Happy Birthday to us!
Long post about the past six months, pre-thanks for reading it.
Today is our second birthday – we opened our doors on September 23rd, 2018. This year we are not having a party, and other than this post our birthday will go largely uncelebrated. Thanks COVID.
When we started this business we knew that Community was going to be a huge part of what we built. We wanted to create a place that everyone enjoys coming to because they have fun and are active, but also because people simply feel welcome. They, you, are proud to spend your money to support a local business and a local family.
When the pandemic first hit so many months ago I knew that I had succeeded in building that community. I received emails, texts, and phone calls of support from people I knew and didn’t, and from neighbouring businesses. It is truly a wonderful feeling to have become such a lovely part of so many peoples lives, and to have built such a business that everyone enjoys.
These past few months have also shown that there are people in our community who continue to be targeted based solely upon their skin colour. As a Jewish business owner I understand what it means and what it feels like to be the target of racism. However as a white person I have never experienced the systemic, targeted racism that still obviously exists. It is no longer acceptable simply to be not racist, we now need to specifically be anti-racist. Putting up a black square on social media in June was great, but what we actually do now is what matters.
As a place that has striven to be a welcome business for everyone regardless of the colour of your skin, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion and anything else, we want to make sure everyone knows that hate is not welcome at The Beach YYC. This not only includes actions while here, but actions outside. Racist posts on social media, reposts of hate or hate speech is unacceptable. As we grow, we will continue to learn and explore ways of promoting and ensuring equality.
The Beach YYC is a recreation business which requires a lot of people to come through our doors every day, seven days a week. During a pandemic that is difficult. We support scientific and medical consensus about the need to wear masks, to distance, and to stay home when we are not feeling well. So how do we balance the need to have large groups of people gather without masks and play sports, with the need to wear masks and distance? How do we resolve this conflict?
Well, it has been, and still is, difficult. We are following all provincial regulations. In order to maintain a cohort of under 50 people we changed our leagues around in a few ways. We aren’t running Rec 6’s or beach ultimate frisbee at the moment because they need too many people; these leagues were both big revenue generators so cancelling them has certainly hit us. We expanded our 2’s league offerings which bring in less money than practically anything else we can use the space for – including what was Friday and Sunday night drop-in. But these leagues are popular and if we want to support competitive beach volleyball in Calgary and Alberta (and we do), now is an opportunity to support these athletes. Our 4’s leagues continue, and we are trialing out Comp 3’s instead of 4’s to see how people like it. We lost all our daytime school bookings, we aren’t hosting any big events or any corporate events at the moment. It sometimes feels like we’re restarting from the beginning. If it wasn’t for the straight up cash support from the federal government – CERB, CEWS, CEBA – we would not have made it through these last few months.
The COVID procedures we have instituted are great, but they are certainly not enough. We need all of you to act responsibly and act in all of our best interests and this means wearing a mask even if you think they don’t do anything. For all our sakes just wear a mask.
Now, what about the good news? TELL US THE GOOD NEWS PLEASE!
Yes there is some serious lemonade from all these lemons.
I had a baby boy, and he is awesome! This time off gave me so much extra time at home with my wife and then with my baby as things were restarting. Time that I would absolutely not have had otherwise. Theo is healthy, happy, and growing. I wake up in the mornings and spend a couple hours with him while momma gets some extra sleep. This time has been so special and I am grateful to have had it with my family.
We have new offerings in place at the beach that I have been able to spend some time researching and finding staff for – our youth beach volleyball program is open for registration and starting in October, and we are again offering a Sunday night Spikeball League. Looking forward, as a very large and very open space we are well poised to be one of the first spaces that can host events when the time comes – movie nights, corporate events, whatever.
And we opened a restaurant! George’s Beach Club, www.georgesbeachclub.com, is named after my grandfather George who I get to think of every day.
George’s Beach Club is open after leagues for some food, and you can find us on all the delivery apps.
BONUS: As a happy birthday to The Beach YYC, we got our AGLC license today! Yay!
So what now? Well, wish us a happy birthday! Buy some food and some drinks! Be actively not-racist and call out racism when you see it! Wear a mask!
We all want things to return to some semblance of normalcy post-COVID. We all want the economy to grow, for our friends to have jobs. And I want to introduce Theo to you all. This will only happen if we all take COVID seriously. If we have another shut down… well, lets just not, ok?
The year ahead is going to be stressful, busy, and full of new possibilities. Let’s work together to get to our 3rd birthday and we will throw just one huge party.