Author Topic: Cottage Fees Question  (Read 11509 times)

Offline Tony_B

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Cottage Fees Question
« on: April 20, 2011, 12:01:28 pm »
The SWCC AGM is looming, and inevitably there is going to be a discussion about our cottage fees - it's in our constitution that these are set by the meeting. I hear mutterings on the club grapevine along the lines of 'we're the cheapest caving hut in the UK' and I think there is a groundswell of opinion that we need a price rise.

As the person who will have to chair the discussion I would like it to be properly informed and not misled by those, on either side of the argument, who have axes to grind.

So my question is: if your club has an HQ, what do you charge, per night, for members and for visitors? What does this price include? (Do you, for example, have an extra charge for showers?)

I would also welcome input from those with experience of similar accommodation, such as climbing huts, commercially-run bunkhouses and so on.

For the record, SWCC is currently £2.50 for members, £4.50 for guests and visiting clubs (although pre-booked university clubs pay £3.50). We do, though, have reciprocal rights with a number of other clubs which means that our members and theirs pay members' rates when using each other's accommodation.

Many thanks in advance.

(Footnote: I do not want this thread to be hijacked by SWCC members voicing their opinions about our hut fees! If you want to do this come to the AGM.)   

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 12:12:26 pm »
WCMS "Stump" fees are:
£3.00 for ONE night, £5.00 for TWO nights (a 'normal' weekend) plus £3.00 for each extra night.
Non-member guests pay £4.00 for each night they stay.




Online paul

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 12:14:23 pm »
For Orpheus CC it's £5 for visitors and £2.50 for Members for overnight stays per night and £1 Day Fee if using the cottage but not staying overnight.

No extra charges other than 50p in drying room electric meter if you want to use it.

We've always used the price of a pint as a guide for the level of Member's Fees!
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Offline Tony_B

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 12:18:20 pm »
We've always used the price of a pint as a guide for the level of Member's Fees!

Funnily enough, this has always been the supposed benchmark at SWCC, but I have no idea why. It's completely irrelevant.

Offline Slug

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 12:34:55 pm »
 At the Belfry, we charge £ 2:50 per night for Members, and £ 4:00 for Guests, with no extra fees for showers.  The same fees are also applicable to those who camp in the Snake Pit.
  Again, it seems to be index linked to the average price of a pint in Priddy, (Roger charging slightly less than the Vic or the New Inn).
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Offline Alex

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 12:43:50 pm »
At YSS hut it's £3.00 members, £5.00 none members unless there in accomdation sharing clubs.

Again bear price is a factor because the Helwith bridge charges around £3.00 for a pint.

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Offline Andy Sparrow

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 02:52:45 pm »
Compare these charges to £16 per night for a bunk at The Dalesbridge Centre - the clubs are amazingly cheap, at double the price they would still be cheap.  It's hard to imagine price resistance from folk who probably spend several times that amount in the pub over the average weekend.  Assuming the clubs are getting sufficient revenue from the current rates then long may it continue.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 03:06:52 pm »
The price resistance is more likely to come from those whose greatest cost over the weekend is fuel, driving several hundred miles to get there, and if taking family members with them are unable to lift share or spend too much in the pub. Anyway, that is a digression from the real purpose of Tony's post.

Offline Rachel

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2011, 04:07:05 pm »
BPC is similar - £2.50 for members/reciprocal rights, £5 visiting cavers, £10 visiting non cavers

Offline martinr

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2011, 05:04:07 pm »
Mendip Caving Group - hut fees are £5 non-members, £2.50 members. Inclusive (eg includes showers, charging, WIFI, use of library) except that only members and their personal guests may use the tackle.

It is worth adding, we do not charge "day fees" for members and their accompanied guests. Instead, members pay £5 per year as part of their subs for unlimited "day use". This includes, use of all the facilities for a member (showers, cooking, tackle etc) and his/her personal guests so you only pay cottage fees if you sleep/camp at the cottage. We can do this because we are a charity and receive Gift Aid on our annual subs, this covers the cost of the "day use".

