Forward thinking on Fogo
The new Fogo Island Inn on Fogo Island. The inn includes 29 rooms, an art gallery, cinema, rooftop hot tubs and wood-burning fireplaces, and is expected to cost more than $25 million before it opens next spring. It’s part of an effort to rejuvenate Fogo Island’s economy and turn it into a top-class tourist destination and art centre.
— Photo by The Canadian Press
Frank Lane of Tilting on Fogo Island is a traditional boatbuilder who hopes the new $25-million Fogo Island Inn will create new jobs, but also help preserve centuries-old traditions on the island off Newfoundland’s northeast coast.
— Photo by The Canadian Press
- A new artist’s studio on Fogo Island called Squish (meaning off-kilter). It’s one of four new studios built to host artists from Canada and around the world. The studios and the new Fogo Island Inn and art gallery, expected to cost more than $25 million, are part of an effort to rejuvenate Fogo Island’s economy and ensure its survival as a tourist destination and art mecca. — Photo by The Canadian Press
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- - March 10, 2013 at 14:28:51
Wonder if JDS Uniphase investors get a free night...while it is an impressive project, if I am a Canadian investor who got hammered while Ms. Cobb and the other executives are cashing out, and now my Government is investing millions more with her and treating her as a hero...interesting, very forgiving society we live in
- Joe A Fogo Islander
- - September 10, 2012 at 23:43:03
It is with great interest that I have read about what MRS COBB is doing on Fogo Island. I am an x Fogo Islander and have been away for over 20+years. I do not go back to visit the island any more mainly because of the transportation system that they have in place; it's about the same as when MR Miller ran the Ferry from Seldom to Carmenville. I still have family that live on the Island and they tell me that it is getting bad there, poor feeey services, high cost of fuel and food. The last time that i visited the Island I had to wait for the ferry for several hours, and than I was not able to get on the ferry because of the line up. So people of Fogo Island ye need to change the transportation system that ye have in place or the Island will die in about 20 years. The only thing that will keep Fogo Island going is the fishery and that as we know it is a disaster, Mainly because of the federal governments controal from the Joey deals. Sorry Mrs Cobb I give you credit for wanting to help save the island, but lets look at reality here, it's Fogo Island and for 9 months of the year it's nothing but horrable weather and any one that have lived on the Island would know and admit that your idea is nothing but a pipe dream. I have traveled to many other countries around the world and I would never go back to Fogo Island. There is nothing there but bad weather for 9 months of the year. And who is going to support the island when the rich folk don't go back after the first or even secongd visit. In order to keep a turist business going you must have repeat business. My family have lived on the Island sense the 1700's. I agree with my brother, The Island should be made in to a bird sanctury, Ha,ha.
- - September 4, 2012 at 15:25:01
The Rates are extreme, I would imagine because of the short season that guests can access the Island without difficulty. I suppose one can count on six months of the year for revenue.
- Dan Murphy
- - August 29, 2012 at 22:33:26
I have been doing heritage work on Fogo Island for 29 years now and Zita is adding another dimension...her vision will unfold has it should...
- Winston Adams
- - August 28, 2012 at 16:19:06
Businessman, I wonder what roots you have in Nfld? Are you from st John's or a rural area? You seem to have a very selfish view. You and your immediate family, no one else matters? You are proud of yourself you say, and I suppose some of your family may be proud of you. But not proud enough to state your idenity. That you would like to see the rural communities fail, so you can profit more! Seems evil. But assuming your honest in your view, at least you have some virtue, perhaps in time your views may change. After all , St Paul was not always a good man.
- - August 27, 2012 at 16:03:17
This whole thing reminds me of a picture I once saw, where children were peeking through a small window watching others doing things that their families could not afford to take part in. All they could do was look. Ms.Cobb has ambition, for sure, but at what cost?.
- Winston Adams
- - August 24, 2012 at 21:40:10
Foghorn, I agree it's a high risk venture, but I wouldn't bet against Ms. Cobb. It seems marketing would be important . And perhaps more weather like this summer should be beneficial. For those who can afford it , what a better place to avoid the heat waves and extreme weather of other parts of the world. But time will tell . Better risk I think then the 15 million a month on Muskrat Falls, and that's not even officially started yet.
