January 15, 2020
Governor Jay Inslee
RE: Open Letter regarding current Roadmap to Recovery
After nine (9) months of closure we feel that we are suffering through death by a thousand cuts.
We have listened to your instructions since early March 2020. We have sat back and watched while the rules, guidance, and “goal posts” continue to move and change – all in the name of “following the science” (your favorite phrase). We started with a “short shutdown” while we “flattened the curve” – do you recall that message? This advanced to, “we are shutting down again to avoid a spike in November and December.” Despite shutting down small businesses again, the Covid-19 numbers spiked anyway. Did you put another “nail in the coffin” of our small businesses simply because of your gut feeling? There was no science provided to back up the decision.
Now, we have these new Regions, with four (4) complex ratios, that shut everyone down further. They may not even correlate to what is happening in our industry or within our city. The most ridiculous thing we have seen yet – the State as a whole is one (1) percentage point away from advancing into Phase 2, but every individual Region is far from it. Yet, we blindly follow directives from a person who says he is “following the science” but, clearly only when it suits you.
Since you have continued to preach about “following the science”, truly follow the science and take a look at the information that has been gathered on the subject: http://OlyPenSports.com/FollowTheScience. We Are Following the Science. This in-depth information includes statistics, assessments, guidance, and recommendations from groups such as the Centers for Disease Control, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, the Mayo Clinic, the World Health Organization, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Washington State Department of Health, to name a few. We point to this information to demonstrate that we take Covid-19 and all of our decisions seriously – the mental and physical health of our community depends on it. Unfortunately, the current Roadmap you have us on is not good for anyone’s health nor the health of our economy.
We are a small business and run on very thin margins like many other businesses (less than 5% margin). We view ourselves as a community asset and not a profit-making business. Therefore, we keep rates low and we give back to the community whenever and wherever possible. Our lost revenue in 2020 was $505,060 compared to 2019 (a reduction of 63.5%). This is compounded by high fixed costs amounting to over $21,252 per month. During the shutdown in 2020 (9 months), that amounts to a $180,342 loss before turning on the lights.
What is your end game? What are you doing that is truly helping us to get back on track? What is being done to help the small businesses like ours and others throughout the State that continue to suffer? Please do not tell me that everyone is suffering together because it simply is not true. Walking through any big box retailer, rubbing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors, will tell you a different story. Earnings from these large corporations will help add to that story. Business is good for certain retailers, money is available for other large corporations, unemployment available for most (but not all), and stimulus checks even to those who do not need it and/or kept their job. But the small businesses that are the backbone of this state, the ones with the entrepreneurial spirit working 14 hr days, the people who are here supporting the masses with food service, fitness, and other goods and services are told to follow orders, ask no questions, and make ends meet with a 2.5x payroll PPP grant covering 10% of the fixed expenses I previously mentioned. The $12,500 made available from the State to cover Covid-19 related expenses only (read into this plexiglass, masks, and gloves), for which you claim savior status in the media, is inadequate to meet the true expenses incurred. Small businesses are doing everything they can to create a healthy and safe environment only to be shut down once again. Give us a bit of credit, we know what needs to be done at this point to keep our neighbors safe in our businesses.
Quit adding to the science Mr. Governor and start “following the science” as you continue to remind us. The science tells us that our youth are suffering! Their mental and physical health is taking a hit. To deny that is putting one’s head in the sand. The numbers do not lie. Do you know how many children between the ages of 0-17 years have died of Covid-19 in our County? Zero. Do you know how many children in that same age bracket have committed suicide during that same period of time? It is not a question anyone wants to answer, but the number is too many! Stop forcing them inside and under isolation. It is not healthy.
It does not stop there. Adults need a release as well. The science tells us that the best defense against Covid-19 is a healthy body and cardiovascular system. How are we maintaining mental and physical health while we are locked in our homes? The answer is, we are not. What we are doing is forcing everyone inside where they pass the virus around to their loved ones. Our general adult population is not the one at risk. Those adults 18-64 years with no underlying health conditions have almost no chance of dying from Covid-19. So why lock them down? Read the literature. Study the numbers. Follow the Science.
Let’s talk about where help is needed. It is no secret; it is our elderly population (over 65 years). The members of the greatest generation, the ones that suffered through the worst of times, the heroes that delivered us from evil in the world – we are failing them miserably when they need us most! Time and time again we read of spikes in the numbers, only to find out once again it was an outbreak at one of our senior centers. This is unacceptable – let’s protect them!
