Letter to the Editor – No more excuses. Let’s make the healthy choice for this community – by Eric and Annie Beatty

The strategic planning initiatives before us this November are without a doubt the most exciting and quite possibly most important decision we will make as a community towards improving and insuring our long-term sustainability. Our hardworking, entrusted LQ Board and residents have truly done their due diligence in sitting down with almost every one of us over the last two to three years in researching the needs of our community. They have hired professional consultants who have helped us learn exactly what our club needs to be successful in the future. Let us address the common excuses and concerns which limit our mission for improving our community.
Excuse #1. Its too expensive, and I just don’t want to pay more for anything.The hard truth is that according to our Board’s analysis, new membership recruitment to LQ has declined 25 percent in 2017 from that of 2016, and we are forfeiting approximately $400,000 per year in lost revenue. We are watching our neighbors’ homes sit stagnant on the market for years and property values decrease. The strong demand for a Community Wellness Center exists. Whether it is this year or the next, the demand for these missing amenities will not diminish what current and prospective residents are looking for. Postponement of adding these amenities will undoubtedly result in more expensive costs to build them in the future. Furthermore, we will regret a future where we will be debating costly member assessments to afford future budgets while having no long-term solutions to improve membership, low home values, and still no amenities to show for it. This is simply near-sighted, poor judgement to assume that no action will improve our situation. In short, we can’t afford to do nothing.
Excuse #2. It’s not necessary. Lake Quivira is fine the way it is. We don’t want to change it. Our past, current and prospective members feel otherwise since Lake Quivira’s inception in 1928. Lake Quivira have stayed relevant by adding amenities which have attracted new members and homebuyers by changing. We have added the golf course, improvements to the clubhouse, beach facilities, tennis courts, preschools, trails, and even the clubhouse menus to adapt with changing demands of its residents. Despite how wonderful Lake Quivira is, five months of the Kansan year are simply too uncomfortable to enjoy most of our prized outdoor amenities. Families have different job requirements, time constraints, traditional parenting responsibilities and free time availability than in the past. We just don’t offer some of the core amenities that people are looking for anymore. The community wellness center and golf facility will fill a massive void for these changing times. For those concerned about changing the culture of a community that we’ve all fallen in love with, The LQ Board, its committees and residents have certainly shown due diligence in responsibly researching the wants and needs of the community so that these projects only serve to protect and improve the value of our special community and insure our long-term sustainability. We will still be Lake Quivira, just greatly improved. To dispute that future adaptation to remain successful isn’t necessary is complete and utter nonsense.
Excuse#3. I don’t think we’re going to gain any new members by building this. If our entire country or community believed in this pessimistic mantra, we would be in sad shape. Yes, there is cost and risk in building something new, but we have everything to gain. Professional consultants and precedent of local equivalent country clubs have illustrated the addition of our proposed club amenities does directly increase membership and thus revenue. Personally, we know of several friends who have unfortunately elected to buy homes in other communities with amenities that LQ does not offer, such as work-out facilities, covered tennis courts, a pool, Rec/wellness centers, etc. People demand amenities we don’t offer. Let us not be so arrogant as to believe our community is meeting the demands of new homebuyers or our current residents today.
Excuse #4. I won’t benefit from this. Never before have we had an amenity that can be enjoyed by so many throughout the entire year. The enhanced value from physical wellness to overall community social interaction will be immense, not only during the five cold months of the year, but even throughout the hot days, the rainy days and evenings. Improved local preschools for our future generations, activity rooms for kids and teen centers with year-round wellness services and activities for all ages year round. This is a healthy choice for all of us. Approval of the improved golf facilities echoes every improvement we have passed with maintaining and improving the amenity we have in the golf course. If you own a home at Lake Quivira, your home value will increase. If you don’t use a single amenity the community has to offer, at least you’ll be making a smart investment in your property value, which will indeed benefit you directly.
Excuse #5. What happens if we do nothing? Take a look at the last five years of us doing nothing. We are hemorrhaging $400,000 of lost revenue per year on decreasing membership. Imagine what we could have done with those millions of dollars in lost revenue over the last five years alone and what we stand to lose in the future. Take a hard look at how many homes are for sale and how long their stagnation on the market, and their deceased sale values. Stagnation and decreasing members and corresponding dues revenue will continue. We will likely be met with new costs and challenges in the future, and we will be likely forced to assess our members or increase dues to meet future costs and still have nothing to show for it. If we’re not getting better, we’re getting worse. Meanwhile, competitive country clubs and communities will continue to meet the demands of their members and leave us lacking in amenities and/or paying more for them later on. Look at the simple analysis of what we have to gain and lose with this vote.
If we Vote “No”
Declining membership and revenue
Lower home value
Not providing amenities for our current and prospective members to enjoy year-round.
Vote “Yes” on all initiatives.
Increased memberships and revenue
Increased home value
Improved member experience and new year-round amenities
What about the other “Quick Win” privately funded projects?
Lastly, it would behoove us to all support the beach pavilion, gate entrance changes, and Stable/Nature Center. For those critics, I’d fittingly ask that you not to “look a gift horse in the mouth” and simply vote “Yes” and say to those generous members who have contributed, supported and made efforts to improve our community, “Thank You!”
Look at the simple analysis of what we have to gain and lose, and you will see that voting “YES” on all strategic projects is the prudent and financially responsible choice to meet the long-term demands for our current and future members. Stop the negative thinking and your excuses, and be a part of the excitement and positivity we all have the unique opportunity to be a part of.
~Eric and Annie Beatty