Club looking at its survival options
The Nelson Suburban Club on Tahunanui Drive is looking at selling as it struggles to survive.
Members learnt last night the social club is looking at options, including selling. President Jim Reeves said today: "We are looking at options to make it viable - selling, merging or whatever we can find."
Like a lot of other businesses, the club was struggling, he said. "We are looking at ways to survive."
The club has served as a functions centre for many events, including this afternoon's Grey Power meeting where Prime Minister John Key was to speak. The centre remains open while the options are being explored.
It is also home to a number of organisations, including the Nelson RSA.
The Suburban Club discovered a $300,000 debt last year - from a $200,000 tax bill and $100,000 owed to other creditors. In September it sent a letter to its 4800 members invoicing each $100 asking for a one-off donation and offering a chance to win two $2000 travel vouchers, and also sought investment in a VIP scheme allowing the pre-payment of future subscriptions.
Reeves said the club now had 5500 members. The 200-odd at last night's meeting had been supportive.
He said the club had pretty much caught up with with paying off the outstanding $300,000.
The club also had loans of $2.7 million, mostly relating to its expansion and the purchase of extra carparking.
Last year members were told that one member had donated more than $128,000 toward the IRD debt.
The club's bank, ANZ, had requested a review of the club's finances.
While the bank said it was prepared to support the club until the end of February when it would again be reviewed, members were told it was imperative they donate if they wanted the club to survive.
The club also launched a renewed membership drive.
Today RSA Nelson president Barry Pont said the RSA's 640 members paid a $35 fee a year to be associated with the Suburban Club, but the RSA had no other financial arrangement with it.
"Luckily we have not got a vested interest and are not liable," Pont said. "We have no working agreement with them."
The club has been the home for the RSA since 2009.
It had moved from the Maitai Club which it joined in 2002 after selling its Rutherford St premises to the Briscoe Group for $1.75m.