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Dear Stowe Tennis Club Members,

Seeking inspiration for this letter, I turned to the ChatGTP artificial intelligence software that has gotten so much attention lately. I asked it to “write a letter to a tennis club from the President”, and it immediately generated my resignation letter! Is this how the machines are going to take over the world, by forcing all the humans to resign?

Rest assured, I’m not resigning and the club will continue to be run by human beings (at least for this season)! I’m pleased to report that Elle Anderson, Mike Tasi, Jude Sminkey and Lilli Biedermann will be returning this year. Hiring is underway for the remaining open positions posted on our website.

Dues – While inflation appears to be cooling somewhat, it is still having a significant impact on our budget. Also, record-low unemployment continues to impact our ability to attract staff at reasonable rates. For these reasons we are increasing our membership dues by 6% for 2023.

The 2023 dues renewal period begins March 1st and closes on May 1st, and there is a $100 late fee for payments made after April 1st. You will receive an email with instructions for paying your dues.

For member children aged 21 to 24, the price for a family membership has dropped significantly. These resident children can join for the same price as those aged 9-20, provided they share a residence with their family. The Board of Directors, myself included, hopes this encourages the young adults in our membership to stay engaged with the club and play tennis at a more affordable rate before requesting their own certificate at the age of 25, should they desire.

Sales tax – If you are like me you probably don’t pay much attention to the “sales tax included” statement when paying your dues. After all, something intangible like membership dues can’t possibly be taxed, right? Well actually they are, and to be more transparent with what the club actually receives, the membership rates are now being quoted without the 6% state sales tax. The tax will be added to your total when you check out, as with any other online purchase. (The 2023 rates for dues will look the same as 2022 until checkout when the 6% sales tax is added to your invoice).

Note that passage of Article 1 (1% local options tax) at the March 7, 2023 Town Meeting will result in a 7% sales tax on your dues starting in 2024.

Junior Program – Planning is well underway for this year’s Junior Program and registration will open up on March 1st. We are pleased to announce that Natalie Doehla will be returning as Junior Program Director and Jacquie Crittenberger-Geissler will be returning as Future Stars Program Director.

Dress code – Just a friendly reminder that the club has a dress code that all members are expected to follow. Last year I had to speak to several players about their on-court apparel, a task that I don’t enjoy. So gentlemen please ensure that your shirts either have collars or are tennis t-shirts!

Code of Conduct - The Board of Directors has enacted the following Code of Conduct.

Calendar of Events – Be sure to check out these special dates.

I am looking forward to another great season at the club!

Steven McLafferty,

President, Stowe Tennis Club

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