Page 28 - BusinessWest April 27, 2020
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As for dealing with the present, club owners and managers are doing what they can to cope. Perez has filed an application for relief from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and received initial approval. He was quick to note that this money can mostly be used for payroll, so when it comes to his myriad other expenses, he’s cutting corners in any way he can.
“I’m penny-pinching everything I can,” he noted, adding quickly that he’s not sure when he’ll be getting his PPP loan, adding to his cash-flow anxiety.
At Twin Hills, Cardaropoli has had to lay off a number of staff members — mostly on the banquet and food and beverage side of the house — and is unsure what to tell employees when it comes to if or when they might return.
As for the members ... well, they are in a state of limbo as well, said Carda- ropoli, adding that overall membership numbers are understandably down as some who might normally commit in the late winter or early spring — and that’s when a good number do — are waiting to see what happens before they sign on the dotted line and write
a check.
“It’s made a big difference — March and April are the biggest months for having new members sign on,” he explained. “Now, because of the situa- tion, fewer are signing on because they don’t know when they can start to play; membership is at a standstill.”
As for those who have signed up
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Edgin added. “Many of these munici- palities have already secured the approval of taxpayers, selectmen, or whoever makes the decision to actually move forward, and a lot of them getting really great financing rates, getting a lot of mileage out of their dollar.”
On the private commercial side, many companies and developers will wait for the dust to settle. “If they’re already committed, if we’re already moving forward, typically they keep going. If they’re just about to move on a project, maybe they have just a little hesitation.”
In addition to its usual array of multi-family and affordable-housing projects, Architecture EL has been tackling, among other things, a Holy- oke project with Local 104 Plumbers and Pipefitters and a project for Theo- dores’ in downtown Springfield.
“They’ve had significant slowdowns, as all restaurants have, but continue
to look down the road at their overall restaurant needs, and they’re looking to keep that project on track,” Rothschild- Shea said. Meanwhile, he understands that other businesses will respond to the current economic climate by tap- ping the brakes and preserving cash flow.
and started paying ... if the season starts soon, fees may not have to be adjusted much or at all, Cardaropoli said. But if courses stay closed for sev- eral more weeks or months, that will certainly change, he went on, adding
we want to be respectful and realistic given what’s going on in this state, the country, and the world.”
Like Perez, Cardaropoli, and all other course owners and managers, Menachem sees golf as solid exercise
options; pulling the cups out of the holes an inch or two to keep the ball from falling in; and keeping the flag- sticks in the hole or eliminating them as well.
Perez agreed.
“Typically, we get eight foursomes an hour — a group goes out every seven and a half minutes,” he told Busi- nessWest. “Make it so you only have five tee times, one every 12 minutes, so you get a little more separation on the golf course. These are some of the things other golf courses are doing.
“I have a friend in Connecticut ... this is what she’s doing. She’s gone with no carts, and she said it couldn’t have gone any smoother,” he went on, not- ing that more than 40 states allow golf courses to be open, with some restric- tions. “And she’s getting 140 to 150 golf- ers a day. If I could get 100 players a day, I could weather this storm; zero a day just doesn’t work.”
Bottom Line
Indeed, it doesn’t.
That’s the reality for area course owners and managers today. They’re guardedly optimistic that things will change soon, but they simply don’t know.
Golf, the game, is hard. Golf, the business, has been just as hard for the past several years. And now, it’s become even more difficult. u
George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]
calls a week. “I’m looking forward to the camaraderie of working together.”
He believes companies, in archi- tecture and elsewhere, will take les- sons from these many weeks of remote work, many of them positive, if only an understanding the capabilities technol- ogy-supported teams have to do things more efficiently.
“It’s a whole different way of work- ing,” he added. “We’re already looking down the road at the so-called recovery and how we will reintegrate and get back to work. But we expect there will be some changes for the better. We’re trying to look at the positives.”
Edgin said Caolo & Bieniek, like other firms, is able to keep employees busy in the short team because of the long arc of many projects, but no one can really predict the impact of a sus- tained economic shutdown.
“It’s different here than in retail, where you need to have someone com- ing through the door purchasing some- thing to pay the sales clerk,” he noted. “We’ve got things in the works in the near term. As for the more intermedi- ate term and the future ... we’ll see.” u
Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]
 that it is unknown at this time just what services clubs will be offer to offer to members in 2020.
These scenarios are playing out at public and private courses across the state, said Menachem, adding that his organization continues to monitor the situation and diplomatically lobby the governor to let the courses open.
“We absolutely want to continue to advocate for our business and allow for access to golfers and enable these businesses to operate,” he said. “But
The architecture world has respond- ed to the COVID-19 crisis in other ways, too. For example, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) launched
a task force to help inform public offi-
“We see a little loss of efficiency in terms of communicating, trying to connect with the team, but we’re doing well on that front. I’m looking forward to the camaraderie of working together.
cials, healthcare-facility owners, and architects on adapting buildings into temporary healthcare facilities.
“On a daily basis, I am hearing from our architects who feel a deep sense of moral duty to support our healthcare providers on the front lines of this pan- demic,” AIA President Jane Frederick wrote on the AIA website. “As our com- munities assess buildings to address
and good release for those who are cooped up in their homes, and a busi- ness that should be open.
He said it would be easy to make adjustments that would enable people to play and stay safe. These include limiting carts to one passenger each — or eliminating them altogether and requiring people to walk; spacing out tee times to eliminate large gatherings at the first tee and reduce the number of people on the course at one time; limiting payments to contact-less
growing surge capacity, we hope this task force will be a resource to ensure buildings are appropriately and safely adapted for our doctors and nurses.”
The task force has developed a model of ‘rapid-response safety space asssessment’ for AIA members that will include considerations for the suitabil- ity of buildings, spaces, and other sites for patient care.
“This is a race against time for healthcare facilities to meet bed surge- capacity needs,” Kirsten Waltz, presi- dent of the AIA Academy of Architec- ture for Health and director of Facili- ties, Planning, and Design for Baystate Health, also noted on the website. “This task force will help inform best practices for quickly assessing build- ing inventory and identifying locations that are most appropriate to be adapt- ed for this crisis.”
Waiting Game
Meanwhile, life goes on for local firms like Architecture EL, even if the team can’t see each other face to face.
“We see a little loss of efficiency
in terms of communicating, trying to connect with the team, but we’re doing well on that front,” Rothschild-Shea said, adding that he conducts at least three project-management conference
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