By MATTHEW MCKEW
Free membership renewals are being offered to Wakatipu Ski Club members to recognise the financial constraints resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.
The club’s had to put the brakes on its usual second-hand sale bonanza, which annually draws thousands to buy used ski and snowboard gear.
Club treasurer Kris Vermier says the decision to “pull the plug” was made mid-April amid the uncertainty of Covid-19.
“In Level 2 we wouldn’t have been able to hold it, because last year we had 12-13,000 people.
“It is a big impact, because it’s the main source of income other than memberships.
“In the past it has probably raised $15,000 a year.”
Several years of good sales and tighter financial control than in past years, however, means the club can afford to get by, Vermier says.
In 2015, the club was on the brink, but a turnaround in fortunes means even without the sale, it can afford to be generous.
“We have waived all membership fees this year for our members because we knew things were going to get pretty tough.
“We can afford not to have any income this year, so let’s keep the membership engaged and pass that [saving] on to members because there’s going to be families out there with one parent or even both parents who’ve lost their jobs.
“We’re just trying to do our little bit.”
Vermeir says some members are offering to pay their fees regardless of the amnesty.
Meantime, they hope to have a plan for running the club under Alert Level 2 before the start of the ski season, at the end of next month.