Major renovations complete at Mill River Resort

Major renovations are now complete at the Mill River Resort in western P.E.I. — wrapping up a year ahead of schedule.

The renovations cost $8.5M, with $6M contributed by the province

Major renovations are now complete at the Mill River Resort in western P.E.I. (John Robertson/CBC)

Major renovations are now complete at the Mill River Resort in western P.E.I. — wrapping up a year ahead of schedule.

The lobby, convention centre, restaurant and bar, and recreation areas are complete. The remaining renovations are mostly cosmetic, with 48 of the 81 rooms open for booking. 

"It looks similar from the outside, but inside, we engaged a design company out of Halifax … and after a lot of hard work by a lot of people, it did turn out just the way they said it would, and we're very pleased with it," said owner Don McDougall. 

Renovations to the main areas of the Mill River Resort are now complete. (John Robertson/CBC)

$8.5M in renovations

The resort, which includes a golf course, campground, restaurant, bar and convention centre, was fully purchased from the P.E.I. government in 2017. 

The renovations cost $8.5 million, with $6 million contributed by the province. As part of the deal with the province, McDougall was required to pay at least $1 million toward the project, but ended up paying much more. 

Don McDougall purchased the resort from the province in 2017. (John Robertson/CBC)

"I think that we knew at the time that we were not going to get it done for seven million dollars … we don't have a lament there," McDougall said. 

"The rest of the money that came from the government was to make up for the monies that weren't spent on maintaining it over the previous 40 years."

Judicial review still unresolved

While McDougall and the province celebrate the completion of the renovations, the judicial review about the original sale brought forward by the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. has yet to be resolved. 

For now, both the government and resort are moving forward with making the venture a sustainable and successful business.

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With files from John Robertson