A Toronto-based tourism company has invested in the whitewater rapids and rolling hills of the Ottawa Valley with the purchase of two of the prominent tourist attractions.
Summerhill Resorts has acquired Logosland in Cobden and a property formerly owned by Wilderness Tours.
Logosland, located just off of Hwy. 17, is home to ziplines, restaurants, rafting, a water park, hiking trails, campsites, cottages and a golf course and is usually open from April until October for the summer season.
It is an adventure-based tourist attraction that is central to the summertime traffic in the Valley, says Alastair Baird, the economic development manager for Renfrew County.
“It’s exciting to see we’re on the radar of investors out of Toronto,” said Baird. “They see the opportunity for the future in recreation, cottages and tourism.”
Summerhill has also taken over a 328-acre trailer and campground at 503 Rafting Rd., formerly owned and operated by Wilderness Tours.
The existing sites, cottages, chalets and tourist commercial buildings will be used to reopen a campground park in the spring, with recreational vehicle sites connected to the existing hydro, water and wastewater systems. The original report presented to Renfrew County council emphasized re-establishing and revamping the existing campground, leaving the natural heritage of the site preserved as much as it was with previous use.
The biggest appeals of these properties were the beautiful natural landscape and the proximity to Ottawa, says Summerhill Resorts president Bill McGill. “The fact that both met our criteria and they’re only 15 mins apart from each other made it more appealing.”
Baird also said that the more long-term or overnight accommodations at Logosland, which vary from a modern motel to cottages and campsites, and the newly acquired campground are essential to tourism.
“Tourism relies on things that attract visitors and if a visitor comes more than a day, they want a resort or campground, it's essential to have a broad range of accommodations,” said Baird. “Daytime visitors are great, but when tourists spend an overnight visit, the spending increases with additional meals and shopping opportunities, so overnight accommodations are very important.”
Wilderness Tours will now run its operations from the RiverRun site and through Ottawa City rafting, continuing their adventure-based attractions for locals and tourists alike.
“We are building on what’s there, continuing the work that previous owners have done up until this point, and expanding upon what’s already been done,” says McGill. “Both properties became available around the same time. It was serendipitous and allowed us to make a bigger investment in the area than intended.”