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Ventura County Star (California)
Due to annual operating losses of about $100,000, the Miller Family YMCA in the Dos Vientos section of Newbury Park is closing after 10 years on Dec. 31, a YMCA official has announced in a letter to members.
Members will be able to transfer their memberships to the Conejo Valley or Simi Valley YMCAs, effective Jan. 1, Ronnie Stone, president and CEO of nonprofit Southeast Ventura County YMCA, wrote in the letter.
"For 10 years, the Miller Y has helped many individuals and families invest in their health and well-being," Stone wrote. "Unfortunately, the facility has incurred sizable operating losses averaging $100,000 annually. Given current economic conditions and our financial commitments, we are unfortunately no longer able to operate with these losses."
Stone wrote that "as a cause-driven nonprofit, we have a responsibility to monitor the financial sustainability of all of our operations to ensure long-term fiscal health. As conditions in our communities change, we have to be willing to adjust to remain relevant."
Stone wrote that the tough decision to close the facility at 320 Via Las Brisas followed a thorough review of its long-term financial health by a staff and volunteer task force that was formed more than a year ago.
"As with any comprehensive review, there were many elements to consider," he wrote. "After several months of exploring all possible options, including partnerships in both the private and public sectors, we have made the difficult decision to close the facility and to focus on serving Dos Vientos through our Conejo Valley YMCA and soon our (planned) new Triunfo YMCA."
Stone said in an interview Monday that the Miller Family YMCA facility, which the Southeast Ventura County YMCA owns, has been put up for sale and is in escrow. He declined to discuss the potential sale in any further detail. The asking price for the facility is $3.85 million, according to real estate websites.
Stone said the facility's paying memberships, the majority of which were from the immediate Dos Vientos area only, had dropped from a high of 1,400 four to five years ago to less than 1,000 currently.
He attributed the losses primarily to members joining a nearby Fitness 19 gym, which opened several years ago.
"We had about 1,400 memberships the day Fitness 19 opened, and over the course of the next several months, we were down to under 1,000," he said.
Another factor in the Miller Family YMCA not being able to attract more members is that biotech giant Amgen, many of whose employees live in Dos Vientos, has its own gym on the company's nearby campus, Stone said.
Despite the pending closure of the facility, "we will continue to provide quality care for hundreds of children (in the Dos Vientos area) through our programs (at other area YMCAs) such as day camp, youth and government, youth sports and more," Stone wrote in the letter.
"The Y's not going away," he said in the interview. "We're just getting out of the building."
Final monthly membership dues will be drawn Dec. 1, Stone wrote in his letter. Members who have pre-paid for a year will receive a pro-rated amount of their fees either credited to their credit/debit cards on file or via check in January, he wrote.
Members who choose not to join the Conejo Valley or Simi Valley YMCAs, will have their memberships automatically canceled, he wrote.
The Conejo Valley YMCA is at 4031 N. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks. The Simi Valley YMCA is at 3200 Cochran St.
The $54 million Triunfo YMCA is planned for 31225 La Baya Drive in Westlake Village.
Stone said he expects construction to begin in the first quarter of 2018 and the facility to open by the end of 2018. He said the project recently received a "significant contribution" as part of its ongoing fundraising campaign. Details of the contribution will be released later this week or next, he said.
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