The economy is next Mr. Governor. Leaders are sitting back allowing you to dictate change without any checks and balances – shame on them! We need to start questioning the wisdom of blanket shutdowns that do not work. Ask for the numbers behind the science. We demand that you start following the guidance of the CDC, rather than making assumptions of your own. The cure can not be worse than the disease. We have watched while Seattle has died (yes, the Emerald City will be tarnished for many years to come). Let’s not let that happen to the rest of Washington. We have too much invested for this to happen.
So what are we going to do Mr. Governor? We have seen this virus for ten (10) months now. We can not keep cowering and hope it goes away. We cannot think that a vaccine will solve all of our problems. We need to be more strategic about what is going on and be assertive. Making surgical cuts related to closures throughout our economy with a machete is killing us.
We are tired of the economic injustice that is continuing to take place all around us while we sit idly by hoping for a miracle. Watching the double standards all around us while the science tells us differently.
We urge you to take a step back and see what is happening to our state and make appropriate changes to your current Roadmap so that we may all begin to heal.
Olympic Sports Center
Dear OlyPen Family,
We are happy to report that we will be reopening on January 5, 2021!
This date follows the conclusion of the Governor's current closure order - and will be a hard date opening for us. To be clear, we will be opening on this date regardless of any further guidance.
We do not make this decision lightly. We are very concerned about the health and well being of our players, staff, and community members at large. We have not and will not do anything to jeopardize the health and safety of our community.
Therefore, we are Following the Science to arrive at our decision.
Over the past 9 months:
- We have stayed in front of decisions to close out of an abundance of caution when caution was warranted.
- We have abided by the Governor's prior mandates and closed our facility.
- We have worked with others in the industry along with the Governor's office to establish protocols for reopening.
- And, we have studied the science behind COVID-19 and the numbers impacting community members.
The graphic titled "We Are Following The Science", outlines what the numbers (and people smarter than us) are telling us about the disease, its spread, those most affected, and the impact to our community. What the science tells us about our soccer population is that it is more harmful for us to be closed than to be open.
Over the next two weeks leading up to our reopening, we will be sharing information online about each of the 6 key areas of information used to arrive at our decision. But do not take our word for it, we are providing you with a link to a page on our website that has all of the sources, links, and science that we used to arrive at this decision. Please educate yourself and visit the raw information here: http://www.OlyPenSports.com/FollowTheScience
We would have hoped that the same conclusion about the fitness industry would have been made out of the Governor's office by now considering their own State Department of Health website shows almost no spread coming from such businesses. Unfortunately, it would seem that while “following the science” is a good sound bite for them, when making shut down decisions, it is then ok for them to rely on "belief" as it was put by a staffer, rather than science. We, as well as many others, have worked with, provided information, and challenged the Governor's office to provide scientific data to support their position or let youth sports and gyms open up, but they have failed to do so.
The stakes are too high to continue blindly following one person's order without proper information. If we were 9 days into this - yes. But we are 9 months in and a ton of data supports our conclusion and decision - and does not support his. The health and well being of our members depends on our opening. The livelihood of many of our employees depends on our opening. And the future of the facility depends on our opening. Hopefully the Governor can follow his own advice and Follow the Science in 2021.
THEREFORE: All leagues (both youth and adult) and classes (including Rising Force) have been rolled forward with the January 5, 2021 start date. We remain closed and with limited (no) staffing until that date so please refrain from contacting us if you desire a reply.
We understand that some of you may not be comfortable coming back to play just yet - and that is ok. We want all members to feel safe and healthy or to stay home until circumstances change. We are running on the assumption that all teams previously in session in October/November will be returning unless we hear otherwise. Please speak with your team managers as to whether you and/or your team will be resuming. Please have your team manager contact us via email (info@OlyPenSports.com) by December 31, 2020 only if your team is unable to return at this time.
All of the same social distancing and masking requirements will be in effect upon reopen. This includes Zero spectators for adults. One parent per minor. Check in is still required upon entry. And wear your mask.
We look forward to seeing you on the pitch!
OlyPen Sports Management
Dear OlyPen Family,
We have great news to share! New guidance related to sporting/athletic activities during COVID-19 was released yesterday by the Governor’s office. The new guidance allows Olympic Peninsula Sports (“OPS”) to reopen and restart league play! We are targeting Friday, October 16th as our first night of league play!