Our accounts are kept in such a way that cottage inc/exp is recorded seperately from other inc/exp (the other inc/exp is the "general fund" and "investments").  Initially, cottage fees are set such that a small annual surplus is made. As costs rise, this surplus reduces year by year until the cottgage begins to run at a small deficit. Once the deficit exceeds previous year's surpluses we raise the fees and the account goes back into a surplus....... We do of course keep an eye on what other clubs charge, and may hold off increasing fees if we feel it would disadvanage us, ie if guests could find similar accomodation much cheaper.

Personally, I feel that £5 or £2.50 per night is peanuts and all clubs should be charging considerably more. These rates only cover running costs and do not, for eg, contribute to any "sinking fund" for future repairs and renewals. But as long as "rival" clubs charge fees at aroung £5/£2.50 there is not much point in MCG trying to charge £10 guests/ £5 members??
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 05:32:57 pm by martinr »

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2011, 06:17:50 pm »
At Whitewalls Chelsea SS charge £2.50 for members/reciprocal rights, £5 for visitors per night. A 50p day fee for just changing/shower.

Offline Geoff R

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 07:28:22 pm »

sorry, Im just a caver passing a slightly off-topic view ... typically using MCG, YSS and OCC  (and hopefully in the future WCMS or SWCC again; if only Wales had more verticals).
   
For most ‘out of area’ caver's the fuel cost getting to a cottage and using it for a typical weekend,  buying beer, wine, food, caving trespass fee, obviously far out weights the minimal nightly fees charged. Therefore anyone arguing that the cottage fee determines usage I would take issue with as just carefully sharing a vehicle is likely more advantageous.

It seems to me that caving cottages undercharge - but are reluctant to increase their fees unless others do likewise first … a catch 22 situation.

Personally, UKP 5 per night for members and UKP 10 per night for guests would seem exceptionally reasonable if considering YHA fees !!!!       

This could then mean a lowering of annual fees, or better investment   :)

If one club adopted this, I wonder how quickly this would be the norm  :shrug:
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Offline Cookie

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 07:45:23 pm »
For the Wessex, Members: £2.50,  Students: £3.50, Non-Members £5.00. Free accommodation for the Leader of groups of 10 or more.  The only additional charge is 20p for showers.

There is an honesty box for day fees £1 suggested and a donations box towards the WiFi.

The last two rises £4 to £4.50 then £4.50 to £5.00 were done on the basis that if we move first the other clubs will follow. But that hasn't happened, the two nearest clubs still charge £4. However it seems to have had no effect on the numbers staying.

 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 08:06:21 pm by Cookie »
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Offline Cookie

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2011, 07:47:29 pm »
One problem with charging too much is that then you are clearly running a business and the tax man will come after you.
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Offline Anon

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 08:02:32 pm »
Quote
the two nearest clubs still charge £4. However it has seems to have had no effect on the numbers staying.
I'm not overly familiar with Mendip huts/cave locations but in other regions people tend to stay in huts closest to the caves they want to do (do they? That's what I do anyway!)
Take South Wales as an example and two extremes; SWCC for DYO/OFD and CSS for Daren/Aggy, so if one charges slightly more than the other I'd still go to the one most suited to the planned trips rather than spending even more on fuel travelling from one side to the other..

Offline AndyF

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2011, 08:10:12 pm »
IMHO fees of £4-5 are silly cheap thee days. Think of a car driven to Wales from London for the weekend is going to use, what, £50 of fuel. A pub dinner is often £7-8.

Makes the hut fees seem disproportionately low. I'd like to see some rise, but with a bit of reinvestment in the huts, typically to improve showers, mattreses replacing ancient aluminium cooking pots etc.

UK huts are pretty grotty compared to the continent!

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Offline damian

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 08:48:24 pm »
I know the NPC charge £4.50 to non-members and I also know that the 50p difference between theirs and the YSS fees are the reason at least one Uni club stays at the NPC ... they tell me the £15 makes the difference between a trip making a loss and making a small profit.

