Happy July everyone! It is a surreal time around the campus. I should be driving my golf cart in the Camp Seabeck parade today. Instead I sit in an empty office on an empty campus. Hopefully that will change soon. We still haven’t heard when we can open. We hope to host some groups in late July, but the current uptick in cases has put that in danger. We will keep you posted.
Pines is getting better day by day. It is going to be a beautiful building. I walk away every day from the building site with a huge grin on my face. I can’t wait to show it to you when it opens this fall.
Thanks for all you do. My new statement on every email and message is the same now. We will survive this event and with a new Pines, we will be even stronger in the future.
We sent out a letter last month detailing our situation during this virus crisis. Since some of our e-readers might not be on the mailing list, I have republished it here. Anything you can do will really help us in this time of need.
Dear Seabeck Guest,
These are extraordinary times we are living in. Personally, I feel like everything in my life has changed.
The campus is empty. I have not seen much of our staff in months. Restaurants and stores are empty.
Even this letter is different from anything we have ever sent. I am ever mindful that a large part of my
job is keeping Seabeck a constant amid the uncertainty.
Like all of us, Seabeck is facing a very challenging time. I have been fortunate that for the first twelve
years of my time as Executive Director, almost every communication has been good news. Ever growing
attendance and a much improved campus have usually been the highlights. In fact, even earlier this year,
we were excitedly announcing that the new Pines was going up. We looked forward to it’s opening and
sharing it with all guests this summer. That all changed in March as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded.
We closed Seabeck’s doors on March 8th and have not hosted a group since. The majority of our summer bookings have canceled and we don’t think we will open until, at the earliest, late July. The frustrating part for us is that there is nothing we can do about the lost bookings because their canceling was the right decision. Given the circumstances we did not charge a cancellation fee for any of these groups. We did offer our services as a self-isolation center for Kitsap County, but fortunately for the people of Kitsap, we were not needed.
The construction on Pines stopped the same week we closed and did not restart until mid-May. Sadly
our ribbon cutting was postponed from June and our summer filled with happy guests and extra income
from being able to use the new Pines can’t happen. The Covid-19 Pandemic has caused many financial
issues for Seabeck including:
● Lost income of over $1,250,000 from canceled reservations from March through August.
● Although we’ve saved some money being closed by not incurring all of our normal expenses, we
have had the cost of our furloughed employees unemployment. You see, Instead of paying the
hourly rate to the state for unemployment throughout the year, Seabeck is considered a
‘reimbursable employer ‘ within the State Unemployment System. This means we directly pay
any unemployment claims of our employees when they occur. This strategy has really saved us
money over the years, however now we are responsible for the pay of the majority of our
employees on standby.
● While we have cut expenses as far as possible, our fixed costs continue to deplete our reserves
every month. We are currently operating at a loss of around $70,000 each month. This will
continue until Kitsap is in Phase IV and guests return.
● The shutdown of construction and related industries has caused building costs to escalate due to
an extended construction period coupled with the increased demand for building supplies from
factories being closed and supply chains being interrupted.
The good news is all the groups have re-booked for 2021 and the fall of this year looks good as well.
Barring a new wave of virus, we should be able to salvage the end of the year. Again, in a normal year
we would be in great shape. This year, sadly, is very different.
You might not know this, but we depend on our summer groups for roughly 55% of our annual income.
These large groups from Memorial Day through August help carry us through the leaner fall and winter
months until we become profitable again in late Spring. Without the summer income we rely on we will
have no choice but to dip into our reserves. We are grateful for those reserves however it isn’t quite that
cut and dried. We made the decision to use some of our reserve fund in 2019 to become debt-free in
advance of starting the Pines project. Additionally, we have earmarked some of those reserves to help
finish paying for the Pines Project. So, as you can see, adding the Covid-19 pandemic has really created a perfect storm. We cannot use reserve funds to cover some of our lost revenue and complete the Pines project.
We need your help . Here are some ways you can partner with us to get through this storm:
● MAKE A DONATION TO SEABECK TODAY. As part of the new Covid-19 legislation there is a $300 tax deduction allowed even if you don’t itemize. Some generous guests have even donated all or part of
the fees they would have paid to come to Seabeck this summer.
● INCREASE OR ACCELERATE YOUR PINES PLEDGES - if it is convenient, please send your pledge
payments earlier than you planned. There is still time for more bricks on the Patio. Any money
received before the September completion will lower the amount needed from our reserves and
● TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS - encourage them to give and spread the word that we will survive and thrive in the future.
We think of our guests as partners in any success we have. The support we get from you will help
determine how fast we recover, not if we will. We have heard of several conference centers around the
country closing forever because of this pandemic. That will not happen here! Seabeck has been through
two world wars, and many smaller ones; a great depression and many other economic downturns;
changing social values and even a previous pandemic. With your help, we will get through this one too!
I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy. We can’t wait to reopen and start serving
our friends again. Together I know we can accomplish anything!
Donations can be made online at
or mailed to the office. If you need any assistance