April 23, 2020
To: Members and customers of Advantage Tennis Clubs and Programs
From: Skip Hartman, Gordon Kent, Steve O’Keefe, Milos Vojvodic, Mark Keye and Paul Fontana
We hope everyone is safe and healthy. Since our last communication we have been busy preparing for reopening. Our clubs are currently staffed with key personnel who are available to answer your questions by email or telephone. Tennis professionals, front desk, housekeeping, and maintenance staff, who were furloughed when the clubs were closed and programs were suspended over a month ago, are anxious to get back to work.
While a date to reopen is not yet clear, steps are being taken to ensure the safety of our patrons and our staff. The USTA has developed, after consulting with its’ medical advisory group, safety suggestions for instruction and play for you and your partners, if you want to resume play during the early phase of a gradual reopening. Click here to view this document.
Below is a statement reviewing our status as well as our refund / credit policy for those of you who have prepaid for membership, court time or programs.
We look forward to seeing everyone back on the courts soon!
ADVANTAGE TENNIS CLUBS AND PROGRAMS REFUND POLICY – 4/21/20
On March 17 at 7pm Advantage Tennis Clubs and Programs were required to close to the public by the government in order to reduce the impact of the Corona Virus. This included Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club, New York Tennis Club Indoors, Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, QuickStart Tennis, Junior Development Programs, and Adult Lesson and Play. This closure was not foreseen in 2019, nor in the year end decision making in December thru February when decisions were made regarding staff bonuses, partner distributions and capital improvements. Such decisions assumed business would continue uninterrupted in 2020. In our 50 year history we have always provided for the risks related to bubbles (snow, wind, vandalism and mechanical failure) and never had to deal with an interruption of more than 14 days (usually 5 -7 days). A prolonged closure due to a pandemic was not considered, nor was business interruption insurance available to us designed to cover such a risk.
A consequence of this shutdown is that our customers, operations staff and senior management now must deal with a difficult cash crunch. We have substantially cut senior staff, who remain working, salaries, and furloughed 90% of other staff including some senior managers. At this time government relief is focused on reemployment and does not yet provide intermediate or long term funding that can be used for refunds. This could change. Presently the SBA Disaster Loan Program that would address this need is administratively overwhelmed and stalled. This crunch limits our ability to provide immediate cash refunds for unearned tuition, season time contracts, and prepaid memberships.
It is in this context that we have established the following refund guidelines:
- Memberships – All memberships are frozen from March 18 until we are allowed to reopen. The membership year will be extended by the period we are closed plus one month. Fully prepaid memberships will be adjusted based on this when the renewal membership fee is due. Monthly dues will not be charged for the closure period and one additional month after the club reopens. If a member wishes to resign due to injury or permanent relocation from the New York City area, as before the pandemic, they will receive a prorated cash refund. Any other membership cash refunds would be based on financial hardship of the member, requiring application by the member to the club or program manager, and would be determined in the sole discretion of management.
- Season Time Contracts – The clubs will issue to each contract a monetary credit for unused time due to the shutdown and/or the pandemic, which may be applied to any future season court reservation by the group. If the group provides us with an individual allocation of the credit, then the individuals may apply the credit to court time charges after the club reopens for up to one year. Note this does not apply to the pro fee portion of a group or private lesson cost. The injury, relocation and hardship provisions indicated above under memberships shall also apply.
- Tennis Program Tuition and Camp Tuition – Customers of programs in progress prior to the shutdown will receive a monetary credit for unused services that were covered by the payment. That credit may be applied to future programs offered at Advantage Tennis Clubs and Programs. With regard to 2020 summer camp deposits, they shall be refunded should the camps be canceled or their content substantially changed. A decision to cancel and/or change content has not yet been made. The injury, relocation and hardship provisions indicated above under memberships shall also apply.
Advantage Tennis Club Management Team