Derby fever has returned to Louisville and the Bonnycastle Club. Along with all the Derby festivities; spring weather is around the corner, and just in time, the picnic tables have been installed.  A big thank you to Chris Meyer and Bernie Rapp for leading the installation crew!  Grab a cold beer or cocktail, sit outside, and watch the Bonnycastle Avenue show!

I guess in any club, a segment of members will always talk about things that may or may not be true. As the Zip Room renovations are underway, I’ve heard several things that I’d like to address. First, we are not using the Club’s general operating fund, the money used comes from our Expansion Fund, established many years ago to keep the Club updated. These funds come in as donations from our members and from the income we receive from the upstairs apartment. As of today, we have spent less than half of the funds available. As the construction part of the project comes to an end, we will come in a tad under the total funds available. At this time, we will not be purchasing new furniture or carpet; that will be done as funds allow.  Questions I’ve heard, why are we spending any money on the Zip Room when nobody uses it? The short answer, the room has been isolated from the rest of the Club, it was dark, used for storage, had bad furniture, and had one TV that had terrible placement in the room. Another comment, we lost so much storage with the removal of the closets. Where are all the items from the storage closets? Mostly the closets were in such disarray that everything was easily relocated to the basement, the storage closet next to the bathroom, or the kitchen. We kept 99% of the items, so that in 25 years, the next generation can look through the same stuff! Maybe they will toss it out! I encourage any and all questions, please ask, I’ll be more than happy to discuss any and all questions.

At the April General Membership Meeting, a vote was held to recommend to the Board an increase on a temporary basis the membership by 35 to a total of 360. The Board voted to accept this recommendation, and we are in the process of interviewing potential members, in the order of application date.

The Bonnycastle has three revenue sources, Member dues, dinner income, and bar income.  Member dues cover the salaries of our employees (that is all), Club Manager, Bartenders, Bookkeeper and the Cleaning Crew(s). All other income comes from the Members that come in to drink and eat. We continue to look for ways to keep our costs down. One area that would help the Club tremendously would be for all members to come visit the Club at least two or three times a month and have a few drinks or buy a pizza and a glass of your favorite drink.  Only about 30% of the Membership visits the Club on a regular basis. 

The Board is exploring all options to help cover the projected annual shortfall, including an increase of Member Dues, increasing new member initiation fees, monthly or annual minimums, assessments, etc.  None of these options are popular, hopefully we can find a better option. Members will say we have a lot of money in reserve, yes, we do, and we use that money every year to help maintain the Club. However, at the rate of inflation, that fund will only last about 10-15 years at the rate it is used. I know this news will not be received well, but facts remain facts.

This information will lead to many questions about how we spend money at the Club. The daily/weekly expenses are managed very closely, at least three people look at ALL expenses. We do spend money to keep the Club up to date, like the new Menu board by the bar.  Repairs to an old building continue to occur, the front windows have rotted and will be replaced shortly (22k), and the member entrance door operating mechanism is 40+ years old and is on order (3k). The plumbing for the Apartment was recently repaired 7.5K.  The list, like this addition of Coach’s Corner, is very long.

Hope everyone has a great Spring! Hope to see you at the Bonnycastle Club.


Mark Blankenbaker

President-Bonnycastle Club