Keeping our Resort Fires Burning

Keeping our Resort Fires Burning

and now a word from our Head Bunny … Joanne Veinotte, White Point’s General Manager

Snow bunny at White PointWhat a GR8 Spring Day we are enjoying today here at White Point! I enjoyed a great walk around our beautiful property without a jacket again today! While I had to stay on the walkways, as the ground is still saturated with all the melting snow, spring is definitely here.

I must say, myself, our entire team, and the bunnies are very excited the warm weather has finally arrived. Our little furry friends are not used to having to dig through snow this late in the year but with enthusiastic guests, young and old, and a lot of extra bunny food, they are well fed and thriving.

As will be the case for most of us in ‘S’Nova Scotia’, this past winter has been one that we will not soon forget. It’s very odd for us here at the beach to experience a winter where the snow started at the end of January and continued right on through to the beginning of April. Honestly, none of us here at White Point can remember having to get backhoes in to remove excess snow that didn’t have a chance to melt or not having the golf course open by Easter. It certainly has been an adventure!

As I was enjoying my walk today, I was asked by a guest about our wood pile and why our wood is always so wet. As I explained the situation to him, I realized it would be a great topic for a blog for all White Pointers.

Oceanfront TLJ_6150One of my favorite ways to start the day is to read all the comment cards, guests’ requests, and guest surveys from the day before. In the winter of 2013-2014 one of the concerns we heard from guests over and over was the lack of dry wood for those staying on our cottages and King Rooms. Our Management Team put our heads together to try and figure out a solution – how do we ensure that we have enough dry wood for our guests?

We run through about 160 cord of wood every year, which is made available complimentary. The typical winter (December to April) will see us go through about 45 cord. We are open year-round, we have 59 Cottages, Vacation Homes and King Rooms, plus we have 2 fireplaces in the Main Lodge, one in Lakeside Hall and our nightly beachside bonfires.

woodpilecontainersSo, after considering many options, we decided to go with large shipping containers – 2 in fact, one for softwood and the other hardwood. Last summer we tucked the containers into a sheltered location. Each of these containers holds 24 cords. By the end of summer they were both neatly stacked with rows and rows of dry aged wood – perfect for our fireplaces.
Bring on winter 2014-2015, we were ready!
So we thought…

Despite not having snow until well into 2015, December brought the cold and it stayed throughout, folks staying with us made good use of the dry wood we were able to provide them. During that time, it was rare that I saw a comment about ‘wet wood’, instead I was reading needed ‘more wood’ or ‘extra wood’!  Our dry wood was such a success in fact, that by the end of January all 48 cords that we had stored had been used. Folks, I have to tell you, 48 cord of wood burnt in 2 months, well – that’s more wood used than we have ever historically burned at White Point, in any winter!

So there we were, end of January and all 48 cord of dry wood, which we’d hoped to delightfully supply to everyone with a fireplace all winter long … GONE!
Back to the drawing board…

With winter just settling in and the snow beginning to arrive, we began the hunt for a supply of dry wood. As some of you may know, getting wood in the middle of winter is not an easy task – and getting dry wood is impossible. We had to scramble to source enough wood to last us until spring and unfortunately – it is not dry.

woodpileoutsideNow what about that wood pile?
Many of you arriving and staying with us have likely seen the wood pile to the left on your way to the Main Lodge. As I’ve read it on a number of comment cards, and bet many of you have asked yourself “why are they keeping their wood outside and expect it to keep dry” – the answer is, we don’t. That is a holding area for the wood where gets split and before it ends up in those storage containers or our wood shed behind the Ocean Spa. Since February, as fast as we are splitting it, we are delivering it to guests with fireplaces!

My team and I know it can be frustrating to light a fire with wet wood, especially if you are not familiar with fireplaces and how they work. We are lucky to have experienced fire-starters on our Guest Services team and fire starter logs are always available to any guest that requires one. If you come visit us this spring and your wood is wet – please know that we tried our best to have dry wood for you but Mother Nature did us no favours in that regard. Our staff is ready and waiting to help you start that lovely crackling fire by the ocean that we are proud to provide as part of your experience here with us. Call the front desk and we will have you up and crackling in no time!

Have a GR8day … we are, and look forward to seeing you soon!

Joanne