Greetings and I hope everyone is well and beginning to enjoy their summer. Given we have opened Sea Colony according to Delaware state guidelines and our additional discernment, it seems time to update everyone on our progress.
In June, there were a very large number of our owners on property. Much larger volume than we have seen in recent years. It was a good test of our pool and fitness capacities, and socially distanced beach requirements. By and large it went very well, and many of you have shared with us your positive reactions and safety comfort levels. I am particularly gratified to see the vast majority of owners wearing masks where appropriate, and considerate of distancing on the beach. We had no rentals in April and May, very few renters in June, but July and August are quite busy with bookings, and hopefully renters will show the same consideration and patience.
So far, things have not gone without issue and several of you have noticed that we have fewer security, some closed pools, etc., and a surprising tram system failure. As we previously communicated, we prioritized lifeguards and housekeeping/sanitation staff, and safety of facilities. Unfortunately, we do not have the benefit of international student help this year, and many younger adults have chosen not to work in order to protect themselves and their parents. Other adults are collecting enhanced unemployment benefits, which in the short run is acting as a disincentive to work in the jobs that we have available. The bottom line is that finding staff is our primary challenge and we are working our best to find and add staff. Fortunately, rentals will be higher than we originally forecasted. While rentals will still be behind last year, they are now expected to be much higher than we anticipated, and so badge fees will provide additional money to hire staff.
As a result, we are happy to be adding security staff – to keep the north and south guardhouses staffed for longer hours, to do badge checking where we have the most volume and the greatest risk of outsiders using our facilities, including the north beach border. I am also pleased to report that we will be opening an additional west side pool – T2, just past the Tennis Center on West Way. We have added busses to augment the tram system and handle the increased capacity we now expect, while maintaining safety.
While we are doing well, I am not sure I can say the same thing for other beach communities. They are packed with many not adhering to wearing masks and distancing requirements. This has resulted in more COVID-19 cases, state mandated temporary closing of bars in those areas. As a result, we think it is unlikely the State of Delaware will move to the next phase very soon, and we anticipate needing to continue at the current lower-level capacities for our amenities. Your continued patience and adherence to our safety protocols is greatly appreciated. If you rent directly, we ask you to please help your renters understand as well. Masks on the promenade, on the beach crossovers, at elevators, are appreciated, and anywhere social distancing is difficult are required by the State of Delaware. Common courtesy to our staff will go a lot further than being difficult. Everyone is doing their best in a challenging summer.
So far, the summer is going well, and we are able to increase our staff to better serve where we can. Let us hope the summer continues to improve and that a reversal is not required. Any questions please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and our Management Company or members of the Board will address it. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy your summer.
Roy Zatcoff Board President, Sea Colony Recreational Association