This was a decision of the heart.
My first experience with the Opinicon was as a kid, visiting my neighbour's cottage on Newboro lake and making daily pilgrimages to the ice cream and candy shop. As an adult, I had such strong memories of those long summer days that we ended up getting our own slice of heaven in the area, and once again took up the tradition of boat trips down to the Opinicon for dinner, eventually adding our kids to the crew. Two summers ago this tradition ended with the closing of the old resort. It was a sad moment and I remember wondering what was going to happen to the idyllic destination.
Fast forward two years and I’m staring at the Opinicon link on the auction house website - like everyone else I was intensely curious. We really wanted someone to bring life back to the Opinicon; it deserved the chance to shine again. We talked about it at family dinners and started sketching out what we could do with the place.
We organized a viewing and trekked the family out to Chaffey's Locks. It was slightly eerie wandering around the quiet buildings, but behind the dust and under the ancient carpeting there was a bit of magic. There was also, clearly, a mountain of work to be done.
We reached out to people who used to work at the resort to get a better sense of the business, and to others who could explain more of the unique history of the resort and surrounding area. What struck us when talking to everyone was the tremendous amount of passion for the Opinicon.. All this optimism rubbed off on us and propelled us into thinking more deeply about putting in a bid.
I received the call from the estate agents at 1:37 on December 11th. It had been close, but "congratulations, it's yours." So now I’m busily making lists of 'things that need to be done.' It is a mighty list, but I feel like I have a small army at my back.
This season the Opinicon is going to be a hive of activity and creativity. I predict long summer days of kids running wild, old friends reuniting, new friendships being formed, and a lot of paint stains on clothing. I hope you'll join us on this excellent adventure.
Will the restaurant re-open? - We’re busily refurbishing, restocking, and re-hiring. The restaurant is the first priority and will be our main focus over the next few months.
Can I order a beer now? - Yes, we are getting a liquor license (better late than never!). For the first time ever, you’ll be able to get a beer to wash down your prime rib.
Will the famous ice cream parlour be back? - Second only to the restaurant, we know all the kids (and adults) will want their summer treats back. The ice cream scoops will be busy this summer.
Will the marine gas pump be in service? - Yes, you can fill up your boat on Opinicon lake again!
Will the Opinicon be offering accommodations? - Our focus for the first year will be on the restaurant and ice cream parlour. We’ll reevaluate the lodging situation at the end of the season.
How can I keep in touch with the Opinicon? - Keep up to date with the progress by following us here:
Website - www.opinicon.com
Twitter - www.twitter.com/The_Opinicon
Facebook - www.facebook.com/Opinicon