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Friday, March 15, 2013

Van Damme It's Friday

- We are unveiling the top 16 Best Business Bracket in Fort Thomas tomorrow at Mio's Pizza Fort Thomas. There will be a live podcast starting at 1:00 to announce who made it and what their seeds will be. There will also be beer specials a buffet and live music.

Come hang out to see if your favorite business made the tournament field. There will be 4 brackets, just like in the NCAA Tournament. The brackets are the Towne Centre, Inverness, Midway and New Business Bracket.

- Some comments on the "under new management" sign at Mio's. Here's the scoop:

There were two owners/partners originally. One bought the property, the other had experience with other Mios's restaurants.

They are both still there, but the owner with the other Mio's experience is taking over the day-to-day operations.

Everybody should come out to see if they can tell a difference tomorrow for st Patrick's Day/FTM BBB selection show.

- We are official at Fort Thomas Matters. Not because we have surpassed 40,000 page views on a monthly basis. Not because we are closing in our 1,000 all-time post. Not even because our Facebook and Twitter pages have a combined 1200 likes. No, no.

We have T-Shirts. And they are awesome. I'll have a few to give out at Mio's Saturday. First 3 to mention "Van Damme It's Friday" to me during our podcast gets one. Big ups to On The Route Printing for getting them done.

- Had a few people inquire about the Fort Thomas Swim Club raising their rates. I reached out to John Weyer, President of the FTSC board to get clarification.

Basically, they are raising rates $50. Obviously not awesome, but after his explanation, totally justified in my view. His explanation:

The FTSC board is made up of 9 members that meet monthly to make decisions regarding the operation of the club.

For those that attended the October meeting it was disclosed that the club would need to raise dues going forward.  The cost of operating the pool has risen significantly over the past 10 years.  We have avoided raising the dues by raising revenue on three separate occassions by slowly raising the limit on memberships from 450 to 550.  Another bump in membership would have accomplished the needed increase in revenue, but in the opinion of the board (and most members) we are pushing the limit.  

In early 2011 the board spent $45,000 to re-line the large filter tanks that service the pool and before the 2012 season the pool was repainted after sandblasting off all old coatings; another $40,000.  A dues schedule that ten years ago was building a surplus is now not sufficient to operate the club.

Many discussions were had by the board.  The board considered many proposals for the increase.  The first decision made was to change the structure of the dues from paying for each individual to a structure of paying for a membership.  This is the way the majority of clubs handle dues.  

We had gathered information on other N Ky swim clubs yearly dues and used that in our discussions.  The least expensive yearly membership is Oakbrook Swim Club at $400.  They do not offer a discounted rate for single or 1+1 membership.  

The two clubs that have a three tiered schedule similar to what the board adopted are Brookwood Swim Club and Bluegrass Swim Club.  Brookwood is struggling to maintain its membership and has tried to keep its prices down, they are currently - $240 for a single, $310 for a double, and $425 for a family.  Bluegrass has a much healthier membership base and the best comparison to our club - $350/single, $375/double, and $425 for a family.   The Bluegrass rates are at least $100 per membership higher than the new dues schedule for Fort Thomas.

- We are working on a Fort Thomas-wide Pub Crawl for Cinco de Mayo this year. Should be a good time, so stay tuned for that.


  1. Ft Thomas Swim Club dues have ridiculously cheap for at least a dozen years. They were smart to increase membership when they did, but I agree that they are near capacity now.. The increases are reasonable and still a bargain.

    Especially, considering the 5 year waiting list for memberships.

  2. I'm curious as to what the benefits of the swim club are over the pool at the YMCA? I was really surprised to hear of the waiting list (I was under the impression it was closer to 10-15 years) and in addition to the annual fees, isn't there a large sum you have to pay when you first sign up? I've never been to the swim club, so I don't know ...

  3. Just my opinion, Kara. I think it's 2 things.
    1) The nostalgia. To me summers meant the swim club. Slush puppies, hot pretzels, moo malts, adult swim, ball tag, gutter ball.

    2) The waiting list. It's good and bad. I think the sheer length of the waiting list breeds exclusivity, which adds to the institution of the whole thing.

    As far as fees, I havent looked in a while but I think it's like $750 the first year on top of the annual dues. I do think you get the majority of that back after you terminate your membership.

    Thanks for reading!