Nova Scotia

Fire at historic White Point Beach Resort

The main lodge at the popular and historic White Point Beach Resort on Nova Scotia's south shore was destroyed by fire Saturday.
Flames consume the lodge at the White Point Beach Resort, a well-known tourist destination outside of Liverpool, N.S. (Twitter)
The main lodge at the popular and historic White Point Beach Resort on Nova Scotia's south shore was destroyed by fire Saturday.

John Leefe, mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality, said he first heard about the fire around 2:30 p.m. The fire was still burning Saturday evening.

"The building, from anecdotal information I'm getting, may well be a total loss," Leefe said.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff Wells said all staff and guests had been counted and there were no injuries.

He said it's too early to say what the cause of the fire was, but he said it spread quickly because the building was a wooden structure and there were strong winds.

Wells estimated eight to 10 fire departments, possibly up to 60 firefighters, came to fight the fire in the main lodge, which was fully engulfed in flames. He said he believed firefighters would be there overnight.

The lodge housed guest rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a conference centre and a swimming pool.

A wedding was scheduled Saturday evening. He said some guests stayed and others had to be relocated.

"There's still power to the majority of the resort," Wells said. "However the main building is shut down and is a loss."

According to its website, White Point Beach Resort began as a private hunting and fishing lodge in 1928 and has had several expansions since it opened.

The lodge housed the dining room, conference centre, kitchen and swimming pool. ((Matthew Wheelans))
The resort employs 175 people and Leefe called it a huge blow to the region, which is already dealing with tourism woes and a possible shutdown of the Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. mill.

In June, the province gave the resort a $1 million loan from its soon-to-be scrapped Industrial Expansion Fund to increase marketing and to make upgrades to its infrastructure.

The loan is valid for 10 years and carries an interest rate of 5.5 per cent. The resort was kicking in another $400,000 to improve rooms and recreation facilities. Work was scheduled to begin in January 2012.

Leefe said it's not clear what will happen now.

The resort is a popular tourist destination in Nova Scotia.