On October 5, 1985 Nancy and Mario Adamo paid more than $1 million dollars to purchase the building and property—now known as Hockley Valley Resort—located 45 minutes north of Toronto.
The land was beautiful and close to Toronto, but the facilities were in shambles. The existing 28- room hotel had been poorly maintained for years, an adjacent 10,000 sq.ft. building looked like an unfinished airplane hanger. A small outdoor swimming pool was in disrepair and the ski hill was serviced by only T-bars and a rope tow. The property had been through multiple bankruptcies prior to the Adamo purchase.
The Adamos’ first decision was to operate the ski hill over the winter and sample, first hand, public attitudes towards the resort. There was no time to fix up the existing hotel so the only income was from skiing, equipment rentals, and a cafeteria.
Once the ski season was over, the resort was shut down and a feasibility study was undertaken to determine the potential for a quality resort close to Toronto. That would then determine the scope and development of such a plan. Phase 1 involved a complete overhaul of the existing facilities. When construction was completed, all that was left of the original structures were the foundations and outside walls. The 28-room hotel was completely renovated, the ‘airplane hanger’ was converted into a Conference Centre with a spectacular ballroom and the skiing facilities were upgraded with the addition of a Quad Chair Lift, lights and snowmaking equipment.
The completion of Phase 2 of the development program dramatically changed the situation. With the opening of the championship golf course, the opening of 76 Deluxe Resort Suites in the Tower wing, the addition of the Ciao Bistro, Spike Patio & Bar and the remainder of the indoor recreational facilities, the property had been fully converted into a luxurious four season conference and resort destination. This laid the foundation for the Hockley Valley Resort we know today.
In 1990, the Hockley Valley Resort opened its Championship 18-hole golf course designed by renowned architect Thomas McBroom.
In 2001, to the tune of $4.5 million, the Montclair Ballroom was renovated into a stunning venue and the launch of the 8,000 sq.ft. spa was finally realized including 16 treatment rooms, and two lounges (ladies and co-ed).
Constantly upgrading and reinvesting in the property, in 2003/2004, an additional Quad Chair Lift was installed on the ski hill to accommodate the increasing traffic of ski and snowboard guests.
Between 2009 and 2011, Hockley Valley Resort unveiled a major $6+ million transformation that celebrates traditional Old World elegance and a homegrown philosophy. This latest transformation coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Adamo family’s purchase of the 300 acre property. The renovation included the revitalization of the parking lot, new landscaping, a renovated lobby, Babbo Wine Bar, wine cellar, and the launching of Restaurant 85. In addition, the resort constructed and opened a 2,600 sq.ft. open concept restaurant, aptly named ‘cabin’ after the first building on the property.
A full time gardener takes care of the four-acre fruit and vegetable garden that supplies 80 percent of the produce for the resort’s restaurants. True to the Resort’s culinary philosophy and sustainability practices, it supports local farmers, producers and artisans utilizing their products in the restaurants.
In 2012 the resort added a small test vineyard, an outdoor kitchen with a wood fired oven that hosts Pizza in the Garden during the summer months, and expanded the fruit, vegetable and herb gardens into the Resort farm.
Not to be overlooked, Hockley Valley Resort is committed to implementing ‘green’ initiatives that assist in reducing our carbon footprint. This page identifies the Resort’s commitment to environmental responsibility and its efforts to become the ‘Greenest’ Resort in the Province of Ontario.
Today, with Nancy Adamo beginning her retirement, the operations are now under the capable watch of her children John Paul Adamo and Julie Adamo. Carrying on the legacy, the Resort is recognized as a culinary destination with outstanding guest service.
Hockley Valley Resort is a year-round resort destination located in the Hills of Headwaters, in the heart of some of Ontario’s most picturesque countryside. The Resort features 104 luxury rooms and suites, 14 meeting rooms and an 8,000 sq.ft. full-service spa. The resort is home to a championship 18-hole golf course designed by renowned Canadian golf course architect Thomas McBroom, as well as 15 scenic ski and snowboard runs for all levels, including an upper and lower freestyle terrain park. Since it opened, Hockley Valley has employed more than 1,500 people. Today, staff at the resort number more than 300.