in advance typically) and are open to all members. Many of our current Directors started coming to meetings before they were even on the Board, which is a big reason we are where we are today.

We are attempting to improve our communication with members by posting information, including documents such as this one, to an online server with links emailed to members for easy access. We are opening up member forums, where Q/A Sessions such as these can continue in real time. And as always, we continue to use Facebook as a powerful tool for connecting members with each other. If you wish to help us with this effort to improve our communication, please let us know!
What are the terms of the Lease Agreement?

At this time, we cannot share the actual Lease Agreement with the membership, but we can disclose the general terms of the agreement to address the concerns people have regarding risk mitigation.
  • Original (Initial) Lease Term: 5 Years and 4 Months
  • Commencement Date: October 1, 2017 (prorated if we need longer to execute)
  • Expiration Date: January 31, 2023
  • Base Rent: $16,500.00 USD
  • Security Deposit: $66,000.00 USD. If we avoid monetary default, the owner will return up two $33,000.00 USD to us in increments of $16,500.00 USD after each full year of rental payments
  • Total Due at Time of Lease Execution: $82,500.00 USD
  • Free Rent: (4) months free rent granted upon receipt of Approved CUP from the City of Oakland. Additionally, if we avoid monetary default for the first 48 months, we will be awarded an additional (2) months free rent.
  • In the Event of CUP Denial: We are entitled to terminate the lease, forfeiting only the rent paid to date, and half of the Security Deposit ($33,000.00 USD).
  • Option Term: If we are not in monetary default, we will have the option to extend the lease for an additional (5) year period by providing notice to the owner at least (6) months prior to the end of the Initial Lease Term. The base rent for this Option Term will be set by the Fair Market Value, which can be negotiated by both parties, with extensive arbitration guidelines set forth. The base rent for the Option Term shall not be less than 103% of the last month's rent from the Initial Term.
  • Remediation: In the event of a breach by the lessee (not paying rent), the lessor has two prescribed options. The first is to terminate the lease, and recoup any rent that was not paid up to that point, and beyond as applicable to make up lost rent (until a new tenant is in place). The second option is to continue the lease and recover lost rent as the money becomes available. As discussed previously, if our financial situation should deteriorate to the point where we were at risk of not paying rent, we would immediately reach out to the landlord to orchestrate an agreement with her to mitigate continued loss of funds, and prevent the loss of assets.
Please note, the terms surrounding the Base Rent for the Option Term has changed from what was discussed during the San Jose Q/A Session. The Base Rent for the Option Term is negotiated based on Fair Market Value. However, because this property is being rented for the Initial Term at well below market value because of the owner's own restrictions, we are confident that a continued incremental increase will be negotiated, should we choose to pursue the Option Term.