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."
And the rest, as they say, is history.