Make your next retreat effective and unforgettable
Calabogie Peaks is well known thanks to its status as eastern Ontario’s largest mountain resort. What’s overlooked by some is that this beautiful Ottawa Valley playground, just an hour’s drive from Parliament Hill, is a spectacular four-season destination offering an exceptional setting for corporate events.
“Our guests relish the exclusivity that comes with holding a conference or retreat at Calabogie Peaks,” explains co-owner Liz Murphy, who, with her husband Paul, has been actively involved in this longstanding family-owned resort for over a decade. “Because of our size, we are able to be flexible and attentive, providing both the atmosphere and experiences that are ideal for teambuilding.”
The resort includes conference areas, a 25-room boutique hotel, one to three bedroom condos, cottages, fitness room and indoor pool as well as exceptional dining facilities. Outdoors, it’s a veritable natural paradise with hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails, an outdoor skating rink in season, tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course plus outstanding beaching, boating and fishing opportunities. The icing on the cake is an unparalleled alpine ski experience, thanks to the highest vertical drop in Ontario and a huge investment in snowmaking and grooming equipment.
Kevin Pidgeon, chief operating officer of Nautical Lands Group, recently gathered his sales team for a training session at Calabogie Peaks. “Our people came from across Canada and I can state with certainty that they were all extraordinarily impressed with the venue and all its amenities. It turned out to be an extremely effective retreat for our company.”
One of the things Pidgeon and his team particularly enjoyed was the opportunity to spend time with Paul Murphy, learning about the history of the resort and the significant improvements in which the Murphys have invested over the past few years. “The fact that he would take the time to have dinner with us and share his business experience really impressed the group. It added to the sense of being in a very intimate, comfortable place.”
A key advantage of hosting an event at Calabogie is that the resort is compact enough for participants to enjoy easy access to the many facilities throughout the day. “We had a sales trainer deliver a great seminar in the morning, then we were able to give the group a mid-day break,” says Pidgeon. “Most of them chose to use the pool and fitness facility at that time, returning completely energized for the afternoon training session.”
There is much to be said for holding a corporate event at a place which offers all the amenities of a city hotel along with the charm and warmth of a small town experience. “Leaving their daily urban lives to spend time in a beautiful, natural setting really helped my colleagues refocus,” notes Pidgeon. “They loved having a wide range of experiences, from bonfires to gourmet meals to various outdoor activities that allowed them to step outside their comfort zone in a safe and exciting way.”
“It also helped that the staff are not only accommodating of any requests; they are actually very proactive in terms of suggesting activities and experiences. They had lots of great advice on how to best enjoy all the features of the resort. Our group particularly enjoyed a guided hike led by an engaging, entertaining Australian staff member who has hiked all over the world.”
Pidgeon adds that everywhere he turned at Calabogie, the attention to detail was exceptional. “It’s truly exemplary for the hospitality industry and certainly made our stay more comfortable. On top of that, it let our team experience first-hand what excellent customer service looks like, showing us how enthusiasm and positive attitude are infectious. These are lessons we can apply to our daily jobs too.”
“You simply cannot replace the intimacy that Calabogie Peaks offers,” notes Pidgeon. “Having everyone staying nearby on the same property makes it very easy to gather and to stay closely connected throughout the conference. The problem with many other resorts is the way people disperse once the meetings conclude; it can be really hard to foster teambuilding like you can do so easily at Calabogie.”
“Our company will hold a retreat at Calabogie Peaks every year,” he adds. “I’ve been a lifelong fan of the resort and now, it’s better than ever. We loved the elegance of the Calabogie Peaks Hotel as well as the delicious meals at Canthooks Restaurant. Not only would it have cost so much more to hold our conference in Ottawa at a hotel, but we also would not have been able to participate in all the outdoor activities we did.”
Perhaps it is the reaction of Nautical Lands Group’s team members that speaks so well to the Calabogie experience. “Six months later, everyone is still talking about the retreat and eagerly anticipating the next one,” says Pidgeon. “They were truly thrilled to be at Calabogie and impressed by every aspect of the event. It was wonderful to be able to make them feel good about working for a company that wants them to have these positive, enriching experiences.”
Pidgeon is proud to recommend Calabogie Peaks as a corporate destination. “I would tell anyone looking to plan an unforgettable event to think about what would exceed the expectations of their entire team, relay that information to the team at Calabogie, and they will find the perfect way bring that vision to fruition. It’s a pretty special place. Experience it for the first time and it won’t be your last time.”
To book your next corporate event at Calabogie Peaks Resort, please visit www.calabogie.com or call 1.800.669.4861.
This is part of an ongoing series about Calabogie Peaks Resort. Look for the evolving archive on obj.ca.