Despite high winds and a power outage, Christmas went on at White Point Beach Resort in Queens County.
“We had a full house, and we had almost 500 people with reservations for Christmas dinner,” said Joanne Veinotte, general manager of White Point. “The day was proceeding very well – according to plan – until about three o’clock in the afternoon.”
That’s when the wind picked up. About 20 minutes later, the power flickered, then the lights went out.
Veinotte said White Point has a plan in case of emergencies like this, and that plan quickly came into effect.
“The first call that I make is always to our person at Nova Scotia Power,” she said.
For about an hour-and-a-half the same day, the road was closed.
“We had a big tree that was down, leaning across the road on top of all the power lines, and I just was not comfortable with people driving under it,” said Veinotte.
When the wind died down, the road reopened and people could leave.
Throughout the afternoon and evening, Veinotte kept everyone up to date, relaying information as soon as she had it to guests. She said it was about communication and doing the best she could under the circumstances.
“It was a real team effort because our team here didn’t miss a beat,” Veinotte said.
The resort prioritized water and lights.
“It was an eventful Christmas to remember,” said Donna Hatt, marketing manager at White Point. “And it continued the next morning, with trees that were down on the property.”
Hatt said the number of people who jumped in to help get things back in order brought back memories of the fire in November 2011, when everyone came to the rescue in a similar fashion.
“Guests first, safety first, and then after that you have to prioritize, but my staff did an amazing job – every single one of them that was here on site,” said Veinotte.
Hatt said there was lots of positive feedback from customers.
About 85 per cent of the property was back up and running in five hours.