Online paul

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2011, 08:57:28 pm »
IMHO fees of £4-5 are silly cheap thee days. Think of a car driven to Wales from London for the weekend is going to use, what, £50 of fuel. A pub dinner is often £7-8.

Makes the hut fees seem disproportionately low. I'd like to see some rise, but with a bit of reinvestment in the huts, typically to improve showers, mattreses replacing ancient aluminium cooking pots etc.

UK huts are pretty grotty compared to the continent!

We consider the hut fees at each AGM and are guided by the Treasurer as to whether they cover the running expenses and repairs, etc. If they do, we don't increase them. There are only two caving huts in the Peak, ours and the TSG's Chapel so it isn't a question of not raising fees to prevent cavers going elsewhere. The facilities are basic, sure, but they are what is expected.

The hut and its facilities are primarily for the Members but we also accept visitors to stay, and they are most welcome, and as there seems to be no shortage in demand, I would say they are happy with the level of accommodation and the price charged.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2011, 10:19:16 pm »
WCMS "Stump" fees are:
£3.00 for ONE night, £5.00 for TWO nights (a 'normal' weekend) plus £3.00 for each extra night.
Non-member guests pay £4.00 for each night they stay.

And we have just introduced a new rate specifically for Geoff: £5 per night as requested, plus an extra £10 per night for storing and cleaning any ropes he forgets to take home with him.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2011, 09:41:12 am »
Grampian Speleological Group hut £2.50 members (& for members of clubs with agreements on sharing access to huts) non members £5 plus electricity meter (which mainly powers the showers) which only takes £1 coins and supply your own coal / wood for the fire (there is no other major heating source though water pipes are trace heated).

Craven Pothole Club members £3.50 (& for members of clubs with reciprocal rights) guests of members £5. 



Offline mattwire

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 10:58:45 am »
Croydon caving club (Godre Pentre in Ystradfellte) charge £3 members / £4 non-members per night.

Offline droid

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2011, 06:44:06 pm »
mattreses replacing ancient aluminium cooking pots

Why would you want to replace cooking pots with matresses?

You'd never fit them on on the hob. ;D
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Offline Rhys

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2011, 08:09:43 pm »
Accprding to the Westminster SG website: "Members pay cottage fees of £3.00 per night, non-members £4.00 per night. There is a special student rate of £3.50 per night for University Caving Clubs."

Offline AndyF

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2011, 11:09:27 pm »
I know the NPC charge £4.50 to non-members and I also know that the 50p difference between theirs and the YSS fees are the reason at least one Uni club stays at the NPC ... they tell me the £15 makes the difference between a trip making a loss and making a small profit.

Nothing to do with distance from the pub then....... ;D ;D

C'mon a pint is £2.50 plus these days.... quibbling 50p for somewhere to sleep a few of them off seems at tadge......well  I was going to say "Yorkshire" but thought better of it....  ;) ;)
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Offline Maj

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2011, 09:12:12 am »
Hi,

We at the MNRC, charge £5.00 for guests, £3.50 for members, £3.50 for members children (under 18), £3.00 camping (members or guests) & a suggested £1.00 day fee. Showers are instantaneous electric at 20p. The drying cupboard is free and is heated whenever there is a demand on the boiler (from heating or hot water) with an override facility to heat it when no boiler demand. Our Hut fees go into a "Hut account" which pays for all Hut related expenses (Utilities, repair & maint, Build & Cont Ins, Wi-Fi etc). By doing it this way, those that use the Hut and facilities effectively pay for it on a pro-rata basis. Membership related expenses (BCA related, Newsletter, Library books etc) come from the "Membership account" obviously funded from membership fees. Sometimes things do fall into a grey area in between the two accounts, so the above is a strong guide but not cast in concrete (hmm! concrete casting - prob Hut account unless it's for an activity project!).
We base our Membership fee and Hut fees on what is required to cover our cost and keep a contingency fund and to allow for any predicted major projects/expenses. We don't actively advertise our Hut (except in descent) since we feel that the Hut is primarily there for the benefit of the membership. So all the time we are getting enough income from regular guest groups and member useage to keep the Hut account in the black, we don't feel the need to raise our fees or increase advertising for guest groups. Although if the general accommodation rate on Mendip were to change, I'm sure we would consider doing likewise.

