Monday, August 24, 2009

A week from hell in paradise


Summer is always a busy time at Ste. Anne's, and this year has been no exception. With the reintroduction of our "Diva for a Day" $99 day spa, our guest visits are actually up significantly over last year - something I feel very proud of, given the doom and gloom we are subjected to on a daily basis regarding the economy. There is no doubt that consumers are very price sensitive these days, so offering the best value proposition is more important than ever. However, it just goes to show that even in tough economic times, people still crave relaxation through the gift of healing at the hands of their fellow beings. None-the-less, one of our commercial lenders has decided that they don't want to be in the "hospitality" business anymore, so they've given us the requisite notice to go out and find a new lender, a costly and frustrating exercise, meaning that I get to spend more time than I would like with lawyers and number crunchers - yahoo! Please say a prayer for me. The extreme heat and humidity has resulted in a few requests for more air conditioning, but for the most part, our guests have enjoyed and embraced the onset of summer (late as it is), and have used the pool to cool down. A couple of weeks ago, we were hit by a pretty violent thunderstorm - (before the one that caused so much devastation in the cities of Vaughan and Durham). We had at least 10 trees down, one of which landed right on top of the power lines, leaving us in the dark for most of the night. Once again, our great friends at OPG had us up and running before the sun came up - thanks guys! However, these huge downpours can sometimes have a negative impact on wells, so following the storm, we had to make sure all of our drinking water, and the water we use in our spa treatments was safe to drink. Ever since the tragic consequences of Walkerton, the Health Unit has been saddled with the responsibility for making sure that all businesses serving drinking water to the public are taking regular samples of their water and responding to any adverse results. These folks at the Health Unit seem to have a love affair with chlorine, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'd rather take on a little water borne bug than be subjected to a known carcinogen. To make matters worse, right in the middle of the last thunderstorm, one of wells either took a direct lightening hit, or some kind of electrical malfunction resulting in a dead short, knocking out the pump and cutting off our water supply. So once again, there we were in the dark, rain pouring down, pulling a 50 lb. pump and 100 feet of pipe filled with water up from the depths of our main supply well. Thanks to a great bit of teamwork everything was fixed up before guests started arriving for their spa treatments. Today the sun is shining brightly, smiles are all around, the water is sparkling and clean, and I'm alive. What more could I ask for?

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