ORC January Town Hall
“This year is a little bit different”
With the American flag as the backdrop, Vice Chairman Ray Larkin opened the meeting, “Normally, we start these things with a salute to those who serve us, acknowledging our Veterans and Public Safety officers. However, this year it is a little bit different. The effort that’s been made by the Medical Center, in combination with Ocean Reef Club, ORCA, the Member volunteers, many of them doctors and nurses and with the College of the Florida Keys deserves our praise. The ability of this community to do what we have been able to do – from getting the vaccine to administering it – is just an additional reason for us to be grateful for all those who serve our community.”
Ocean Reef Club Chairman Bob Manzo followed, welcoming the socially distanced attendees in the room and watching on-line advising that the agenda would begin with Covid, “As it is the most important matter and issue affecting us here at the Club for the past year.”
Before Club Chairman Bob Manzo could finish introducing Michael Berman, incoming Chairman of the Medical Center at Ocean Reef, the audience erupted into applause. As Mr. Manzo stated, Mr. Berman is spearheading the entire initiative for the entire community along with Chairman Ken Karl and the Medical Center’s Keith Young (CEO) and Chris Grant (COO).
Mr. Berman continued to emphasize the efforts of the collective community as he detailed how it was that the Medical Center secured the vaccine and was able to implement the program.
How did we receive the vaccine?
Registered with Florida SHOTS the moment it became available on December 4.
• Majority of our population is over 65 years old (born in 1956 or earlier)
• Many high-risk conditions
• Rural area located more than 20 miles from a hospital
• On-site Medical Center with the ability to run the program
• Most importantly, ULT, Ultra Low Temperature freezer.
Who can be vaccinated?
• Age 65 or older
• Clients of long-term healthcare facilities
• Employees of long-term healthcare facilities
• Healthcare employees
• High risk individuals under the age of 65 (at a hospital)
Ocean Reef Medical Center Qualifiers:
• Age qualified homeowners in residence
• Bona fide caregivers of homeowners in residence
• Age qualified parents staying with homeowners in residence
• Age qualified employees of ORC, ORCA and entities such as Cultural Center, Anglers Club, Card Sound, etc.
Teamwork & Throughput
The involvement of the College of the Florida Keys team, 8 nurses and 1 doctor, facilitated by the Ocean Reef Community Foundation’s relationship was key. Additionally, the Club offered room and board, a stipend, supplied the location and administrative support, while ORCA provided paramedics, Public Safety officers and an ambulance in waiting. Every Member physician that was asked to help said yes, along with nurses and registration volunteers. “It was a community effort, we should all be proud of how this happened.”
Prior to activating the Vaccination Center in Carysfort Hall the Medical Center team studied the best and quickest way to get this to work by visiting the Baptist Hospital in Kendall. They also ensured it would be an experience that members were used to at Ocean Reef. Berman also reminded the audience that throughout this, the Medical Center continued to offer the Ocean Reef community with daily services, primary care visits, labs, physical therapy and of course, COVID rapid tests.
The action by this community’s team of Medical Professionals, from the onset of Covid-19 through the recent delivery of the vaccine to eligible community Members, has been incredible and incredibly appreciated as evidenced by the outpouring from the Membership, much appreciated. Berman also asked Members, “Please be cognizant about the fact that 65% of us are protected, while 35% are not. You need to wear your mask.” Ocean Reef Club Updates “I think it’s safe to say coordination and implementation of the entire vaccination process was done flawlessly by the Medical team.”
In his opening remarks, Mr. Manzo continued the appreciation for all that supported the effort to get the vaccination center at Carysfort Hall up and running, from the Member volunteers to ORCA and the Club staff. Noting that Ocean Reef is also extremely lucky to have the relationship with the College of the Florida Keys, and delighted to have them on site to make the process run smoothly. In a show of appreciation, the Club will be creating a scholarship for the Nursing School at the College of the Florida Keys.
Capital Projects Update
Before moving to the Club’s three major projects, Mr. Manzo brought up the Angelfish Condo Association #5 project proposal to install floating docks on the adjacent waterway. He stated that he has received many emails and calls expressing concern from residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. He was clear that the project is in a discussion phase and the Board has not approved it. Mr. Manzo also stated that it will not be approved before a couple of things occur, namely an open “Town Hall” meeting with a detailed presentation by AC#5 owners to interested community members.
Three Major Projects
The Associate Parking Garage opened just before the holidays; it is working exactly according to plan with Associates occupying the 400 spots daily and utilizing the Shuttles and bicycles provided by the Club. For Members, 42% more spaces have become available during peak utilization times.
“I wish I could give the same report on the Ocean Room as I did on the Garage. The number of contractors on the project has been very slow in ramping up.” It has been addressed with the General Contractor and Mr. Manzo reported that over the past week the number of contractors on site has doubled and a rapid increase in progress has been seen.