I do like the idea of perhaps charging non caving/caving related guest bookings a higher rate, such that we are not seen as cheap accommodation for anyone. Committee discusion I think.

Maj.
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Offline AndyF

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2011, 11:39:21 am »
UK huts are pretty grotty compared to the continent!

The facilities are basic, sure, but they are what is expected.

 I would say they are happy with the level of accommodation and the price charged.

I don't want to go to O.T. but just tying up with the other thread on why there are relatively few female/family/ethnic cavers, the quality of facilities has a bearing I think. "Blokes" will put up with anything but I think if caving does want to appeal to a wider spectrum then upgrading facilities is a good step.

Continental huts are not like UK huts, and there is a reason for that...
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Offline graham

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2011, 11:48:21 am »

I don't want to go to O.T. but just tying up with the other thread on why there are relatively few female/family/ethnic cavers, the quality of facilities has a bearing I think. "Blokes" will put up with anything but I think if caving does want to appeal to a wider spectrum then upgrading facilities is a good step.

Continental huts are not like UK huts, and there is a reason for that...

Once turned up at a well-know hut with two females (the lady wife & a friend) & asked if they had any room. "Sure" came the reply. The ladies, however, asked to inspect the facilities first. Having done so, they agreed to stay. "Clearly got no standards" said the inhabitant.
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Offline droid

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2011, 04:08:10 pm »
I don't want to go to O.T. but just tying up with the other thread on why there are relatively few female/family/ethnic cavers, the quality of facilities has a bearing I think. "Blokes" will put up with anything but I think if caving does want to appeal to a wider spectrum then upgrading facilities is a good step.

Continental huts are not like UK huts, and there is a reason for that...

So why not carry out the neccessary improvements/cost increase on your club's hut?

If it's the resounding success you clearly think it will be, then it won't be long before other clubs follow suit.
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Offline AndyF

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2011, 08:44:54 pm »

So why not carry out the neccessary improvements/cost increase on your club's hut?

Because we don't have a club hut.  :shrug:
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Offline Elaine

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2011, 08:48:27 pm »
I am inclined to think that if women are going to go down dark wet cold slimy muddy holes then they are quite happy with basic but clean facilities.
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Offline AndyF

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2011, 09:34:02 pm »
I am inclined to think that if women are going to go down dark wet cold slimy muddy holes then they are quite happy with basic but clean facilities.

Maybe its just  British thing.... :shrug:
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Online owd git

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2011, 10:25:59 pm »
It could be that we have; youth hostels, b&b, motels and a vast range of hotels; club huts are surly club huts!   
If you want a more expensive and questionably less suitable environment they are out there. :ang:
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Offline JB

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2011, 10:39:56 pm »
Personally I think that paying £5 per person non-member rate is spot on. I think it's very important for huts to remain as affordable accommodation for those who don't mind roughing it a bit. There are plenty of commercial bunkhouses/youth hostels where you can get a better standard of accommodation at a higher price. Truly budget options are limited and that's why I would like to see the current sort of prices remain if possible. Would hate to see the young, students, those without much income drop off the scene because they can't afford to stay in the club huts. Caving would be the worse for that.

Jules.

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2011, 10:52:14 pm »
It could be that we have; youth hostels, b&b, motels and a vast range of hotels; club huts are surly club huts!   
If you want a more expensive and questionably less suitable environment they are out there. :ang:
O. G. :thumbsup:
Well said, Ric. We have had a few "pwecious" members over the years who would rather use a B&B or a "better" club cottage, but they have been few and far between, and, I might add, the ones that come to mind were male! That was their choice of course, and no doubt were I of a similar mind, I would do the same.