- Foghorn Leghorn
- - August 24, 2012 at 13:35:50
If this idea was such a solid business venture why would it require 10 million dollars in government funding to make it work. What business venture wouldn't like to have almost half of their financing provided by a government agency? I would love to see the business plan that was submitted for government funding. Very little supporting infrastructure, isolated location, limited transportation to and from, almost no population base to draw on for local customers when the tourism season dries up. Ask the people who designed Humber Valley Resort what it is like to depend on a business plan that eliminates local customers and depends 100 per cent on outside customers so to speak. They were pretty well begging for the local people to support it after they had been not welcome when it originally opened. Yes it is a beautiful dream I just wish that it wasn't our tax dollars that are going to be part of the eventual nightmare that this is going to be!
- Pat Goulding
- - August 23, 2012 at 12:09:45
We have friends from Fogo and visited it only once, but should have done so years ago, what an amazing place, Zeta Cobb should be praised for her endevor instead of critized. Like a former comment said, there are lots of accomodations on the island. The people that live there and the people who have come back to build their retirement homes are amazing. Give it a chance.This will bring the wealthy to our province and once here will be exposed to what a great place Newfoundland is.
- - August 22, 2012 at 22:01:27
You're right Sean with one exception. They'd practice more diligence playing with their own money.
- Winston Adams
- - August 22, 2012 at 15:44:57
Too bad there is not more like Ms. Cobb. Most Nflders who are rich make thier money here and then buy/invest in places outside Nfld, like Florida. Ms .Cobb on the other hand appears to have made her wealth outside Nfld, and comes back to help and invest in her home province. Her heaert is in the right place.She loves what is good about Nfld; the people, the heritage and culture and beauty , and wants to share this with the world, and in a way that helps sustain jobs in a rural area..For the size of her investment it is fair that the government should be involved as they are. We have a history of outsiders coming to profit and leave, and are slow to support those few Nflders that wish to do good. I wish the best for the success of this operation, and hope it may imspire others. I haven't yet been to the Fogo area, but it's not that far from Logy Bay. I plan to visit.
- - August 22, 2012 at 12:44:11
The problem Zita Cobb and the people of Fogo island need to address is the lack of transportation infrastructure to get there. There are few flights to gander, the nearest airport, and the provincial ferry service is just plain disgraceful. Tourists who will pay the money Ms. Cobb's plan is built around expect ease of travel and a ferry that does not smell like pooh. Fogo Island is a unique place but the experience starts with getting there. The current access simply is not good enough and is even discouraging.
- - August 22, 2012 at 11:39:18
Ten Million dollars of taxpayer money? Please tell me the government at least gets to own half of it for having paid half of it.
- - August 22, 2012 at 09:03:39
I guess I shouldn't be surprised about all the negative comments here. It is disappointing to see the lack of support and vision people have. I guess we should stick with old, outdated hotels and a few chicken shacks serving the greasiest crap you can find. That will bring the tourists. I spent some time outside of St. John's this year and, after living away for 15 years, you really appreciate the ruggedness and beauty of Newfoundland. Certainly is nicer than dirty, stinky Toronto. Too bad many of the people who live in Nfld don't see it. The price of the rooms is not to attract primarily Newfoundlanders (although many can afford the price), it is to attract wealthy tourists who want to experience something other than smog and congestion. These types of places succeed in other places. Why not Fogo?
- - August 22, 2012 at 00:48:33
And when it closes up, taxpayers are on the hook with Cobb. The difference is the taxpayers didn't make the decision to invest. What's next a NASCAR raceway on Bell Island??
- - August 21, 2012 at 22:32:07
Been there and $1800 is about what I would have paid to leave after one day in that place.
- - August 21, 2012 at 21:26:15
Been there and $1800 is about the amount of money I would pay to get off the island .
