The following letter was sent by FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) to its members explaining why it was not refunding their registration fees for the club’s recently cancelled Tucson international rally. Members paid anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars. Instead of refunds, the club offered certificates good for a future rally.
Questions have been raised about the certificates being given to Tucson convention attendees. This decision was agonized, discussed and debated from the moment the Board of Directors voted to cancel the event.
The decision to cancel was based upon protecting the health and well-being of our members, vendors, and staff. Even if we had not decided to cancel, the decision would have been made for us. Large gatherings have been disallowed. The event could not occur this week even if we wanted it to. I commend the Executive Board on prioritizing the well-being of everyone in attendance over finances.
Based on comments in the posts, a few items need to be addressed.
FMCA does not have an insurance policy for this type of cancellation. We do have general liability for each event that is put on. It covers if someone is hurt and other incidents that can occur while the event is taking place. If we purchased insurance for every single scenario that could occur, it would be tough to offer anything at a reasonable price to our members.
Cancelling the Tucson event on such short notice resulted in a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. FMCA has six full-time employees who do nothing but plan and execute our conventions. Their salaries, benefits, and other overhead required to run the department now have no income to offset them. There are many deposits and money needed to secure services for the events such as grounds deposits, entertainment, decorating and electrical, and many others as well. Some will be able to be rolled over to future events. Others will be lost. Either scenario creates a massive cash flow issue.
Lastly, as stated in the letter from FMCA national president Jon Walker, FMCA is a non-profit organization. The budget is set to break even or make a very slight profit each year. These two events being cancelled will cost the bottom-line hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WITH A BOTTOM LINE budgeted to break even, this situation is crippling to our operations. Some companies can more easily weather the storm. For example, cruise ships are offering full refunds and future credits for cancellations. Those companies make millions of dollars in profit each year. Unfortunately, FMCA doesn’t have that luxury. Many other companies do not either, so they are offering certificates for future service as we are.
This is not an ideal situation for FMCA and nearly all the United States and Canada. With our members support and compassion, we will come out of this stronger than ever. Thank you for your understanding in these difficult times.
We’ve had many items to sort through and we can’t thank you enough for your support while we have worked feverishly to provide clarification in a timely manner.