by Ruby Arsenault
In September 2019, Lisa & Paul Reid from Barrie, Ontario embarked on a new phase of their lives and careers.
After three years of research, they became the new owners of an accommodations business located just outside Alberton on the beautiful Dock River and renamed it Briarwood Coastal Cottages & Lodge.
The couple discovered PEI when they visited friends on the Island, and instantly fell in love.
“We knew we wanted to get into a tourism accommodations business but there were many boxes to check off in order to meet our needs,” says Lisa. “This was a huge undertaking for us.
“The previous owners operated an inn in the larger dwelling on the property, and this is now our home. We wanted plenty of room for family and friends to visit.”
Just as they settled in and began to plan and prepare for the summer tourist season of 2020, COVID-19 struck. “This was yet another huge transition into our new business, but it gave us time to stop, reflect, and learn the process of operating this business.
“We were thrown a curve ball and we went with it. My husband Paul began lengthy renovations and upgrading of the property and its facilities. One must try to find a silver lining in a difficult situation.
“We offer four two-story cottages, two one-story cottages, eight one-bedroom suites, and eight overnight lodge rooms, and we are open year round.
“We also have a beautiful banquet hall which can seat 50 to 60 people. This beautifully decorated hall can be rented for smaller weddings or family gatherings.
“We are pretty excited about the upcoming tourist season,” says Lisa. “We have a lot of bookings, many of which are families who want to celebrate together after being apart for a few years due to the pandemic.”
Lisa and Paul are members of the West Prince Chamber of Commerce, North Cape Coastal Drive, and TIAPEI. “We are very grateful for the support we have received since we began this journey on PEI.
“Two amazing local staff members have been with us from the beginning, and they were instrumental in assisting us with start-up and the renovations. They are looking forward to seeing many happy faces stay with us this upcoming season.
“We were in need of more hands and recently hired another housekeeper. As we grow, we will need more staff. We will need a maintenance worker at some point. We gladly except resumés for future positions.”