Palmbrook Country Club is now Palmbrook Golf Club

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by suncityjack, Sep 13, 2023.

  1. eyesopen

    eyesopen Well-Known Member

    If assessments are raised a considerable amount, RCSC quarterly payment option would help members more easily budget with the transition rather than a total lump sum payment.

    Many local senior communities already have success with quarterlies. Revenue frequency is sooner…mo money consistently coming in vs annual?

    Also, helps the member stay current. We need to be mindful of all members. Not everyone is financially prepared when a spouse dies and the household budget loses an SS payment.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2023
  2. Sambo

    Sambo Active Member

    Understand and I can appreciate your compassion. People are placed in hardships every day. Where is the line in the sand? Quarterly payments are a good idea.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  3. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    I pay $160 per year to use weights and cardio equipment at Planet Fitness. I don’t golf, swim, bowl, etc. at Rec. Centers. Why should I pay so much for the water and other maintenance these items need? “Pay to play” is the fair way for increase of fees and assessments. Let’s get all options on the table before any increases in PIF and annual assessments.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2023
    Janet Curry and eyesopen like this.
  4. Sambo

    Sambo Active Member

    We pay because we have the benefit of using them and it keeps up our property values regardless of our choice to use facilities outside Sun City. That attitude needs to change.
    old and tired and Janet Curry like this.
  5. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    Give it a rest Sambo. Think about it for awhile and maybe come up with some other options. Way to easy to just say raise the PIF and annual assessment.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  6. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    It's probably just me but, this is the kinda crap that drives me crazy! Don't list it separately as an add-on, just add it to the cost of a round of golf!!

    It's like when I'm charged an additional 35¢ for blue cheese dressing at a restaurant! It should just be included in the price!

    We're nickel-dimed to death!
  7. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    Forgot to mention I do pay the annual assessment. Use and pay for Planet Fitness in another location.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  8. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I've written it dozens of times, so what's once more: History matters. If you want to know, the first rec center, Community Center (Oakmount) was a pay to play. Literally. The only ones who had access to the amenities were those living in New Life Unit 1 were those who paid the voluntary fees. Turns out only about 60% of the buyers paid, and by years end there were all kinds of proposals on how to fix the mess. Some went as far as to say they should sell the center and let it be run by an outside entity. Thank goodness it never came to that.

    By early 1961 the second center was in the works and DEVCO shifted the strategy so that every buyer (after New Life 1) signed a facilities agreement. The beauty of that structure was they actually lowered the rec fees from $40 per unit to $12 per person. Worse yet, those living in New Life 1 weren't allowed to use Town Hall (Fairway), except on rare occasions. It was finally resolved in 1967 when Mountain View was opening. Meeker agreed to spend some money at Community Center on renovations if those first residents agreed to sign facility agreements. They voted yes and everyone was allowed to use every facility, including those that were to be built when they crossed north of Grand Ave.

    Let's not lose sight of the importance of the facilities agreement. While it's been rewritten many times, it is still a binding contract between the home buyers and the RCSC. That contract guaranteed us use of the amenities in exchange for paying the yearly lot assessment (that's a term that came along later), everyone just called them rec fees for years. Our documents allow the board to set the yearly assessments, there's no mechanism for a pay to play. That's not to say they couldn't change the documents but i suspect the lawyers would be lined up looking at breach of contract suits that would put us out of business.

    The obvious question or challenge is the one we heard the other day at the Exchange; why is golf and 10 pin bowling different from the other amenities? Simple and the answer is again historical. Both golf and 10 pin bowling were purchased by the RCSC from DEVCO with the contracts calling for them to be run on a revenue neutral basis. I know golfers hate when i say that. I've read the purchase agreements and have numerous articles where the board president of the RCSC told the newspapers the acquisition would cost members nothing, golf would be self-sustaining.

    Lots has changed since 1977 and golf hasn't ever really been profitable. The biggest problem has been the accounting has been abysmal and adding to the confusion was PIF where 10's of millions of dollars were spent on golf course and golf course building remodels. We have no clue, about how much we've spent over the years and as i have said repeatedly, i don't care about what was, i'm more interested as we go forward we have a solid method of tracking expenses against revenue. Cheap golf cannot be our future.

    Back to the pay to play. It's been suggested several times over the years by those who moved here and didn't use the amenities. They liked how cheap everything is/was and wanted it even cheaper. It's never been a popular proposal and it never will be. In fact, i'd love to have someone tell me/show me another age restricted community that charges residents to use the facilities. And to be even more clear, virtually every other age restricted community is WAY more expensive and they all followed our lead. When you buy here you agree to pay the costs associated with owning the amenities. It's that simple and rather than reinventing the wheel, lets consider how we right the ship rather than pretending we have to change the proven process.

    Again: History matters!
  9. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    Good information Bill. Basically golf is a type of “pay to play”. Maybe not paying enough. The proposed 4% surcharge for water will be a type of “pay to play”. If I don’t play golf, I believe I won’t pay the surcharge.

    Call it what you want, but ptp is done here in Sun City. My point on all this is again to get all options on the table to help solve the financial issues. Simple as that. On paper, in organized fashion, with all pros and cons stated.