As for pricing -

At a time of rising prices everywhere, then what on earth are people suggesting when they say fees are too low, merely because other clubs charge a bit more, or a pint of beer is more expensive? Why on earth would anybody raise fees, something we CAN control, when all around us other costs are rising over which we have no control at all.

Club members are not stupid - they will understand that costs must be met and that maintenance and repairs will be required. But why set fees any higher than to cover those costs? The only people who will be out of pocket will be ourselves.

Perhaps instead of pointing out how cheap fees are by comparing them to the price of beer, why not point out how expensive beer is when even accommodation charges for a weekend's activity are less than the cost of a drink or two.

I suggest that people who would like to see fees higher than they really need to be, know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. And both our Mendip cabin and the Welsh Stump are of huge value to the group, and their low costs make us really appreciate their value to us.

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2011, 11:30:59 pm »
Personally I think that paying £5 per person non-member rate is spot on. I think it's very important for huts to remain as affordable accommodation for those who don't mind roughing it a bit. There are plenty of commercial bunkhouses/youth hostels where you can get a better standard of accommodation at a higher price. Truly budget options are limited and that's why I would like to see the current sort of prices remain if possible. Would hate to see the young, students, those without much income drop off the scene because they can't afford to stay in the club huts. Caving would be the worse for that.

Jules.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2011, 11:34:48 pm »
I suggest that people who would like to see fees higher than they really need to be, know the PRICE of everything but the value of nothing. And both our Mendip cabin and the Welsh Stump are of huge value to the group, and their low costs make us really appreciate their value to us.


That should, of course, have been PRICE of everything, not COST of everything. A minor but important difference.  :)

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2011, 09:38:00 am »
A small curiosity of life, the SMC hut not a stone's throw away from the Grampian hut in Elphin (see http://www.smc.org.uk/Huts/Huts.php ) charges £8 per night verses £5 for what looks like a very similar standard of accommodation.  Do climbers have more money than cavers?

Offline graham

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2011, 09:44:51 am »
You been throwing stones at the neighbours again Bob?  :spank:
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Offline SamT

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2011, 04:04:58 pm »
Personally I think that paying £5 per person non-member rate is spot on. I think it's very important for huts to remain as affordable accommodation for those who don't mind roughing it a bit. There are plenty of commercial bunkhouses/youth hostels where you can get a better standard of accommodation at a higher price. Truly budget options are limited and that's why I would like to see the current sort of prices remain if possible. Would hate to see the young, students, those without much income drop off the scene because they can't afford to stay in the club huts. Caving would be the worse for that.

Jules.

well said jules - not everybody is in their mid forties, well established career and reasonable expendable income.

I dont understand the logic of "well its cost you £50 quid petrol, you're happy to spend £3 on a pint therefore you should be happy to pay more for a hut".  :shrug:
Its more like - its already cost me £50quid in petrol, I cant believe beer is now £3.00 a pint and I'm certainly not happy about it so its a bloody good job the hut is only a fiver otherwise I'd give up coming for the weekend.

I am genuinely drinking much less these days on the grounds that its too bloody expensive.

Just because the price of beer and petrol are inflating out of control, why should hut fee's.  In a fair world, the income made in fees should match the cost of upkeep, with a little bit of profit that can be ploughed back in in some way, therefore the only reason for an increase should be if the cost of upkeep has increased or a significant improvement is planned and needs to be funded, not just the fact someone thinks "fee's are really cheap compared with X"

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Offline JessopSmythe

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2011, 04:13:17 pm »
It could be that we have; youth hostels, b&b, motels and a vast range of hotels; club huts are surly club huts!   


