In the business world, few events are as highly anticipated as the corporate retreat. These focused blocks of time can be extremely valuable opportunities for strategy sessions and team building, and maybe providing management and staff with a well-deserved “mini-vacation.”
The key to successfully integrating both of these goals is choosing the right location.
Ted Abraham, president of Terrace Suites and the newly built Lookout Terrace Golf Course on Callander Bay (south of North Bay), is determined to create the ideal conditions for a successful corporate retreat.
No stranger to the hospitality field, Abraham has already owned four other local hotels.
“Some people build model airplanes. I acquire hotels. I find that it’s very rewarding to do something with a property that everyone else has driven by and said ‘It’s too bad somebody doesn’t pick (up) that property and do something with it.’”
Terrace Suites had a strong winter season. While the snow is on the ground and the ice upon the water, guests have access to snowmobile rentals and ice bungalows that sleep up to six people. But unlike the traditional ice fishing hut, these structures are fully equipped with poker tables, TVs and microwaves.
“These are especially popular with our international clients,” says Abraham. “Last year we had a company come out with 60 people from Russia, China, Norway and Sweden. They used all 10 of our ice bungalows.”
Abraham and minority partners Wayne and Bob Izumi, of television’s Real Fishing fame, are currently expanding Terrace Suites from 20 to 26 suites. The building will soon house a full-service restaurant, a full-service spa and a meeting facility designed to comfortably seat up to 60 people, while offering state-of-the-art business amenities, including teleconferencing.
Poised above the scenic lookout on Callander Bay, the meeting facilities at Terrace Suites will have full-height and full-width windows that back onto the newly sodded fairway and greens. The front of the facility showcases the entire width of Callander Bay. All renovations are scheduled for completion by mid-October, 2005.
Before working on the indoor suites and meeting facilities, Abraham built the Lookout Terrace Golf Course.
“This is the first footprint golf course of its kind in Ontario. It is an executive par-3 course that is only 1,300 yards long. It only takes an hour and three-quarters to play 18 holes.”
The unique design of this golf course was a strategic decision, Abraham explains with confidence.
“It will be pretty conducive to an enjoyable meeting. Let’s look at the typical seminar in the summertime. Everybody comes in for breakfast at 7 am.
They wrap up at 7:30 am, and within 300 feet they can tee off and play 18 holes. They’re back in their meeting room to start the morning session by 9:30 am. By the time they sit down to receive information, they are joking, laughing and slapping each other on the back. What a perfect way to start a productive day.”