In accordance with government health restrictions, The Oaks Restaurant & Saloon have been forced to close dine in service for most of the past year. While our staff has continued to service our members & residents through curbside service, the volume of orders has not met expectations for several months. In reviewing the finances for The Oaks, the Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to close The Oaks Restaurant effective today to minimize the financial impact on the subsidies each of our members pay in assessments for the OTCC. This is not expected to be a permanent closure, but we do not currently have a timeframe for re-opening. The Mulligan Room will remain open for to go orders 7 days a week. We encourage residents & members to take advantage of online ordering for the Mulligan Room at www.oaktreecountryclub.org.
Oak Tree Country Club Temporary Closure Frequently Asked Questions
These have been challenging times for our country, for many of our members & residents individually, and for the BVSA. Since last March, the BVSA Board & General Manager, as fellow residents, have been striving to help our members stay safe while also providing as many services and as much “normal” as possible. We have tried to keep as many of our talented employees working while also being fiscally responsible with the amenities fees that have been entrusted to us. We hope that by sharing answers to the most frequently asked questions about the recent closure of our amenity at the Oak Tree Country Club will help the membership to understand the reasoning behind this most recent decision.
1. Is this a temporary closure? How long will The Oaks & the Saloon remain closed?
This is absolutely not a permanent closure. As soon as the external circumstances in our state improve, we intend to re-open as soon as we possibly can.
2. What was the process of the Board’s decision? Why weren’t members told about the finances? Where can the members find this information?
The Board of Directors is elected by the membership to work with the General Manager on the day to day operations for the Association. This decision was extremely difficult given all the factors and variables. Let us explain how the finances for the BVSA work.
Each year, around this time, the BVSA managers & staff, Board of Directors, and Finance Committee begin a long budgeting process where the amount of money spent is reviewed and managers of each department budget for the upcoming fiscal year. In March, there is a two-day meeting open to the membership where the General Manger, Board of Directors, and the Finance Committee go through each line of the budget. This budget eventually determines the subsidy each department will receive and the total assessment that will be charged to each property.
Because we are a private company, we do not have the option to not meet our budget. Our General Manager, the Board of Directors, the Food & Beverage managers, the Food Service Advisory Committee, and the Finance Committee all review the monthly budgets and expenditures for the Food & Beverage Departments, as well as the other BVSA departments. Additionally, each month at the Board Meetings, the General Manger presents charts & graphs that show the membership how each department is doing related to the budget and the amount paid in subsidy for that month. Those monthly financial reports are then available on the BVSA website once the minutes are approved. The review of these financials for The Oaks over the course of the 9 months since the Covid shutdown began is ultimately what culminated in the Board making this very difficult decision.
The financial reports are available on the BVSA website, including a subsidy breakdown, at bvsa.org under “Financial Information.” Members are welcome to attend the Board Meetings (3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM at the OTCC), any of the committee meetings (dates/times posted in the ebuzz each week), or contact the BVSA office directly with any specific questions about the financials.
3. Were the employees fired or laid off? Why weren’t they given notice and why did some find out on social media? Can the OTCC employees be reassigned to the Mulligan Room?
Based on the reasons that these difficult decisions were made, discontinuing operations as soon as possible was the most expedient way to prevent further budgetary losses. The managers and employees of the Oak Tree Country Club were laid off. The managers were each notified immediately and in person. Because of the number of employees and their varied shifts, it was not possible to tell them all at once and the BVSA wanted to make sure that word was given to the membership as soon as possible as well. Each employee was attempted to be notified within 24 hours. Within 48 hours each had met with the General Manager and HR manager personally with the exception of a few who had extenuating circumstances.
The Mulligan Room is already fully staffed based on needs for current services provided.
4. Why weren’t the members asked before closing the OTCC?
Over the years, the membership has made it abundantly clear that they do not want increases on their assessments/amenities fees. Although the Food & Beverage managers made efforts to change the business model to curbside and over the summer offer poolside dining, based on the changing guidelines and regulations, it was not enough to compensate for the loss of revenues. While the membership did “rally” initially through the purchase of family dinners and for Thanksgiving, and other specials, the Board of Directors made this decision based on what would be best for the membership as a whole related to their assessments. Additionally, they Board is committed to continuing to provide meals for residents through the Mulligan Room until we are able to reopen the OTCC.
5. What happened to the food at the OTCC? Will the Mulligan Room expand their menu, especially pizza?
The Mulligan Room staff is using the food that had been purchased for the OTCC. The staff is already working to expand their menu, up to and including pizza. We request patience from the members and residents as the staff adjusts to these changes. The Mulligan Room staff is also more than willing to bring your order curbside upon request.
6. Why was the choice made for the Mulligan Room to remain open rather than the OTCC?
The Mulligan Room is significantly closer to revenue expectations and the expenses are easier to manage.
7. The Governor has lifted the stay at home order. Why don’t you just open for indoor dining at both locations?
While the stay at home order has been lifted, the state has returned to the color-coding tier system. Kern County remains in the purple tier which restricts dining to outdoors and orders bars to remain closed. Out of an abundance of caution for the health of our members and the current weather patterns, the Mulligan Room is open for to go orders only. While individual members may be completely comfortable with the BVSA defying the guidelines, there are also members who do not want their subsidy paying for indoor service so this is difficult for the Board to make all sides happy. Based on the current covid cases and population within Tehachapi and Bear Valley, this is the decision at this time, but we are hopeful to be able to re-open both facilities soon.
8. Will our assessments go down because of this closure?
The goal for this closure is a stop gap measure to reduce the chances that the BVSA will be over budget for the fiscal year. The budget process is currently underway. The Board & Staff along with the Finance Committee will be extensively looking through the budget for the upcoming year to make any increases as minimal as possible.