At the end of the week the Rotorua RSA is to desist from trading and consider options for the future. The closure of the well-known venue will also mean the loss of 11 jobs.
RSA president William McDonald says, "The decision wasn't made lightly and I feel for our affected staff, however, like a number of RSAs around the country, we have been losing money over the last few years. In our case, the ongoing losses are no longer sustainable and the RSA can no longer continue to operate in its current form.”
In June, the RSA resolved to cease trading operating in its current location and to place the building, which it owns outright, on the market for sale. The proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off debt and work towards a sustainable future model.
The Rotorua Lakes Council is providing the RSA with a short-term loan, in order to pay off some of the debt immediately. The loan will be secured against the RSA building, at no cost to the ratepayer.
There is still the possibility that the RSA will be able to merge with other clubs temporarily, and there is the hope that RSA members will soon have a venue to patronise.
According to McDonald, "Next year, Rotorua RSA will celebrate 100 years. We’ll reach our centenary, and beyond. However, what we look like, where we are, and how we operate could be very different.”
There has been a huge amount of support shown to the RSA and its respected members.
“The RSA needed to cease trading to halt its losses and avoid insolvency or receivership. Our Council did not want to see that happen – the RSA is seen as an important part of our Rotorua community," McDonald adds.