The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, N.B., hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's first cabinet retreat last weekend. GM Matthew Mackenzie says things came together quickly, and the resort's seasonal closures proved an advantage.
“I got the call three weeks ago, and I wasn't sure it was legitimate at first,” Mackenzie told CBC in an interview. He called back, and the site tour took place within 48 hours. The Algonquin made the pitch, were vetted for security purposes, and got the job.
Mackenzie said that the resort's seasonal closures actually worked to their advantage. They didn't have to displace any guests, and the privacy and lack of distractions were conducive to a caucus meeting.
Catering to the group, which included up to 225 people coming and going, was quite stress free, Mackenzie said. The catering menu was the existing Braxton's restaurant menu, and new executive chef Ron Kneabone took good care of the group. The Algonquin had 100 staff working on the event, which is in line with the resort's 1:2 staff to guest ratio.