I hope that was a typo! I know plenty of surly cavers but the huts are generally pleasant enough!
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Offline Brains

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2011, 04:50:03 pm »
A small curiosity of life, the SMC hut not a stone's throw away from the Grampian hut in Elphin (see http://www.smc.org.uk/Huts/Huts.php ) charges £8 per night verses £5 for what looks like a very similar standard of accommodation.  Do climbers have more money than cavers?
Of course they do - all those shiney janglies and fancy boots and lycra tights need replacing so often because fashion is a harsh mistresss. Must be a rich persons hobby these days, no more just using the washing line  :tease:

Offline martinr

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2011, 05:26:04 pm »


well said jules - not everybody is in their mid forties, well established career and reasonable expendable income.

I dont understand the logic of "well its cost you £50 quid petrol, you're happy to spend £3 on a pint therefore you should be happy to pay more for a hut".  :shrug:
Its more like - its already cost me £50quid in petrol, I cant believe beer is now £3.00 a pint and I'm certainly not happy about it so its a bloody good job the hut is only a fiver otherwise I'd give up coming for the weekend.

I am genuinely drinking much less these days on the grounds that its too bloody expensive.

Just because the price of beer and petrol are inflating out of control, why should hut fee's.  In a fair world, the income made in fees should match the cost of upkeep, with a little bit of profit that can be ploughed back in in some way, therefore the only reason for an increase should be if the cost of upkeep has increased or a significant improvement is planned and needs to be funded, not just the fact someone thinks "fee's are really cheap compared with X"

[/2p]

Funny how people will pay good money for a Scurion but balk at the thought of paying a couple of quid extra for improving their club hut

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2011, 06:18:01 pm »


well said jules - not everybody is in their mid forties, well established career and reasonable expendable income.

I dont understand the logic of "well its cost you £50 quid petrol, you're happy to spend £3 on a pint therefore you should be happy to pay more for a hut".  :shrug:
Its more like - its already cost me £50quid in petrol, I cant believe beer is now £3.00 a pint and I'm certainly not happy about it so its a bloody good job the hut is only a fiver otherwise I'd give up coming for the weekend.

I am genuinely drinking much less these days on the grounds that its too bloody expensive.

Just because the price of beer and petrol are inflating out of control, why should hut fee's.  In a fair world, the income made in fees should match the cost of upkeep, with a little bit of profit that can be ploughed back in in some way, therefore the only reason for an increase should be if the cost of upkeep has increased or a significant improvement is planned and needs to be funded, not just the fact someone thinks "fee's are really cheap compared with X"

[/2p]

Funny how people will pay good money for a Scurion but balk at the thought of paying a couple of quid extra for improving their club hut

No way can I afford to buy a super lamp. There are cavers who can splash money about to get the best kit and there are cavers who do not have the means to. And we all share the same facilities. Perhaps the rich cavers should go and set up their own clubs with their own expensive cottages and leave those who have to cave on a low budget to do the best we can. Or perhaps we could just learn to appreciate that facilities are basic to allow as many cavers as possible to use them, and not, as Sam says, find that the cottage fee is the last straw that stops them enjoying a good weekend away. And especially if they have young dependents who also like to get away to go caving from time to time. Are we not supposed to encourage youngsters to take up cheap active sports?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 06:41:31 pm by Peter Burgess »

Offline jarvist

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2011, 07:28:30 pm »
For the record, SWCC is currently £2.50 for members, £4.50 for guests and visiting clubs (although pre-booked university clubs pay £3.50).

Just to offer a University CC perspective on this, the cost of accommodation is a major issue in planning a weekend trip. The low cost of the WSG & SWCC huts makes South Wales the obvious destination for the early trips in the university term with lots of new members.

Certainly for Imperial the only Union trip subsidy is for Travel (diesel & minibus hire), so each and every £ of accommodation has to be passed onto the students. I'm fairly certain this will be the same across UK universities.

Imperial try and keep the 'whole weekend' student cost to ~£35, this includes the £15 or so travel subsidy per student. It's difficult enough to hit this budget with the food & fuel price inflation, and reduction in higher education funding from the government, we've seen over the last few years.

The trespass fees & high hut costs in Derbyshire make it an uneconomical destination for more than a trip or two a year.

