Like lots of businesses in the DC area, DC Fray finds itself severely challenged during the coronavirus crisis. With no events to produce and its social sports leagues suspended, parent company United Fray, which operates similar entities in New Orleans, Phoenix, and Jacksonville, Florida, has had to lay off 80 percent of its staff and institute pay cuts for those who’ve stayed on.
The company bought On Tap magazine last year and relaunched it as District Fray magazine earlier this month. The magazine will still produce an April issue, says Robert Kinsler, the company’s founder and CEO, and the company is offering trivia and bingo online as well as doing some of its corporate team-building activities remotely. About 15,000 players take place in the Fray’s leagues, and springtime activities account for a third of its annual business.
Kinsler says the Fray is trying to find positive routes through the crisis. To that end, it’s decided to raffle off the company’s 1986 diesel Land Rover Defender and Kinsler pledges to give away at least 10 percent of the proceeds (he tells Washingtonian he’d like to get it up to around 20 percent) to local relief funds, like theatreWashington’s fund for actors and theater-makers and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s fund for laid-off workers.
Fray is covering health insurance for its furloughed workers, Kinsler says, and it’s trying to help them find freelance work. The company set a $15,000 reserve for raffling off the Land Rover, which even at that whole price would be quite a bargain for a vehicle he describes as a “beast.” (It has raised more than $10 grand at the time I published this post.) You get ten entries for $10, 30 entries for $20, and 80 entries for $50. The raffle closes April 30, and the drawing will be held May 1.