    Lastly, as you say history is important. So ironic that with such poor accounting of monies by the RCSC during the past, more money in form of fees and assessments is being proposed. Just sayin.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  10. Sambo

    Sambo Active Member

    When the board brings in a leader they agree to with both the finance and community experience they are looking for and we need things will eventually get ironed out. It could be a little wrinkly for a bit but I'm going to trust in their overall vision.
    BPearson, Janet Curry and eyesopen like this.
  11. Linda McIntyre

    Linda McIntyre Well-Known Member

    I'm going out on a limb to say that there is an "accounting" of how funds have been spent - the problem lies in that there has been a TOTAL lack of transparency. RCSC has not properly budgeted for maintenance and capital expenditures, there has been no adopted long range plan, items have been added to the PIF list without due diligence with made-up numbers. All of these factors have contributed to a lack of trust.

    The financial reports of the past were definitely lacking in detail. In the next several weeks the members will have an honest picture of the RCSC finances. It should be much easier to understand how/where our financial resources are acquired/spent, our future needs/both capital and PIF, how we play catch up with our neglected capital projects and how we plan to build our recommended reserves.

    It's a big task, but it's not impossible. This budget process has been something very different than years past. It has been a work product between the oversight committee and management.
  12. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    Hope you are right Linda!
  13. Janet Curry

    Janet Curry Well-Known Member

    Well said, Linda! We are all adults so we should be able listen to or read the committees' reports, understand what has been done in the past, and be prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to get RCSC back in shape, both financially and facility-wise. Members are going to need to compromise and be patient for things to get accomplished. Thank goodness we are finally on the right track!
  14. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    We cannot, should not be trying to run the community because a small percentage of the residents can't afford an increase. Sorry, the RCSC and surrounding community of organizations is too big to pretend those living here can't afford to pay more. Before i leave this topic, the Sun City Foundation is still and always has been an under-utilized entity that can play a huge role as these difficult decisions (increases) are made. Further, supporting organizations like the Sun City Community Assistance Network can become another resource that is better promoted and given a push. There are solutions, we've just elected to ignore them and pretend we could get by on the cheap. Folly.

    I've always been a fan, and have told several board members this, incremental increases are far better than the big bang theory. While we can debate what's too much, what we cannot afford to do is pretend it's just business as usual. There's always a price to pay for ones sins, and Lord knows the past 15 years has been rife with them. Sticking band-aids on broken arms is nonsensical and will only insure we never catch up.

    A five year plan works and when forecasting realistic needs, it is fairly easy to do. That said, it will come at a cost, but this amazing community and the massive RCSC amenity infrastructure is expensive to just maintain, let alone stay ahead of the curve. I cannot be more blunt than to say, what we have done the past dozen years borders on negligence. Once the safeguards were gone, life as we knew had been changed in ways most of us could not even begin to grasp.

    That was then, this is now. I always use our history as a reference point, but that's only to provide a little guidance and a lost of inspiration. Sun City has had more than its share of challenges and every time we overcame them. This too shall pass.
  15. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    I just hope golf starts charging more for each round played. They need to pay their fair share of the upcoming expenses. And I am guessing other activities could also be paying a more fair share.
  16. old and tired

    old and tired Active Member

    I agree with the first part but other than golf and bowling how would you charge for the other activities?
    eyesopen likes this.
  17. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    Great question? Any ideas O & T? I am not a business/finance guy, but for instance, contact some of the new pickleball facilities to see how they charge their clients. Possibly model fees after them. Just one possible idea and I’m sure other creative and fair ways could be found.
  18. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Before anyone gets too rambunctious best to dig out your copy of the facilities agreement that was signed at purchase. It is a legally binding contract that sets forth the terms, conditions and obligations. I'm not sure they could charge anyone currently living here to use the amenities. The Articles of Incorporation give them the authority to set the fees for membership with further explanation in the bylaws.
  19. Tom Trepanier

    Tom Trepanier Well-Known Member

    Will do. Only makes me wonder about golf and bowling. I get “revenue neutral”, but I mean for heaven’s sakes, seems it is not happening.
  20. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Both golf and 10 pin bowling are doing better. I suspect the new accounting procedures will help us understand how much better really is. The internal argument apparently is this: PIF expenditures on golf (some 40 million dollars) and capitalized investments are actually costs that are billed against revenue when posted on the federal 990 forms. Because those expenditures are spread out over the allowable number of years (based on what it is for), some folks say that shouldn't count against revenue produced to make it self-sufficient.

    The good news is the covid19 bump was terrific for golf. It renewed interest in the game and grew the numbers of golfers. It was the only amenity that remained open, hence the growth in popularity. Sadly, some management people saw the outside play as an added bonus when in reality, it simply took away tee times from members. No one has ever argued about the sale of open tee times being to non-residents, especially if members had first option, and then those sold tees slots paid the visitor or guest price. The problems were first brought forward in April of 2022 and just now we are trying to address it.

    We know golf costs are going to continue to spike, we know we are looking at huge pay increases in the golf maintenance employee staff and we know the 5th water management plan slated for 2025 has projected a cash infusion from PIF to the tune of 20 million dollars and that may be light. We also know the RCSC is trying to get some administrative relief from the state to drag out the implementation of converting to desert landscaping (or finding a more hearty strain of grass that needs less water). No matter, the end result will be very large expenditures continuing in running golf courses.

    Even knowing all this, watch the golfing community show up and whine about the increases.

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