SOUTH BRISTOL — Todd and Laura Cook faced a dilemma.
They own Bristol Harbour resort, a popular lodge, events center and golf club on the east shore of Canandaigua Lake. However, the coronavirus pandemic brought business to a standstill — leading to their decision to close the facility as a commercial business and maintain it as private property.
“We have faced the dilemma of how to operate a business designed to bring people together in a time when it is our social responsibility to stay apart,” the couple said in a message on their website last week. “The COVID-19 crisis has brought to light incredible challenges for the hospitality industry, including Bristol Harbour. With much careful consideration, we have decided to close Bristol Harbour. This announcement comes as the result of our family’s dedication to transparency, as we want to ensure that our guests and employees are safe and healthy. Please know this decision to prioritize the health and safety of our guests and employees over our business operations was made with the utmost care, concern and due diligence.”
Bristol Harbour opened in 1972 as a golf course and club; the links were designed by renowned golf course designer Robert Trent Jones. It grew to include an upscale restaurant, lodge, and banquet facility.
The Cooks bought the property in 2016. The golf course will remain open to members only until further notice for the 2020 golf season. After that, the course will be closed to the public.
The Cooks say they will continue to maintain the property for their personal use.
“As a family-run business, we cannot separate our family values from our business operations. As a result, we feel it is our ethical duty to be a solution in preventing the spread (of the virus), despite the complications and sacrifices we must make to uphold this significant responsibility,” they said. “We recognize that Bristol Harbour is an incredibly special place and while its commercial operations are not conducive to the world we presently live in, we are committed to breathing new life into our beloved property and our family will continue to maintain Bristol Harbour’s incredible property and we look forward to transforming it into a personal property for our family to continue to share in making good memories to come.”