Retreats in a balanced, beautiful environment exceed objectives
Chief Michael Nolan, head of the county of Renfrew Paramedic Service, is a big fan of Calabogie Peaks Resort. He’s hosted a number of events at Calabogie, on behalf of the County of Renfrew as well as the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus. He says his reasons for returning to Calabogie time and again are simple. “It’s a unique place to host a meeting or conference as it has so much to offer in terms of a balanced experience.”
“Not only are there excellent meeting facilities offering all the latest technology and high speed internet, but you also have access to the most beautiful, natural environment. That’s where the balance comes in. Regardless of the season, there are a multitude of recreational opportunities, whether you want to canoe on Calabogie Lake, hike up the mountain, explore the golf course or go skiing or snowshoeing. It’s just so easy to structure a productive event that leaves participants feeling great because they’ve also been healthy and active while achieving business objectives.”
Nolan notes that when you bring a team to Calabogie, they become a captive audience. “Everything is on site and there’s enough variety to keep the entire group engaged. They aren’t trying to run to the bank or skip out on events; people are immersed in a business and recreational oasis. Because there are few distractions, you can get the most out of your group.”
As the Director of Emergency Services for Renfrew County and the former president of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, Nolan also appreciates that Calabogie has made an impressive commitment to health and safety programs. “Not only are the staff well-trained, they have a thorough emergency response program in place and have invested in defibrillators for the resort,” he notes. “I would say Calabogie Peaks is a leading business in this regard and it serves as a great example of their customer-focused approach.”
He describes the resort as being extraordinarily flexible and accommodating. “I’ve had barbeque dinners that had to be moved indoors at the last moment because of rain, and they cheerfully made the change. I’ve had groups with members unable to participate in hiking up the mountain, so they took them up by chairlift. I’ve had receptions on the beach and not only did Calabogie provide exceptional food and drink, they also made canoes available to enhance the experience. In a nutshell, they are very hospitable and want you to take advantage of all they have to offer.”
When it comes to the food, the emphasis on hospitality is equally evident. “They’re very accommodating of all diets; whether you’re gluten free, vegan, or a meat lover, they do it all very well,” says Nolan. “They can put together anything from a classic Canadian menu or a creative international menu. The same excellent service applies and they’re always very flexible regarding timing so if you need to shift your agenda, the request is met with a smile.”
He notes that every staff member he has interacted with at Calabogie sees themselves as an advocate of the organization. “They are very engaged, truly understand about delivering great customer service and are remarkably unflappable. I think part of the reason everyone is so willing to always go above and beyond is because Paul and Liz Murphy, the owners, lead by example. They provide a refreshing personal touch that you don’t often find elsewhere. On top of that, Calabogie is unequalled in terms of the value for money they provide, especially given the richness of the experience.”
“Just last week, someone mentioned to me that when they’ve been to a meeting at Calabogie it feels the best ‘work holiday’ ever. To have people walk away having met their objectives and feeling a personal sense of renewal – that’s the greatest measure of success to me as an event organizer. To achieve more than you set out to do is wonderful. Calabogie epitomizes the best of work-life balance.”
When Nolan brings a group to Calabogie, he usually make arrangements so participants can book an additional night or two at a preferred rate. “As people fall in love with the place, they are simply not in a rush to leave at the end of the conference or retreat,” he explains.
Nolan’s advice to anyone considering hosting an event at Calabogie is straightforward. “Don’t look any further. From the people to the place, you’re not going to find a better environment to rejuvenate a team and maximize the potential of your organization. You’ll find your participants will be talking about their time there for years afterwards – I can say from experience that many will call it a highlight of their business career. Great ideas are born at Calabogie; people come together in ways unlike they’ve ever experienced before.”
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.