Earlier this week one of our members wrote asking if we might resume meetings in July. We decided to take this opportunity to address that in a mailing to all of you.
We cannot give a definite answer as to when our regular wine tastings will resume. But we may be able to help show you the complexity of the issues facing those of us currently leading IWAGY.
The first information we can give you is that it’s VERY unlikely that our events will resume this July.
I’m sure you understand that when we resume, we need to have a place to hold a tasting, and our first-choice venue, the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, is currently not renting meeting rooms to any groups, including ours.
If and when the Poughkeepsie Grand rooms are available, we would need about two months to secure a guest speaker and organize an event. It takes at least that long to contract with the Hotel and guest speaker, procure the wines, and draft a notice to be sent to our members. (As you probably remember, an event is usually advertised about one month in advance of the actual event date so that we can accumulate reservations and fees that are necessary to help pay for the event.)
The Hotel is currently abiding by NYS guidelines for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Those guidelines do not allow for group gatherings such as our tasting events. As the guidelines change and group gatherings are “permitted with restrictions”, IWAGY’s leaders will evaluate the Hotel’s adaptation to the restrictions (eg: Do the people setting up the room wear masks and gloves?; Do they have their temperatures taken when they report to work?; Can the room be set up to comply with social-distance recommendations?; etc.), as well as our own ability to safely pour wines without potentially spreading the virus, and other considerations.
In addition to this, the Club’s leadership feels that we need to be able to hold events that are interesting to members AND safe for members, the guest speaker, Hotel employees, et al. Many of us are in the demographic group that makes us among the most-susceptible segment of the population. I personally don’t want to be involved in any social event that would increase my risk of contracting the virus. We intend to be very conservative with respect to resumption of our regular tasting events. This is out of consideration of the health of all of our members including my own.
Please check our website for updates to this status letter. Thanks for your understanding, Tim Free