People keep emailing me asking if we are open, or when we will be opening. I do understand people want a return to normalcy. Believe me, so do we, but here is some food for thought as of today July 24th, 2020.
Right now you can not legally do things like:
Go to a movie.
Eat inside a restaurant like you used to, without a care in the world.
Go to a sporting event.
Go to an inside location, like a grocery store, without a mask.
Visit loved ones freely in a nursing home without restrictions.
Go to an entertainment venue or dance club.
Go to a large religious gathering.
Get closer than 6 feet away to people outdoors.
Go to large social gatherings.
Go to high capacity bars and restaurants.
Legally, you can not go to a swingers club right now either in the state of Maryland. Every state is different, I know this so I am just speaking of my home area.
I know and I am friends with other club owners in Maryland, and I have really tried to almost tip toe around this publicly. I can’t continue to do that.
If you are going to lifestyle events, clubs, or paid house/hotel parties in the lifestyle right now in the state of Maryland, you are attending an event that is not legally open. PERIOD! It is your choice to attend ILLEGAL events. It's their choice to be open ILLEGALLY.
It is our choice to operate LEGALLY, and to protect our members and our community. We will be quickly approaching 5 months of being closed August 12th mark that milestone for us. YES, 5 months is a lifetime to have zero revenue as a business. Let that sink in, if you haven't grasped the true financial impact. Our landlord came to an agreement with us and hasn't been paid since April. In over 15 years, we had never ONCE not paid the club rent on time. This is a first. That also does not mean that when we do open that will be forgiven. That has yet to be worked out.
Typically, most bars and nightclubs only survive 3 to 5 years of business, if that long. If we were to open today just what we'd have to pay the landlord in back rent, it would take months to repay. And with what will be a severely limited capacity when we do enter Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, it will likely equate to years.
The state of Maryland has mandated that low capacity bars and restaurants only be open with guests seated. I repeat, seated dining and visits only, with masks required when you are away from your seated table. No standing, mingling, or dancing would be permitted. Guests would not be allowed to break social distancing during their visit. The business owner takes on the legality of enforcing this and is subject to being closed and losing the required business licenses to operate it; they don’t enforce this fully.
The emotional support we have received from the community has been huge. We love our members. We love that we were able to pay our staff with the support of members for a few months and a Cares PPP loan, which paid them for an additional 8 weeks. We also sent them every penny our members donated to them. Unfortunately, our DJs are self employed and unable to receive the Cares PPP funds.
As I am sure most of you know, I try extremely hard to be transparent with our members. This may be an eye opener for some, and many understand how painful this is for me (us). I am not sharing this for any other reason than to be open with you all.
I don't know what the future holds. I do know that we will ONLY operate legally, and we will put our staff and members’ health and safety first and foremost. I am hopeful that most of us will get through this physically unharmed. I'm an optimist at heart, but I'm not a psychic. I don't know how this is all going to play out. I wish everyone well, and I hope to see you back at the club someday soon.
I do want to note that every State and each county potentially around the United States have different guidelines that are also ever changing. As club owners, I hope you are doing what needs to be done to maintain a healthy community. As patrons, I hope you do your research and know that you are attending events that are in compliance with your local authorities. It may not seem like much, but being reckless in these times can have lifelong impacts on the Lifestyle events as well. Our reputation as a community is at stake.
Again, I'm an optimist!