Membership Feedback Is Flowing In

Dear TAC Fellow Members,

We just opened and kicked off this website yesterday (4 June).  Already we are seeing there is widespread shared concern around the issues that we have raised.

Letters and email have been going to board of governors from May. You can see those originals below (here and here).  There are some excellent suggestions that should be discussed.

These messages have gone unanswered by our board.  Members at the Friday evening Townhall (14 May) also commented that they had not received responses to their written suggestions or questions.

Why is there such a push to vote without taking advantage of the time to assure we fix the TAC financial management trouble?

If you have also sent a suggestion to the Board and would like to have that posted, please add it as a comment of this post and we will add it as a separate post on MABT site here.  We would like to hear your ideas.

To a better Tokyo American Club!

The MABT Team

4 Replies to “Membership Feedback Is Flowing In”

  1. From: Chris Garton []
    Sent: Tue 5/4/2010 5:28 PM
    To: Lee, Lance
    Cc: Joseph, Linda
    Subject: Increase in charges

    Dear Mr. Lance Lee, President Tokyo American Club

    In reading your letter dated 30 April 2010 I was surprised to read there is a proposal to additionally charge existing members Yen 9,500 on top of the current monthly membership charge .
    We are currently paying Yen 364,000 per year ( 14 x Yen 26,000 ) and you propose to increase this to Yen 497,000 per year
    ( 14 x 35,500 ) the percentage increase is huge ?

    I feel you are penalising existing members who will have had ( by January 2011 ) over 3 years at a substandard club while the existing facility has been redeveloped . We have already not been offered the facility that many of us expected when we joined the Club because of the 3 year temporary re-location and now as you move back to Azabudai .

    If you price the membership and monthly cost at a level that is this high, then surely, it is unlikely you will attract sufficient new members .

    I am also concerned that any additional charges remain beyond the 12 month period you have suggested if the finances in 2011 do not improve. I also believe the terminology
    ” Temporary Monthly Assessment ” is misleading and you should have written this clearly and unambiguously .


    Chris Garton

  2. The third to last line should be “700 million yearly” not Y7bn.

  3. It should be remembered that Tom Brown (threasurer) at the 2009 AGM said 3500 was the required member # for new TAC. TAC is now around 3300. So it is really all that bad? But F&B has collapsed to Y700 million compared to the Y940 forecast for 2009. Dan Thomas at the town hall said he has no idea what the F&B would be at new TAC but the Referendum Brochure has an impaired (worst) case of Y2.2 bn. and a projected case of Y2.8 billion. We are now looking at reality where confidence in unrealistic projections has evaporated. All bets are off but members are the ones who take the hit. New TAC is a dedicated F&B club but members are voting with their hip pocket and not buying. Revenue through April is not good and losses this year will be about the same as last, Y700 to Y800 million.

    The Y1.85 bn. payroll is unsustainable yet plans are to cut it by only around 2% and members are being asked to pay a Robin Hood tax of Y9500 monthly. As Geoff says this will be a barrier for prospective new members as will the recently increased entrance and monthly dues. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    Additionally. prospective members should be advised of the impaired financial condition of the Club. The underlying value of the land and building may be not much more than the loan as the building is purpose built for a club. Thus there may be no equity left in the Club. Gentlemen, fasten your seat belts. The cognoscenti were certain “if you build it, they will come.” That certainly has evaporated. The final nail in TAC’s coffin is the debt service of (after grace period) about Y7 bn. yearly. It just doesn’t seem to make business or common sense. The wisdom of the members was not sought and not listened to.

  4. The proposed levy is only ONE of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that the TWG and BOG stated as a requirement to meet the EBITDA hurdles. The other pieces were membership increase and labor cost reductions.

    Even if the levy does get up the membership piece is also critical. How on earth does the club expect to get USD3m from new memberships over the coming 12 months if the sales pitch is a 30% increase in monthly dues?

    The sirtuation has just been allowed to deteriorate over the past 3 years to the point where the club is facing bankruptcy.

    The minute the balance sheet changed we stopped being a club and it became absolutely imperative that the place be run as a business. By any measure you like,this has not been done.

    History is well documented on a blog set up some years back by other concerned members.

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