Seasons Greetings, and Happy Holidays, ‘Sunbeamers’!
Thank you all for another wonderful year here at Sunbeam. We greatly appreciate all the support you all give us. As we do each year at this time, we like to send out a brief letter with a short recap of the past season, as well as what’s to come for the upcoming 2019 season.
Spring 2018 started pretty much as late as we have ever experienced it. The ice was not declared officially off the lake until May 13! We were starting to wonder at one point if there would be open water for opening weekend. Callander Bay, however, opened up a little earlier than the lake as a whole, but still almost a full month later than usual. As soon as we could access the boats, working around the remaining snow, we got them uncovered, serviced, and in the water ready for opening day. We did a very thorough clean-up of the grounds, filling up a 60 yard dumpster to the brim solely with pine needs and brush. The gardens were spruced up by our new gardener, the lawns were raked out and repaired where necessary from winter maintenance, and grass seed planted. Sarah did an excellent job with the planter boxes around the resort, as well as the beach deck, and waterfront in general.
There were some great groups here in the spring that got to enjoy some wonderful fishing, as well as great weather. We had guests from England, Poland, New York state, Pennsylvania, and of course all over Ontario. Given that the bass season opens the third Saturday in June, the 2018 season had an early start (June 16), and this coming year - 2019 - will see the earliest possible opening date of June 15. This opens up an additional weekend/week for those who would like to take advantage of some great spring fishing.
We hosted a wedding ceremony on the final weekend of the spring season on our deck on the water. It was a beautiful sunny day, and it went off without a hitch. Then the summer season came with some serious summer heat, and no rain! Within a few days of officially kicking off the season, we were placed under a municipal fire ban, which later became province wide, for almost the full duration of the summer season. This did take away from our wonderful Wednesday night entertainment on the beach, where sitting by the fire is a big part of the experience. By the following week however, we had multiple propane fire bowls around the resort for everyone’s use. There was one at the beach area, as well as one at the back ‘communal’ fire pit area, and one ‘floater’ that we provided upon request. Although it did not provide the same sounds or smell that a real fire has to offer, it really brought people together, got people outside enjoying the fresh air, and provided some heat on the cooler evenings. Although the heat was excessive, the fishing remained consistent throughout, and we were constantly seeing more of the 46cm Walleye, as well as exceptional Bass fishing, and some beautiful Northern Pike.
When not fishing, our beach front was in full use daily to beat the heat, and to enjoy the nice clean, clear water, sandy beach, and numerous lounge & Adirondack chairs. There were also all of the waterfront amenities available, such as our canoes, kayaks, paddle board, and pedal boat. Also, our water trampoline was replaced in mid-July with a new larger 12 foot diameter one. This summer, we went a different route with our weekly entertainment, using different performers weekly. It was a great change, and made for excellent variety. Some performers will be returning next year, and we will also try other new performers. The Monday night BBQs went off without a hitch weekly - luckily we really didn’t have to worry about rain, ever, it seemed! On one occasion we had a wonderfully catered meal down on the marina deck, and the following week had the BBQ down on the beach sundeck, which was also a neat experience. We have not made a decision yet on how we are going to proceed next year regarding location, but we’ll keep you posted. There is always maintenance going on in the summer, however with it being our peak time, we focus more on the day-to-day aesthetics of the property, hosting our weekly events, and just ensuring everything is clean and in good order for our guests.
The Labour Day weekend brought some rainy weather, and unfortunately, (for the first time), we had to cancel our Saturday night live music. We did proceed with a BBQ for those who came down, and enjoyed some great music ‘a-la-iPod’ while a giant fire, (ban lifted at that point), burned away in the rain. It was actually a really nice evening, with some great conversations under the gazebo and umbrellas. The fall had a bit of a mix of everything: beautiful sunny days, cooler days, rainy days, windy days, and even snowy days! There was some amazing fishing that came along with all of this which made for the best fishing of the season this past year.
Just prior to the Thanksgiving weekend we had some major winds that caused some dock damage, tearing the brand new stairs that lead in to the water off the big dock right apart. We decided at that point to completely close off that section of the dock by continuing the railing across the gap, and in the spring we will be relocating the stairs beside the Canadian flag pole at the end of the dock. They will be slightly smaller, and better oriented to be less susceptible to high winds.
We hosted a large family reunion over the Thanksgiving weekend, as well as yet another wedding on our dock on the water. It was (just) warm enough for October, however a rainy day for the bride and groom. That said, the rain held off just long enough to allow them a window for the ceremony itself. We were there with towels in hand right to the last minute before arrival, drying chairs, and all of the propane fire bowls; and our propane patio heaters were on to provide some additional heat for the bridal party.
With Thanksgiving falling so early this past year, we actually had one additional week afterwards before Lake Nipissing fishing closed for another season. We hosted a large work retreat here for some fishing, relaxing, and team building. We also had some other groups here to get that final fish in!
As we were shutting down for the season in late October, we had a significant snow fall, (enough to bring out the shovels). The ping pong gazebo and table are ‘no more’ - apparently the gazebos are not made to support the weight of heavy wet snow! We will of course replace the gazebo, as well as the ping-pong table itself, in the spring.
As mentioned in our last update under the ‘news’ section on our website, the new windows and doors are ordered for cottages #2, #3, #9, & #25. These will be the last of the cottages to receive this upgrade, and will give them a new sharp look, (not to mention quality operating windows and doors, with more natural light). The hope was to have these windows installed before the snow started to fly, however as you saw from above, this came quite early. There were a few delays in production as well, and with being well in to the winter season now, this job will be completed as soon as the weather will allow us in April. We also really hope to get the gingerbread style screen doors installed on all of the back 3-bedroom cottages, as well as cottages #4 & #26.
After a great season with the trolling motors in high demand, we have ordered another for the upcoming season. This will give more opportunity for those who were unable to utilize one due to limited availability. We have also purchased enough of the new ‘captain’s chairs’ so that all three swivel seats in the boats with the trolling motors will be in that preferred style.
The upcoming 2019 season has some very busy weeks in the summer months of July & August, however there are some great options for the spring & fall seasons. You can view our availability calendar right on our website, and also e-mail us directly from our site. We book weekly, Saturday to Saturday in the summer months of July & August, (from June 29 to August 24, 2019), and offer 2 & 3 night minimum stays prior to the summer season, and afterwards in the fall. Any booking starting on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday must be for 3-nights, and any arrival from Sunday to Wednesday can be 2 nights if preferred. This arrangement opens up some great mid-week opportunities for those who work weekends, or if you can only get away for 2 nights, or perhaps are retired and want to come when things are a little quieter on the lake.
In closing, we are committing to another year of improvements, and great service, all the while maintain the same rates as in 2018. (Spring & Fall rates still staying the same since 2011!). If you have not booked yet for 2019, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail us anytime, and it would be our pleasure to help arrange another memorable stay here at Sunbeam.
Thank you for your continued support, positive comments/feedback/reviews, and of course word-of-mouth to your family & friends.
Best wishes for the holiday season, as well as 2019!
Darren & Sarah