PEI

Blue Jays founder Don McDougall to take over Mill River golf course in P.E.I.

The P.E.I. government is hoping the man who helped bring the Blue Jays to Toronto can bring new life to the Mill River attractions. The province has entered a one-year lease agreement with businessman Don McDougall to operate the golf course, fun park and campground.

McDougall, who led team that brought Jays to Toronto, enters lease agreement with province

The Mill River golf course, fun park and campground, located in the western end of P.E.I., has been losing about $400,000 a year, says Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald. (CBC)

The P.E.I. government is hoping the man who helped bring the Blue Jays to Toronto can bring new life to its Mill River attractions.

The province has entered a one-year lease agreement beginning May 1 with businessman Don McDougall to operate the golf course, fun park and campground.

The province will contribute $400,000 to MacDougall's company, MRRI, to operate the three provincially-owned assets, an amount equal to the normal combined operating loss, said Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald.

The Mill River golf course is scheduled to open for the season on May 13. (CBC)

MRRI will assume responsibility for all operational costs of the attractions including employee salaries, benefits, and property upkeep.

McDougall, who grew up in Bloomfield, P.E.I., and and now resides in Stratford, Ont., is the eighth Chancellor of UPEI.

But he is perhaps best known for leading the group that brought a major league baseball franchise — the Blue Jays — to Toronto in 1976 while serving as president of Labatt Breweries. He became the team's first founding director, and was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Mill River campground will be operated by the private company MRRI this year. (CBC)

McDougall, 79, acquired Stratford, Ont.-based Novatronics Inc. in 1983, and over the next 20 years, expanded his aerospace company globally before selling to Curtis-Wright Inc. in 2003. He continues to be involved in several private and public companies.

"Mr. McDougall is a well-respected individual in Prince Edward Island, and we are confident that this arrangement will point the way to a brighter future for these important rural PEI properties," MacDonald said.

Operations at the three facilities will remain unchanged this summer, MacDonald said. All staff will remain employees of the province with the same pay and work-term length.

The Mill River golf course is scheduled to open May 13, the campground June 3 and the fun park July 1.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the Mill River Resort was being taken over. In fact it's the Mill River Golf course, fun park and campground.
    Apr 28, 2016 5:56 PM AT

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