Elks Lodge Calamity In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have heard from two different people that the Elks Lodge in Dickinson, North Dakota is giving up the upstairs main floor of their building, and will now operate out of the basement of the building.  This was shocking, upsetting, and depressing to me, and I am not even a member of the Elks Lodge.  The more I think about it, the angrier that it makes me.

What’s next, are you going to get a reverse mortgage on your basement, and then when that money runs out, start having your meetings at McDonalds?

Oooh, Oooh, it’s so hard to make money now, we can’t really afford to keep the upstairs to our building, it’s so hard to keep the building clean and pay the electric, with my arthritis and my hip problems, I can’t climb down those stairs anymore.  We aren’t going to live much longer anyway.

What the Fuck is wrong with you!  The Elks Lodge members before you bought the land, paid for the construction of a nice modern two-story building, with a large lounge, large bar, large kitchen, dining room, and ballroom.  All of this was long ago paid for.  From what I have been told, the previous manager “Ray”, built up $700,000 in retained earnings over his tenure.  All you had to do was break even with bar and restaurant sales, banquets and events, and only dip into that $700,000 in an emergency.

You can’t take a paid for building, and just break even with bar and restaurant sales?  All over North Dakota, bar and restaurant owners not only have to pay for their building, they have to make a profit.  And you couldn’t even break even with a paid for building, right in the middle of the biggest economic boom anywhere in the United States that went on here from 2007 to 2014?  What the Fuck is wrong with you!

1,000 Elks Lodge members probably contributed at least $100 per year, that’s $100,000 per year, and you still couldn’t keep a paid for building, even with a $700,000 emergency fund?  With the last little bit of money you have, you should hire an independent auditor to find out what happened to all the money.

In every city, and every state, the Elks Lodge members are comprised of the car dealership owners, car dealer management, real estate brokers, real estate agents, insurance company owners, insurance company agents, other business owners, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and accountants.  All of these types of people formed, built, and kept the Elks Lodge going for 80 years, and now right after the biggest oil boom ever in Dickinson, you can’t even keep your building that was long ago paid for?

Something is wrong with you people.  I would be ashamed to be an Elks Lodge member in Dickinson.  You belong in a basement.

Supposedly, the upstairs to the Elks Lodge building has been acquired by the New Life Pentecostal Church of Dickinson.  This church has fewer than 100 adult members, and most of them are not wealthy people.  How can these 100 adults from a church afford to purchase, renovate, and maintain the upstairs to the Elks Lodge building, and the 1,000 professional and business people Elks Lodge members can’t even keep the upstairs to the building that they already owned?

Update 1/12/2018:

I do not know why this blog post article has been viewed by more than 100 people today, because I posted this article back in August, four months ago.  Here are some of the Facebook posts from the Elks Lodge in Dickinson:

November 16, 2017 – “PSA: We have set a date to close the top half of the Elks, our last day open this year will be December 16th! We are planning to renovate downstairs of the Elks and will reopen in 2018! We are really excited to see where this new chapter takes the Elks and all of our Members….”

December 14, 2017 – “Hey Everyone, As most of you know our last day upstairs is Saturday (16th) and we are requesting help from anyone who is interested!
We would like to start on Sunday December 17th……The Auction will be December 30th at 10:00 AM here at the Elks. Basically, we need to move the various equipment and furniture into trailers that we plan to keep for the lower level and organize the sale items in the building for the auction sale…..”

January 2, 2018 – “As most of you know we are officially closed for lower level renovations! We will be reopening at a later date in 2018….”

I drove to the Elks Lodge in Dickinson this evening, and I saw several work vans and equipment trailers owned by Simons Homes Siding & Windows parked beside the Elks Lodge building, because work was being performed on the upstairs of the building.  Simons Homes Siding & Windows is owned by Robert Simons, pastor of the New Life Pentecostal Church.

From the three quotations that I took from the Dickinson Elks Lodge Facebook page and listed above, it appears as though the Elks Lodge is moving into the basement of their own building, and vacating the upstairs of their own building.

I can not say for certain that the New Life Pentecostal Church will occupy the upstairs of the Elks Lodge building, but it looks like this will happen.

I do not want to express any more anger and outrage than I have already written, about how the Elks Lodge members from the past, could buy or build their own building in the worst of economic times, and then later the future Elks Lodge members would lose a paid for building in the middle of the best of economic times.

I will write an updated article with some other comments about the Elks Lodge in Dickinson.

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2 thoughts on “Elks Lodge Calamity In Dickinson, North Dakota

  1. I tried to find any local reporting about this and could not. If what you’ve reported is accurate, I couldn’t agree with you more. How did you learn about this?

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    1. Because I read about Dickinson, try to learn about Dickinson, try to find out what is happening in Dickinson, and write about Dickinson, I am able to discuss what is going on in Dickinson with some knowledgeable life-long residents. People are willing to talk to me because I sometimes have information that they did not know, and I can tell them where to go look it up for themselves. In these conversations that I have with people, they sometimes share information with me, that I did not know.

      There is a person that I was talking to in Dickinson last week, that is a serious, sober business person, that knows just about everyone in Dickinson, and everything that has ever happened in Dickinson, who told me that the Elks Lodge was giving up the upstairs to their building. I couldn’t believe this, this was shocking to me. The Elks Lodge members tend to be the wealthiest business people in a community, how could it be that they could not afford to keep a paid for building. Supposedly, a church was taking over the upstairs to the Elks Lodge building.

      If anything, it would not have surprised me if any one of a number of Elks Lodge members couldn’t just buy the entire Elks Building, and give a 100 year lease to the Elks Lodge, so that they wouldn’t ever be in the position to lose their building.

      One of the things that was so infuriating, was that “Ray” the previous manager, was said to have let everyone know at the time of his departure, that over the years he had built up a $700,000 slush fund. He might have let everyone know this, so that they could compare the new management’s performance, against what he had accomplished, and also to warn everyone that there was this $700,000 just sitting there that might have taken him twenty years to save up.

      After learning this, I spoke to a second person in Dickinson, and they said that they had heard about this too, and that they had been told that the New Life Pentecostal Church in Dickinson was taking over the upstairs to the Elks Lodge building.

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