WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
 FACILITIES OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING

Date: July 8, 2013

Place:  Park District Administration Office

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance
Commissioners: Committee Chair Brault, Shelly, Wolfe
Absent:  None
Staff: Bowen, Wilson, Bingham, Eppelheimer, Lambrecht, Flynn, B. Smith, D.
Smith, B.Udany,
Visitors: Greg Trotter (TribLocal) 
  
Topics of Discussion:
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes:
 a) June 10, 2013
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Managers Reports
6) Old Business
7) New Business
8) Adjournment


Discussions/Decisions:

1) Chair Brault called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.

2) The Committee approved the minutes of June 10, 2013 by General Consent.

3) Communications and Correspondence: None

4) Recognition of Visitors: Greg Trotter (TribLocal)
 
5) Under Managers Reports, Pool/Risk Manager Brian Udany reported that the “DJ on Deck” event was held last week with an attendance on that Saturday of 2,827. Mobile Music DJ provided the entertainment and everyone had a great time. The starting time had been moved back to a 1 pm start instead of the original time of 5 pm. Even with the change in time, staff still received a lot of positive feedback and another “DJ on Deck” will be held in about two weeks.

 The first “Flick and Float” event was cancelled due to inclement weather and has been rescheduled for July 13. Attendance figures up to this point from June 8 through July 9, 2013 totaled 33,380 patrons compared to last year’s total of 57,301 at the same time which is a net decrease of 23,921 patrons from last year.

Swim lessons continue to run very well and staff has spoken with the camp directors and some parents who had expressed interest in seeing how our program works and the amount of supervision at the pools. Staff also received an email from the camp director of Wiggleworms whose child was in their first year of camp and they enjoyed the experience. In regard to registrations, the numbers were lower in Session I due to the inclement weather. However, Session II is up 32 registrations from Session I and 10 additional registrations came in today bringing the total up to 42 registrations which results in a grand total of 7,212 registrations for both sessions.

 Commissioner Shelly asked if staff keeps track of the daily air temperatures and Brian replied that they do and have detailed statistics. Commissioner Shelly asked if staff felt thre revenue was down primarily because of the weather and Brian replied that he thought that was a part of it since there has been a much cooler summer than last year when the temperatures were warmer.

 Chair Brault asked that even though the revenues are down how was the facility doing on the expense management side. Superintendent Bowen replied that the labor numbers for June were higher than budget due to the training and maintenance expense that would have normally been recorded in May but was recorded in June due to the delayed opening. Overall, the facility is in line with budget for the year in regard to labor which is the largest expense for the pool.

 Chair Brault asked that if labor is on target and revenue is down at $80,000 would the facility be off-budget by that same amount. Superintendent Bowen replied that staff has met and has come up with a plan to reduce expenses. He added that  the bottom line will depend on the weather going forward.  Warmer weather may bring in more daily admissions and cooler weather may allow the facility to close more reducing expenses.   

 Chair Brault asked staff what they thought we would be able to make up the revenue loss. Superintendent Bowen stated it would be difficult since nicer weather may not necessarily bring in more revenue to offset the labor expense of being open.

 Superintendent Bowen reported that the facility is down in actual resident members by 6% and down in revenue by 5%. Non-residents are down 25% in the individual memberships but revenue is only down 7% because of the cost increase. Resident daily admissions are down by 51% in patrons and 45% in revenue. Non-residents,  are down 73% in daily admissions and 64% in revenue.
 
 Director Wilson stated that daily admission sales are having a greater impact this year and Commissioner Shelly that she thought it was related to the cooler weather only. Director Wilson replied that he believes it’s not only the weather but rather a combination of the price increase and the weather. He stated that he believes that if the lower admissions were only due to the weather, he would expect that the percent down between resident and non-resident, 51% vs. 73% would be much closer together.  A weekend admission for a family of 4 is $80 which could make people go to other facilities such as Glenview which would only cost $48 for the family of 4.  Commissioner Shelly stated that if the weather had been better it the price increase wouldn’t be an issue and the facility would have seen more non-residents paying the increased fees.

Chair Brault stated that this was a test of the elasticity of the market related to what non-residents will pay. Commissioner Shelly stated she didn’t think this was a fair test. Chair Brault stated he would like to see an analysis of how the number of residents and non-residents compare this year to last year as well as what the temperatures and weather conditions had been. Superintendent Bowen stated we historically do that analysis at the end of the season. Commissioner Shelly stated she would like to see that information before the end of the season.

 Chair Brault asked if staff could present an up to date financial budget statement for the next meeting.  Superintendent Bowen replied that staff would be able to provide this put because of the payroll cycle, labor numbers may be a week behind the revenue.  Commissioner Wolfe agreed and stated it would be helpful to look at comparative years. Commissioner Shelly asked if there had been any compliments from patrons on how the pool has not been as crowded this season and Brian replied there really hasn’t been much feedback from any patrons about the facility at all.

 Also under Managers Reports, Ice Manager Sean Flynn reported most of the summer figure skating programs were being held at the Winnetka Ice Arena while the rink is being reconstructed and that the skaters and parents were very happy to have a “home away from home”. The Summer Competition is scheduled for this weekend and 79 skaters have signed up which is down from last year compared to last year’s 137 people.

