Nova Scotia’s White Point Beach Resort celebrates 90th Anniversary
Nova Scotia’s #1 year-round beachside resort celebrates 90 years of great days – and stays – White Point Beach Resort.
Read Online version published in the South Shore Breaker, Feb 9/18
By Vernon Oickle
It was a full house on Jan. 28 when family, friends and White Pointers came together at White Point Beach Resort to kickoff their year-long 90th anniversary celebrations.
But it wasn’t all about celebrating White Point’s storied past as resort owners, Robert and Alicia Risley, also announced plans for significant renovations and upgrades to the historic ocean-side Nova Scotia property.
Following a Smudging Ceremony by Acadia First Nation Members, Kinsey Francis and her father Andrew Francis, the Risleys expressed their sincere appreciation to the community and guests for their ongoing support and collaboration, announcing that over the coming months they will undertake the most significant renovation program in the history of White Point.
“We’re incredibly proud of White Point and what we have achieved together,” said Robert Risley, who will have been the owner of the property for 30 years. “As we celebrate our 90th anniversary, we’re excited to announce that we’re building on our success as a year-round event and vacation destination. Our list of renovations to be completed this year are extensive and significant, all meant to enhance guest experience and expand our capacity to invite and welcome guests to Nova Scotia with a focus on winter months.”
Included on the list of enhancements for 2018 is the expansion of guestrooms within the Main Lodge to include a new, two-bedroom barrier-free suite along with a refresh of the oceanfront cottages. Cottage renovations include new flooring, light fixtures, propane fireplaces, updated electronics, bathrooms and area rugs.
As well, in response to demand, work on a new lakeside outdoor wedding and event venue at Lakeside Lodge has already begun.
Additionally, Risley explained, the guest parking is to be expanded and golfers will be rewarded with more spectacular view planes to the ocean and beach from several holes. While the Risleys did not offer an exact figure for the investments, a press release issued following the Jan. 28 event said, “It is significant and incremental to the more than $300,000 invested last year.”
Building on the renovation announcement, White Point’s general manager Joanne Veinotte revealed several new and unique events planned in honour of the anniversary. Known for its unique programming, Veinotte said this year gets even more interesting. Especially in winter.
“Our oceanfront location gives us the opportunity to invite guests to have an intimate and unique experience with the ocean, and this year, we’re pushing the envelope a little further,” she said.
Referring to a list of the resort’s 90th anniversary events, Veinotte noted they are offering everything from winter surfing lessons, events in honour of every full moon this year, to celebrating the region’s winter lobster season. In particular, the resort has been active in the creation of the South Shore Lobster Crawl taking place in February and with the introduction of their new package, The Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast Adventure. A first in Nova Scotia, this adventure provides the opportunity for guests to go lobster fishing, in season.
The festivities don’t stop there. As a champion for local artists, Sea’Spired, Veinotte explained, is an outdoor sculpture show that will see works by more than a dozen Nova Scotia artists showcased throughout the property in celebration of the ocean. Scheduled to be open in May for World Gardening Day, it will remain in place until the fall.
Homecoming Weekend in April will see the launch of a new book, White Point Then & Now, featuring photos by acclaimed Nova Scotian photographer Len Wagg.
Another major event will take place in September when 90 couples are invited to gather at the resort for a vow renewal weekend of festivities. The anniversary theme is also being woven into the food and beverage menus, offering a unique Taste of Nova Scotia menu item each month.
Concluding her remarks with the unveiling of the 90th Anniversary Keepsake booklet produced in conjunction with Saltscapes Magazine, Veinotte said the piece is a celebration of White Pointers.
“This 16-page showcase of White Point is a celebration of you, our community, our partners and guests and the magic we enjoy together,” she said. “This keepsake will be placed in our guestrooms, proudly shared with colleagues and appreciated by more than a half-million Saltscapes Magazine readers as an insert within the February/March issue.”
Speaking on behalf of the Region of Queens Municipality, Deputy Mayor Susan MacLeod expressed gratitude to the Risleys for their commitment to Queens County and the White Point Team.
As the largest private sector employer in the area, she acknowledged the impact that the resort has on the community. Growing from a seasonal operation to a year-round one, White Point now employs 200 at the height of operations. Asking the crowd in attendance how many had worked at White Point in the past, she was surprised by the large number of people who raised their hands.
Opening in 1928 and operating year-round for the past 30 years, White Point Beach Resort is one of Nova Scotia’s most popular and impactful destinations. Paying homage to its Bostonian founder, Philip Hooper Moore, and his vision to share White Point with the world, the Risleys and their team at White Point have lovingly nurtured this iconic property, welcoming more than 50,000 overnight guests to her white sandy, surf capped shores.