Here is some vital information you will need moving forward for a Safe Start:
Approved Document from the Governor’s Office: Under the Governor’s new guidance, soccer is categorized as a “Moderate risk sport” and Kitsap County’s current “County COVID-19 Activity Level” rating (36.7) is Moderate. The combination of these two items allow us to resume league play as long as we follow the rules contained in the guidance and remain within or better than our county’s current combined rating.
The following are details about the procedures, business decisions, and safety protocols of your center reopening:
We have decided to restart all leagues, both youth and adult, as new sessions.
This decision was made because there is no way for us to anticipate which teams and/or players are prepared to immediately return.
Any players/teams that were paid in full and had games remaining on their schedule prior to the shutdown will have an OPS credit applied to their account. These credits will be input into the system prior to your first game.
Team managers are encouraged to reconnect with your team, assess returning players, and then login to our new Dash system to sign up for a new session. We anticipate the leagues to be posted and open for registration within the next 48 hours.
If you do not have enough players to form a team or you do not have a team to play with, please email us at info@OlyPenSports.com or post to the OPS Bulletin Board on Facebook and we will work to form teams for the specific leagues.
WE NEED ALL OF YOUR HELP IN REBUILDING AND RESTARTING OUR LEAGUES – PLEASE SIGN UP EARLY SO THAT WE CAN SCHEDULE TIMES/GAMES.
Please visit www.OlyPenSports.com for information about our league availability and start dates.
All Rising Force Academy (“RFA”) and Force Development Program (“FDP”) classes will resume at the point that they left off.
We are working on maximizing space and minimizing numbers in an effort to ensure safety for all kids and trainers.
RFA and FDP enrolled players/parents will receive emails outlining when classes will restart, what times they will be held, and procedures to follow for a safe restart of these programs.
If you are not currently enrolled in one of these programs, but would like to, please email our RFA Director, K-Lee at RFA@OlyPenSports.com or our FDP Director, Dax at FDP@OlyPenForce.com or check the website for available sessions.
Due to increases in insurance premiums for the building and occupants, our annual membership fees are increasing slightly.
A standard adult membership fee will be $35.00 and youth will be $25.00 effective upon your next renewal date.
We have added supplemental insurance coverage to our insurance policy for our members, which is the primary reason for the price increase.
All expired memberships will need to be renewed prior to play/participation at Oly-Pen Sports. This includes membership that expired during the shutdown*.
* We were hoping to find a way to extend the memberships, however, the length of time and the ongoing cost of the insurance for players was required to be paid throughout the 7 months of closure. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
DO NOT show up to play if you are experiencing ANY symptoms of illness. Players that do so, may have their membership revoked, and suspension administered.
Face coverings are REQUIRED in all areas of the facility unless playing, eating, or drinking.
Before and after playing, wash hands or use one of our hand sanitizing stations located at several places around the facility.
No spectators are allowed for Adult Leagues. Youth Leagues may have one parent per child; spectators must wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times.
We have put up plexi-glass protection at our Guest Services and Café counters for everyone’s safety.
Game times and lengths will be adjusted slightly to optimize time between games for cleaning and to minimize contact between groups of players on teams not playing against each other.
There will be protocols for entrance and exit onto the fields, please follow them.
The Café will run a limited menu for the near future. You are welcome to stay and grab a snack or drink after your game but please continue to observe current COVID-19 guidelines (i.e. wear a mask, wash hands, social distance, no groups larger than 5 to a table).
Surfaces will be disinfected each hour by staff. Player bench areas will be disinfected between games.
The facility will be disinfected at the end of each day of business.
There will be additional information sent out over the next 7-10 days as we prepare to safely reopen your facility. Please read all the information as it will be critical to ensuring that we are able to open, and stay open, for your enjoyment moving forward. We are also updating all of our websites, systems and processes and we really appreciate everyone’s patience in waiting for this day. Please, if you do not intend to follow these guidelines, do not return at this time. We understand that people will have differences of opinion regarding the necessity of COVID-19 guidelines, however, please leave those opinions at the door. We are required to follow and are adhering to Washington state guidelines in order to reopen this facility safely for all of our members - we will have zero tolerance for anyone putting the center at risk for being closed again.
Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Bill Wright Micah McMonagle OlyPen Staff
Managing Partner General Manager