 Chair Brault asked Sean what hours he thought  the Wilmette Hockey Association (WHA) might take in terms of ice time this year. Sean replied that it would be similar to last year with the exception of the weeks in the fall that we will be closed due to the ice project.  Commissioner Wolfe asked what other groups contract ice from the rink. Sean replied that besides WHA, Winnetka Hockey, Loyola, New Trier Hockey Club, Hockey North America, and there are other small groups that rent a few hours a week. Superintendent Lambrecht added that the ice facility project scheduled to be done on August 30 is still on track and that there have been no surprises.

 Tennis Manager Darrell Smith reported the facility is in its fourth week of lessons with a total of 735 students enrolled this summer which is about 100 more than last year. The outdoor tennis maintenance staff is doing a great job this year even with the continuous storms. Work continues to progress on the damaged indoor courts and the walls are now running all the way up to the roof. The weather continues to be uncooperative and we lost seven mornings of adult drills because of it. As a result, they will try to make up those drills at the end of the season.
 Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the construction work at Tennis is proceeding. They pulled all of the forms off the new wall today and they are patching the roof now. Waterproofing will probably begin on Thursday and then we will backfill on Friday. Hopefully next week we can start putting brick on the outside of the wall and after that the new deck can be installed. Once that is all completed, they will be able to pull the shoring out and then there is a lot of work to do inside. All of the power for the lighting came through that wall so we have to start from scratch.

 Darrell reported that the start of the next tennis session will begin on July 28 and 29 which is slightly later than usual. Commissioner Shelly added that the Pirate Tennis Camps have been running very smoothly but it is hard on staff to go from playing on 8 courts down to 6 but they are doing a great job.

 Commissioner Brault stated in regard to the additional remediation work for the $264,000 estimate, he had asked Steve earlier if we should have somebody look over the bid. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that right now this amount is just an estimate. The next step would be to “quote it out” and once again it would be a timing issue because of the amount of time it would take to get the steel manufactured in order to get everything done so that we can open in September. 

 Commissioner Shelly asked how are they able to say that it needs to be done but then say it would not be covered by insurance. Director Wilson replied that wear and tear is not covered by insurance and this is a 40-year-old building. Chair Brault asked what the difference was between a bid and a quote. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that we do not have to provide a notice when asking for quotes. Director Wilson added that a bid process takes time and involves several published legal notices. Staff also has to advertise for the bids, accept the bids, and then once we put the bid in the paper it has to be out for 10 days. When we get everything back, we need to go through the Board approval process and award the contract which takes at least one month. Chair Brault asked if that meant we are deeming this project as an emergency bid and Superintendent Lambrecht replied yes. He added that it is being done this way in order to get all the work completed before the reopening. He also stated we will be doing all of this at the same time since it is more cost effective for us.

 A discussion began on the new Platform facility and Director Wilson stated that the marketing plan as well as other platform tennis information will be posted on the web site and in the upcoming Leisure Guide. He stated that the initial goals are to introduce the new facility to the general public, establish a platform tennis community, build membership and support the creation and implementation of new programs, events and lessons. The name of the facility will be the Wilmette Platform Tennis Club and the newly created address is 3551 Lake Avenue. The facility also has a new phone number and email account. Some of the positive aspects include the fact that it is a new facility and that it is close to the highway. Staff also continues to work on publicizing the facility on our own web site, our Facebook page, and our Twitter account. We will also be sending out email blasts through RecTrac as well as Constant Contact sites. 

 Director Wilson stated that basically what makes the new facility nice is that there are four courts and attractive paddle huts. Other selling points include the fact that we will have memberships for both residents and non-residents in two categories – Adult and Junior – as well as league play for women and men and adult and junior instruction. The facility will also be available for rental. Memberships can be purchased on-line or at any of our other facilities. There will also be daily court fees and member court fees will be covered by membership but there will also be resident and non-resident rates.

 Chair Brault asked what were the specific goals for what we are planning to do and Director Wilson replied that from our view it is to utilize the different outlets to get the word out about memberships and facility revenue. Commissioner Shelly asked when do the e-mail blasts go out and Director Wilson replied immediately after this meeting although we still need to set up the fees and hopefully by next week people will be able to start purchasing memberships.

 Commissioner Shelly asked if we should be careful about calling the leagues “men’s and ladies league play”. Paddle Tennis Manager Brad Smith stated the leagues will be very important. Superintendent Bowen added that the rules for the ladies and men’s leagues are quite different in that there is much more organization within the women’s leagues. Brad added that in regard to the ladies leagues, you have to have them sign a petition in order to get a series with at least 17 players in order to prove that you have 9-10 ladies who can play at that level. Superintendent Bowen added that there is a process on how that petition takes place and there also has to be an independent pro review and the players must present their credentials

 After additional discussion on the ladies leagues and rating systems, Superintendent Bowen stated that in regard to membership fees, we are matching what Glenview’s paddle facility is charging. After the last Committee meeting, staff added a 30-minute private lesson and a three-player with a pro time. Commissioner Shelly asked about dropping the couple fee and it was agreed to do so.

 Superintendent Bowen stated that Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue is out of town until Wednesday but we do have everything set up in the system so we’ll be able to go live shortly.

6) Under Old Business:  None

7)  Under New Business:  None
 
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:20 pm.

Minutes taken by Jeffrey Bowen.

MINUTES APPROVED ON AUGUST 12, 2013.