Business travellers and conference-goers to Fort Frances can get a taste of the lakeside life in northwestern Ontario's Boundary Waters with a stay at La Place Rendez-Vous Hotel and Convention Centre.
Located on the shores of Sand Bay on Rainy Lake, the 67-room establishment has been a family-run business since 1972 when Leo Noonan, a former Safeway grocery store manager, became a partner in a local lakefront restaurant and bar.
"One of the partners was leaving and they knew my dad my interested so they invited him in," said hotel owner Paul Noonan, Leo's son. "Within a couple of years, he bought them out and was running it himself."
What followed was an expansion into a full-service hotel in 1985 with three subsequent additions of guestrooms.
"It was always a dream of his to have a banquet-conference facility here on Rainy Lake," said Noonan. "His dream was to eventually have a full-service hotel on this property"
Banquet facilities were added onto a second floor above the restaurant and lounge in 1992.
"When we first started in business, we were only open in the wintertime. In the evenings and in the summertime we'd open at noon," said Noonan.
"After the guestrooms and lobby were added, it became more a 24/7 operation."
Through land acquisition, the original 100 feet of lake frontage has been extended to 400 feet.
The independent hotel has grown into the premier venue in the Rainy River district for weddings, retirement parties, meetings and conferences.
"We're probably the only banquet and conference facility in town," said Noonan.
The establishment has become a popular spot for First Nation and municipal association conferences, a hub for weekend hockey tournaments, and there's a steady flow of government and business clientele.
Government ministries use the venue for public meetings, and new entries to the area like New Gold (formerly Rainy River...