Phased Completion Timeline
• Ocean Room Kitchen: Open January 25 for Reef Eats
• Ocean Room: March 31
• Reef Lounge: March 31
• Inn Lobby: March 31
Everyone is hopeful that it will be ready sooner, however Mr. Manzo said, “We are not going to open until it is 100% the way you expect it to be – with no corners cut. We will not compromise quality for time.”
The Clubhouse project is going extremely well despite problems early on with King Tides. Since that time, the contractor has caught up and the completion date remains the same -middle or end of November, 2021. “We know that the Clubhouse is going to become our premier venue for the Membership and we want to make sure it is exactly what we thought it would be and even better,” Mr. Manzo said.
The financials and cash forecast related to the Capital Projects can be viewed in detail at oceanreef.com/TownHall. It is important to note that these projects are expected to be completed without any assessment or need for any outside financing due to the coronavirus situation. Lastly, Mr. Manzo stated that the Club’s cash balance remains strong with over $66 million of cash on hand; with the net of the unpaid costs on the three major projects, the cash balance is still $46 million.
Charlie Johnston, Club Director and Chairman of the Finance Committee had a brief, and extremely positive presentation of the 2020 financial results along with a preview of 2021. Of 2020 he said, “Our financials show us that we can get through most anything that’s thrown at us (like a pandemic) and come out of it in great shape.” He detailed that this happened through the support of the Membership, financial discipline, and record real estate sales, noting that the Management Team has done a great job managing expenses with decreased revenue through coronavirus.
As to what Members should expect in 2021 and looking at Covid, Mr. Johnston believes the impact will be with us for the entire year and therefore, the Board approved a worst-case scenario budget. The lack of group business, the third leg of the stool, accounts for the major decrease in revenue for 2021. Mr. Johnston closed by stating, “The Club is in excellent financial position. With a lot of cash on hand, no debt and a proven ability to operate in a difficult environment and remain very cash flow positive, we hope you feel as good about that as we do.”
Before updating on the holidays, Alex Tonarelli, Ocean Reef Club President, thanked the membership for the past nine months of support, flexibility and patience with so many of the topics being covered today.
In transitioning to discuss the recent Holiday Season he stated, “We had two goals as a management team; one we wanted to ensure that we could deliver creative ways to put on fun and safe events that Club families have become used to, and two, be able to offer enough dining venues to manage the seating lost because of Covid restrictions and construction.”
Mr. Tonarelli detailed the success of the holiday events that were modified like Gingerbread House Decorating, Trapeze and even New Year’s Eve. By relocating events and reimagining them, holiday traditions were preserved while all were done so safely. The same was described in the Food & Beverage operations. Additions like the tiki huts at Raw Bar and Reef Hut, Palm Court Nights, Toski’s, Port O’Call and especially, Town Hall Waterside filled the gaps created by some of the construction projects while also providing open air, comfortable dining spaces.
From the focus on seasonalassociates and housing which included testing every seasonal associate staying in staff housing, providing a comprehensive safety orientation and training, implementing a consistent cleaning and sanitizing program, and creating new outdoor recreation programs to implementing Member ideas like the outdoor fitness tent and AirPHX machines, the overriding theme was COVID safety for all Members and Associates.
“Membership is strong and we have no shortage of people who would love to join Ocean Reef,” said Mr. Larkin, Vice Chairman of the Board as he opened his presentation on Membership. Mr. Larkin detailed the Member Counts and explained the breakdown, highlighting the growing Legacy Member category. The strong demand for Membership was also illustrated with the “Members in Waiting” now numbering 275. Two Board changes were also announced by Mr. Larkin, the first was an increase in Social Member initiation fees effective March 2021. The second was in regards to the enforcement of the 59-day rule for Legacy Members. The Board approved that because of extenuating circumstances due to the pandemic, Legacy Members could exceed 59 days without restriction or additional dues payments.
Homestead Air Reserve Base Update
Past Chairman Teresa Holmes, on behalf of the Everglades Protection Alliance (EPA) Board of Directors, gave a recap on the issue and what the EPA is initiating to ensure that this delicate environment is protected. The EPA is part of a coalition of more than 60 environmental and community groups to make sure the proposed Fixed Based Operation is not approved at Homestead Air Reserve Park. Mrs. Holmes said, “We have a real shot at stopping this before it begins. We feel really good about our approach and we are building a team.”
Mr. Manzo closed with a final safety message, reminding the Membership that the Club is committed to reducing occupancy levels and capacities at any of the Club’s amenities should there be any semblance of an outbreak. Before opening up to questions, Mr. Manzo closed by saying, “Keep your guard up, be careful and if there is anything that the Club can do, please call.”
To view the entire presentation, visit oceanreef.com/TownHall.