GCC's Current Reopening Plans

Greetings GCC Community,

Many thanks to everyone that completed last month's COVID-19 survey! Your responses (which you can also view at this Adobe Acrobat file) were enlightening and inspiring. While there were a wide range of preferences on how and when to return to the ice, a common element was that reopening needed to happen in a safe manner.

Relying on this input and after thoughtful deliberation, the GCC Board has concluded that curling can't resume at GCC until King County achieves a Phase 4 status. Throughout this interim period, the Board will continue to monitor the situation, as well as make plans for your eventual return.

This decision was based entirely on how GCC can maintain the safety of our members and the Puget Sound community. While it may be financially possible to reopen in Phase 3, with very limited member access and ample preventive measures in place, we believe the risk of spreading COVID-19 is just too great. A Phase 4 reopening means that the virus is much more under control and GCC can manage the exposure risk with enforceable preventive measures, such as mask wearing and modified game rules.

Throughout this forced down time, the Board will be pursuing a few efforts to make the club stronger and more resilient for when everyone returns. A committee will soon be formed to identify measures that GCC should implement in anticipation of achieving Phase 4. Also, GCC will be organizing a robust communications and social media effort to increase the engagement of our current members and attract new curlers. We'll need both of these well in place before reopening. Details on how you can help will be shared soon.

Until then, something you can look forward to is our 1st Virtual Annual General Meeting. It will be held August 27th, from 7 pm - 9 pm. Webinar coordinates, agenda, how you can nominate members to Board positions, and lots more details will be coming out over the next couple of weeks. A few not-so-subtle reminders will be sent also.

As always, my thanks for your continued patience. Please do not hesitate to reach out to myself and the entire GCC Board at board@curlingseattle.org with any concerns or suggestions.

Stay healthy,

Phil Shryock
President, Granite Curling Club Board
Pronouns: he, him, his

Help GCC Plan for Returning to the Ice

Greetings GCC Members,

I hope everyone is staying healthy and enjoying the summer sunshine! With King County achieving Phase 2 of the Washington State's Safe Start Plan, this is a good time to let everyone know the Board's thinking about GCC's reopening relative to Phase 3 and 4.

As you can probably imagine, there's no straight-forward answer. The impact of COVID-19 is constantly shifting, forcing us to be flexible. And at this time, GCC does not yet have a firm reopening schedule.

Since the club's closure, the Board has been pondering these factors:

• Re-Opening Phases - theoretically, GCC can open in a limited fashion when King County reaches Phase 3. Some restrictions are: less than 50 people in the facility, social distancing can be achieved, and wearing masks. Practice ice is certainly possible, and so is league play with schedule adjustments so no more than 50 people are in the building at time. On the other hand, under Phase 4, which permits more people in the building, a curling schedule similar to past seasons could be created. Bonspiels would also be allowed in Phase 4.

• Ice-In Timing - once the reopen date is determined, the ice crew will need a month's lead time to work their ice-creation magic. Usually this happens in August, with us being able to use the ice in September. The timing is now a bit trickier given the Washington State phases. If the ice goes in too early and King County goes backwards in phases (eg, Phase 3 to Phase 2), then the club will need to close again, possibly for the season. If the ice goes in too late, it could result in members unnecessarily missing curling.

• Money - on top of all this is GCC financial situation. In a typical season, GCC makes around 40% of its annual revenue from outreach, mostly consisting of rentals. For this coming season, outreach revenue levels is anyone's guess with it possibly even being nothing. Rentals and open houses could happen with Phase 3, but the question becomes how comfortable will the public be with curling. In anticipation of this significant drop of revenue, its important that GCC not incur expenses for ice that is being unused due another COVID-19 closure.

Of all the factors to consider though, the most important is understanding your interest in curling again. It's your input that will determine how and when GCC reopens. I encourage you to share these perspectives though this GCC COVID-19 Questionnaire.

It should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Your input will inform GCC's reopening plans, allowing everyone to curl again in a fun, competitive, and safe way. Please complete the questionnaire before Friday, July 3rd.

Thank you for continued flexibility, patience, and understanding. Do not hesitate to reach out to the entire GCC Board at board@curlingseattle.org with any questions or concerns.

Best wishes,

Phil Shryock
President, Granite Curling Club Board
Pronouns: he, him, his