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All comments by Alan Powell
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We absorb the cost of the STAC (5.00 a table for our unit) By running 3 (Open, 499 and 199er) team games in addition to our regular schedule we show a profit. Otherwise its a wash between the slight increase in regular table count and the STAC fees.

Now if we could not schedule the STAC opposite a regional(District 4 King of Prussia) from a neighboring district, that would make me a lot happier.

STAC week seems to be a bigger fundraiser for the units than for the clubs that do the heavy lifting. Since clubs are now responsible for their own handrecords etc, one wonders why there was not a corresponding drop in sanction fee. The best I can say is the fee has not gone up despite costs passed on to the club.
July 2, 2018
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I don't believe club appreciation games cost you any extra money. Just the regular sanction fee of $1 dollar a table.
June 19, 2018
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1. As owner and manager, I handle discipline. I expect my directors to handle issues as they occur and maintain order as necessary for the problem at the time, but after that additional discipline is my decision. I also expect them to inform me of issues large and small in a timely manner so I can deal with them before they escalate.

2. People who cannot maintain the minimum standard of behavior after sufficient warnings etc should not be allowed to play. For every one of these you keep, you lose five who are turned off by their behavior. Even a small financial loss cannot compare to the stress somebody like this puts on you, your staff and your other players.

3. see #1. How is that working for me? I would prefer it if everybody got along. Nobody likes being the bad guy. That being said, once you make a decision, don't waffle. Stick to it.

4. I don't think there are really global solutions for what is most likely a local problem? Players and Club officials can utilize the recorder system if they feel a problem reaches beyond the club level.

5. I have read the full Code of Disciplinary Regulations. I don't think most club issues rise to a level in which such formality is required.

6. Carefully. I do think player experience level plays an issue up to a point. Some things are unacceptable for all players. Some could be forgiven for players with little experience.

These are my 2 cents.
June 15, 2018
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On the list of things that didn't work, We tried a targeted mass mailing for the township in which we are located. We were able to choose a list of all households with at least one person over 50 to aim at the empty nesters which made up our usual beginner demographics. I don't remember how many households(total population is 30,000ish) were on the mailing list, but the total cost was $1100 or so. We ended up with exactly one person who attended and identified the mailing as where they heard of us. This person stuck with it a bit and has had spotty attendance over the last 5 years or so. I would estimate if this person attends about 20 more times we will have covered the cost of the mailing.

I realize that advertising is a numbers game and people need to see your name out there a few times before it will stick. The exact impact of the mailing is hard to measure, but it was such a poor result we never considered it again.
June 14, 2018
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The facebook approach sounds very interesting. Are you able to track people who have received a facebook ad to see what success rate you have from ad to click to student?
June 14, 2018
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I agree there should be distinctions between clubs that add to membership and those that exist off the fruits of our labors but could we possible refer to them as vampire clubs maybe. I am more comfortable with the imagery.

“As a matter of fact, the ACBL doesn’t do ANYTHING for the club level except provide the ACBLscore program. ”

Disclaimer: This is not intended as an attack on the developers of the original ACBLscore program but on the failure of the ACBL to update it.

Providing the ACBLscore program should not be seen as a good thing on any level. Any club that is serious about email lists and snail mail lists and tracking different types of players is forced to maintain two databases of players because of the glorified 1990's technological travesty that is ACBLscore and its useless database. Monthly masterpoint reporting in this day and age of communication is pathetic.
If the Units and Districts are carrying so much money on their balance sheets, perhaps there should be mandatory contributions to a real ACBLscore replacement or cut off their 11% until we have something real.
June 13, 2018
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My wife and I are the owners of Essex Bridge Center in Livingston NJ. We were #4 on the table count list last year and have been mostly in the top 5 for over a decade including a 5 year run on top from 2006-2010.

Our club uses in house teaching but we do have some relationship with a couple of local teachers as well. If they have a group ending, we coordinate which games/times to point their students toward and watch for them.

Our in house teachers come from the local bridge popluation some with experience and some without. We typically bring newbies in at the assistant level and see if they can grow into teachers and/or directors. I have never(maybe never is too strong) hired someone I didn't know reasonably well beforehand.
June 12, 2018
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