- ann marie
- - August 21, 2012 at 21:23:44
possibly maybe we give these lovely people the benefit of the doubt!! I am so proud that a former resident of our lovely island made the rich decision in retirement to come and invest time, energy and loads of money into a beautiful island and its people. Many people have had to move away from their heritage and settle elsewhere helping the other provinces prosper. The government has made many decisions over the years to spend tax dollars in many places..why not there as well..remember its about sharing the wealth! possibly the government will certainly see a return in the spinoff!!
- - August 21, 2012 at 21:06:51
Fogo Island is one of the most beautiful places in the world! If you have the chance to visit-Go! Love it there, wishing them all the best :)
- Mike S
- - August 21, 2012 at 20:12:37
I just visited Fogo last week and spent a lot amount of time in line waiting for the ferry( 7 hrs to get off and 3rd last car on the last run) after the festival. I checked out the hotel was stunned by the size of it. I didn't notice the helicopter pad but i saw they have a small plane landing strip just down from the hotel which will most likely shuttle the well to do's in and out of Fogo. We would not want them to wait in line like the rest of us. You never know...they might set aside a few spots on the ferry for them like they do for the Change island residents. As much as i like moving forward with our surroundings this hotel did not fit in with the landscape. Too bad.
- Foghorn Leghorn
- - August 21, 2012 at 15:56:16
The only thing missing is a cucumber green house, when will they ever learn?
- George from Northern Pen
- - August 21, 2012 at 14:54:57
The article makes it sound like Fogo Island is a "one in a million" place. There are countless around Newfoundland and Labrador that are much easier to access and governments do not have to sink a ton of money running a ferry and sometimes, during the spring ice jam, a helicopter to move people back and forth. Sure this may be a bit of a rejuvanation for Fogo Island, but can we honestly afford in this province to keep these remote locales alive? I don't think so and have to agree with Joe. It's not about accounting Sean. It is about the best bang for the taxpayers dollar. On a final point if this has a good chance of being a success, why does government need to invest in it? Private investment should be able to carry the day if it is a good sound business plan.
- Annie Girl
- - August 21, 2012 at 14:17:11
Joe b'y, do you remember centralization? That was a big success, now wasn't it! Right...now think again.
- - August 21, 2012 at 14:03:25
I have the greatest respect and truely admirer Ms. COBB for her shear 'guts'. I heard her sing on a TV clip about her vision(s) in FOGO, NL. You go girl!!! cfa p.s. And a pretty good singer - to boot.
- - August 21, 2012 at 13:16:19
sorry folks, not an accountant, sensible is all I am, give that 2 years and the doors will be shuttered unless the gov steps in with $$, we all know it. whos gonna drop 1800 a night from newfoundland for this spot, noone thats who. your not getting enough bodies to visit that island and hotel to pay that. ive been to fogo island a number of times, yes theres charm and all that, just as much as every other small community in newfoundland and labrador. however i still state that she would have been better off spending the $$ to move the islands occupants theres a lovely bakery over there, thats about it, coastline, sure, we also have that in every other coastal area.... all the best
- - August 21, 2012 at 13:05:12
Its great to see but extremely expensive. Too bad only rich people will be able to enjoy it for $1800-5000 a night..
- Jim Snow
- - August 21, 2012 at 10:35:05
I know a lot of family and friends would love to go there for vacation.A chance to go home. We need more places like this in other communities around Newfoundland. Great for tourism. We wish her ALL THE BEST.
- - August 21, 2012 at 10:12:54
My friend and I had the privilege of travelling there this past summer and were truly amazed at the hospitality and warmth of the people. Ms. Cobb is doing an amazing thing I believe. "To do nothing, is a gamble" is a great quote from Ms. Cobb and I wish nothing but success, success, success in this great venture. Not only to the people of Fogo Island but to all of Newfoundland in general. Please, Joe, think and be happy my love - will help you in the long run ;)
- - August 21, 2012 at 09:17:10
Joe is an example of what would happen if the world were run by accountants. No big dreams, no bold ventures, no risk, just pennies in the jar.
- - August 21, 2012 at 09:00:32
would have been better had she spent the $25 mil moving everyone off the island. woulda saved a fortune in the long run.