Undergraduate home students do not buy much beer in the pub -- they simply cannot afford it. Bierre D'Or in front of a caving hut fire is more the style on a weekend.

I've always got the sense that UK caving had a strong working class background. Certainly today it is one of the cheapest adventure sports, which is available for students & young adults who can't afford the snowboard / flights / rack / drysuit / mountain bike for any of the others.
It would be a great shame if people were priced out of it by a creeping gentrification of the club huts.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2011, 07:52:40 pm »
You been throwing stones at the neighbours again Bob?  :spank:

No need to, their hut has been closed following severe water damage in December until next July.  ::)   Praise be to Ivan and his trace heating of all water pipes.

Offline SamT

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2011, 07:57:15 pm »
Funny how people will pay good money for a Scurion but balk at the thought of paying a couple of quid extra for improving their club hut

No expensive lights for me - £70 Bisun in a 20 year old oldham cap lamp that I had kicking about with a duo battery pack that was kindly donated by Tony Seddon as the lamp end was knackered.

At what point do a baulk - our club doesn't have a hut, and if I stayed at another club hut that advertised something like - "fee's up by £2  to raise funds for the new log burning stove/kitchen/showers, I wouldn't bat an eye lid.
 :tease:

Offline Amata

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2011, 07:57:51 pm »
I loved the cottages there. So awesome! I didn't have any chance to grocery shop (can't exactly pack a ton of food from the states, and never had a chance when I was there lacking transportation and all) but I never went hungry with pubs being around, and people making me tea all the time. I rarely ate anyway was so full-up on tea! lol. <3 you all.

I think the fees there could be a bit higher, but really, it made it easy access and readily available for me. Conversion rate £5 is $8.20. Camping here (with hot showers free, and running water at the site itself) is $12-$15 so I could see it go up to £6 or £7 or so, but outside of that since really it is camping indoors, I can't see paying much more than that fairly.

I don't understand the "Well you pay more to get here so why not pay more for stay?" philosophy - erm...yeah if *I* make it there I already spend $800 or so in flight, another $150 on trains (seems to make a loop around the UK it is around $150 always) and being, well I can't claim poor grad student but I am  a poor researcher making only $16k/year and I have a freakin' Masters degree now and 9 years experience, 4 industry and 5 acedemia labs. Which personally is piss-poor salary (I should be making at least $45k, even graduate students make $20k and they have less experience *and* getting their courses paid for!) So no, getting there is enough of a hassle financial wise. I caved there on a Corona primary ($40) and a crappy Coleman in my pack for backup ($15). No Scurions or whatever here! I finally was able to get myself an Apex (used, so only paid $60). I want a Pantin to turn my frog into a frogwalker but I'm waiting for one to come up used 'cause I can't afford $75 for a new one!

Maybe put up a donation pot or something, for those people who *do* have some extra disposable income they can help the club with if they want?

Well that's just some silly American's two cents. I would say 2p but that's worth more than cents and I really can't afford the conversion rate right now :P

Look, you all have an freakin' awesome setup there. Don't ruin it for all us not-as-established folks by turning into a moneymaking thing that we can't afford, k? Think about the future of caving - the young crowd who *can't* afford things right now. If you shy them all away with making it too expensive for them, what'll happen then?
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Offline Amata

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2011, 08:08:41 pm »
I am inclined to think that if women are going to go down dark wet cold slimy muddy holes then they are quite happy with basic but clean facilities.
Give me a tent and a firepit and a clean lake/river nearby to wash up in, I'm good! lol

But the cottages...they rock. I keep bugging people here to get them. I acutally found out a gal wanted to donate her house (she lives in TAG area) to convert to a club hut in her will but no one wanted it! THE INSANITY! I  mean sheesh, that covers the whole have-to-buy-it thing! Ah well, going to TAG in a few weeks and Mudpup invited us to stay with him ^.^ so that works and then camping at Buck's Pocket later. It's a nicer campground, so it's $12/night (£7) on site water hose thing and up at the bathrooms free hot showers =)
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Offline AndyF

