Nestled down a three-kilometre gravel road in Port McNeill lies the Cedar Park Resort.
Owner/operator Lisa Abernathy has been running the business for almost two years now. Abernathy grew up in Port McNeill and she took over the business from Jack Ewen.
“Jack was a friend of the family. He and my dad had done a lot of work together in the past,” said Abernathy. “He decided he was ready to move on from this place and he asked my dad if he knew anyone who might be interested in taking it over. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, so it worked out.”
Abernathy said the resort has evolved over the last 15 years from having a barn on the property to where it currently features comfortable coastal inspired cottage accommodations, full-service RV camping and family oriented club and disc golf.
She is the only one on staff at the resort and does all the groundskeeping herself.
“It was a big learning curve when I first started,” Abernathy said with a laugh, adding that even though a lot of hard work goes into running a successful business here on the North Island, she still loves it.
“It’s definitely where I want to be,” she said.
Abernathy graduated from North Island Secondary School and spent five years living in Vancouver afterwards from 2010 to 2015.
She worked a desk job for a security company. It was “not my cup of tea,” she laughed.
She said she came back home because she missed the small-town lifestyle.
“I love small towns, Port McNeill, the North Island,” Abernathy said. “There’s so much to see and do here.”
In her spare time when she’s not working, which she said is very rare, Abernathy enjoys hiking around in the bush, mushroom picking, and camping.
Abernathy pointed out the resort is open all year round. “Most of the business is May through October, but there’s still comings and goings through the winter.”
The resort features four beautiful cottages, a campground, disc golf, and a par-three golf course, all resting on just about 30 acres of land.
She said what she loves most about the resort is “the tranquility of the space, it’s really calming,” and she enjoys being her own boss because it lets her have control of where she’s going with her life.
“Time and dedication goes into this, you have to love what you do,” she said. “I love meeting all the tourists, we get people from all over Europe coming to visit.”
On the subject of starting your own business, Abernathy wanted to tell people to go for it. “Don’t be afraid — be prepared to put in the time, but don’t be afraid.”