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Main lodge at Nova Scotia’s historic Keltic Lodge golf resort shutting down



The historic main building at the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands golf resort in Cape Breton has closed, Parks Canada and GolfNorth Properties announced Wednesday.

GolfNorth, however, confirmed that the nearby Cape Breton Highland Links golf course will remain open, as will Ceilidh Hall, the Arduaine Restaurant and the accommodations within the Corson House & Courtyard Suites.

“Recent investments by GolfNorth in these facilities will ensure a continued elevated experience for visitors and enhancements to Highlands Links will solidify its global reputation,” the Ontario-based company said in a statement posted on its website.

In 2015, Parks Canada awarded a management lease to the company, which followed through with a $2-million plan for renovations at the picturesque site near Ingonish, N.S., inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Despite its investment, the condition of the main lodge, built in the 1950s, has proven to be a challenge, and the company also confirmed the closure of several cottages.

The company said it would take “tens of millions of dollars” to improve the properties to the point where they meet current standards for electrical, heating, air conditioning and accessibility.

Still, GolfNorth said it is working with Parks Canada to develop a long-term plan for a sustainable tourism venue. “Both organizations are committed to the revitalization of the property,” GolfNorth said.

Parks Canada has already committed to restoring a nearby road and its underground infrastructure starting this fall. It is also working on rehabilitating Middle Head hiking trail, which extends to the end of the rugged, narrow peninsula that juts into the North Atlantic.

“Parks Canada and GolfNorth are keenly aware of the historic, cultural, and local community significance of the Keltic Lodge and Middle Head Peninsula,” the company said, adding that Parks Canada is reviewing the heritage status of the main lodge.

“This review will capture and document the historical and cultural value of the building and its surroundings, and this information will be used to inform decisions regarding the future of the building and the recognition of its history …. The time has come to reimagine its future.”

In 2015, Canadian Golf Magazine rated the Cape Breton Highland Links course No. 4 among the Top 100 golf courses in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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