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2011, 08:33:40 pm »
LOL OK I surrender, I just can't disagree with Amy's posts

..so for once I'm going to shut up!!  ;D ;D

There is no doubt that smartening up some huts would loose their character, and its right that there are more upmarket places bunkhouses for those that want them. Points taken.
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Offline Fulk

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2011, 08:49:10 pm »
Quoter from AndyF:
Quote
I don't want to go to O.T. but just tying up with the other thread on why there are relatively few female/family/ethnic cavers, the quality of facilities has a bearing I think. "Blokes" will put up with anything but I think if caving does want to appeal to a wider spectrum then upgrading facilities is a good step.

Continental huts are not like UK huts, and there is a reason for that...

I'm not quite sure what AndyF's point is here; over the last couple of years I've stayed in several huts in England, Wales and Scotland, and have absolutely no cause for complaint about the standard of accommodation (though I did have a problem with one hut on account  of the previous occupants leaving such a mess – but that was nothing to do with the hut as such). I think Amy's hit the nail on the head with her comments.

Offline Amata

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2011, 09:15:59 pm »
There is no doubt that smartening up some huts would loose their character, and its right that there are more upmarket places bunkhouses for those that want them. Points taken.
Have you seen the painted caving tile backsplashes at the Wessex in the bathrooms? I saw both (snuck into the guy's bathroom to see theirs, heehee) I thought that was really fancy and cool!

Also they are huts for cavers - no denying mud is gonna get around. Especially the areas designated for it but still no matter carefulness people are traipsing through all the time, gonna track mud from outside or the muddy areas or whatever. And yet, everything is crazy clean I think, the floors just got a bit dirty with the mud tracking but that's going to happen in any group situation when you are dealing with outdoor activities. And...if you're not ok with a little mud, you're likely not a caver so you'd not be in a club hut anyway ;)

Really I was so impressed with how clean and awesome everything was. I stayed at the Wessex one and the Dump, and both were just perfect for caving I thought, the setup of how you could come in through a cleanup area to contain muddyness, get stuff washed off and hung in rooms to dry (what, seriously, you have facilities for that? we don't here!) and showers right there too even...it was like a streamlined de-mud-assembly-system at both places. Not sure what all the fuss about stuff is! Want a 5-star hotel go get one! lol.

I wrote an article for the SMG and SJVG newsletters here, and I spent a good 2 paragraphs about the cottages and community and pubs and everything there, because it is something so different from here, and so incredible, and I still blabber about it to anyone here who will listen because we really need to get stuff like that put together at least a couple in TAG and other concentrated caving areas. We have some huge grottos so you'd think something could be put together, or something with two grottos working togehter, or something! I was told "Oh we do have cabins!" right...wooden shelters is a better term. Electricity? Running water? Nope. You're better off camping, really. The facilities are better. Wifi? LOL certainly not! (I was REALLY shocked that ya'all have WIFI there! And I put money into the wifi donation bins even since I was using it to post trip reports on cavechat and upload photos and stuff :) )

Ya'all have it great. Keep being awesome!
 :beer2:
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Online owd git

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2011, 10:58:25 am »
It could be that we have; youth hostels, b&b, motels and a vast range of hotels; club huts are surly club huts!   


I hope that was a typo! I know plenty of surly cavers but the huts are generally pleasant enough!
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Offline ttxela

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Re: Cottage Fees Question
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2011, 10:20:42 pm »
I reckon the current sort of prices are about right, if they need to go up to pay for some improvements or repairs or to cover running costs fair enough, but to put them up just because they seem cheap don't seem right  :thumbsdown:

I regularly stay at either Magpie, OCC, or the Stump with young T and her sometimes her cousins or other friends and even at these rates the cost of the group as a whole soon adds up for a long weekend or similar.

We love staying in club huts, some are more basic than others but all are special places we can live by more relaxed rules than at home  ;D. Please don't muck it up for us by making them so nice that Mrs T wants to come along all the time too  :o

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