(The message below is a transcript of an email sent on June 22nd, 2020 to all UW Club Member emails addresses that were on file.)
We hope this letter finds you healthy and well. We are writing to provide you an update on the status of the University of Washington Club. As an active member of the Club and the UW community, your patronage and goodwill has been important to us and to the UW.
As you may recall from prior communications, the temporary shuttering of most of the UW campus and cancellation of all in-person gatherings due to COVID-19 has heavily impacted the Club. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been working with University leadership to explore potential alternatives to achieve a sustainable operational model. Unfortunately, the current economic and public health environment has made this impossible. While the UW officially owns the building, the Club operates as a self-sustaining, independent entity and regrettably, the Club’s general business model is no longer viable. Effective June 30, the UW Club will permanently close and steps will be taken to dissolve the non-profit corporate entity.
In mid-March, the Club’s Board of Trustees, in consultation with management, made the difficult decision to lay-off the Club’s employees, with the exception of the General Manager and Controller, John Risdon and Ben Shimizu. Additionally, the painful decision to close the Club was reached. We appreciate the longstanding dedication and commitment of the Club’s employees and particularly John and Ben’s leadership. As of 30 June 2020, they too will be released, each receiving an appropriate severance in recognition of their service and in support of their transition to new employment.
For more than a century, the UW Club has played an important role in the life of University, serving as a treasured gathering space for thousands of faculty, staff and retirees and premium event space for the public. Its commitment to customer service, quality food and beverage service and, of course, unparalleled views of Lake Washington and Husky Stadium have had a lasting impact on our community. As leaders of the Board of Trustees, we share your disappointment in this decision and appreciate your understanding and support.
In the months ahead, while the UW Club will cease to formally exist, we will continue to work with University leadership to explore and develop new approaches for how this iconic structure can nurture and support the UW community – a commitment that has always been at the center of the UW Club’s mission. We very much appreciate University leadership’s shared interest and support of this direction.
Attached you will find a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document which may assist in resolving immediate concerns. The letter and FAQ will also be available at the Club’s new blogsite at: https://sites.uw.edu/uwclub/.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, John Risdon, Ben Shimizu and the Club employees, thank you for your enduring support and commitment to the Club. We wish you health and wellness for the future.
UW Club Closure FAQ:
I’m on Payroll Deduction, what’s going on with my dues?
Payroll deductions from the payrolls of 4/10/20 and 4/25/20 are being refunded through UW payroll. A bulk of these refunds should be occurring throughout May 2020 and possibly June 2020. No Payroll Deductions have occurred after the April dates above.
What about annual dues and renewal for next year?
Do I need to inform the Club if I want to cancel?
No. The Club does not perform automatic charges and automatic renewals. Considering the long-term shutdown and ceased operations, all accounts, for the time being, are suspended.
What about the credit balance on my account from overpaying?
Any credit balances left on Member Accounts that were a result from an overpayment or a prior refund will have this refunded before June 2020. In some cases, this refund may come in the mail in check form due to certain functionality limitations occurring later in the month of May.
What if I still have an existing balance with the Club?
Considering the Club is currently operating from solely reserve funds, any final payments would be greatly appreciated to help us settle up business. However, we also understand the nature of today’s fiscal climate given the pandemic and would ask that any payments be completed via check, mailed to the Club before June 30th.
The Club’s street address is:
4020 E. Stevens Way NE
Seattle, Washington, 98195
What about the personal information that the Club has?
Any payment or sensitive information the Club has is kept fully encrypted and not accessible. This server is being prepped for long term hibernation and is going to be left with a responsible UW entity to manage it. A current membership roster with current contact information is also being retained. Should the Club open again, the managing party at that time will have access to phone numbers, street addresses, and email addresses to inform the community.
What about the building itself?
The building’s management is being passed to UW Facilities. The building will likely sit empty and unused until the UW can focus on its future purpose. Unfortunately, this closure occurred while a couple of major maintenance issues were arising, so it is truly unclear what the future of the facility will be.
Do I still have access to my account on the Club’s website?
No, as a part of this long-term closure the Club was required to cease its business with its main web provider and is losing this functionality.
Who do I contact if I have further questions if there are no employees of the Club?
You may still reach our Board of Trustees at the general email@example.com address for the time being.