1000 Islands Tower – (recent) past, present and future
2013 was a great first season. There was so much media coverage about the “new owners of the tower;” we were overwhelmed by the feedback. Kingston Whig Standard, Ottawa Citizen and the local TV stations brought immediate attention. We were also amazed at how many families returned to visit the tower, after not visiting for many years.
We learned first-hand, what it was like, when foundations were poured almost fifty years ago, from some of the construction workers, who were then young lads and now returned as happy pensioners.
As a result of the Watertown Daily Times article, we received a package. We were stunned - as a thoughtful person remembered their original visit and sent us their commemorative ash-tray, depicting the Tower, with the entrance from the back parking lot and the Arctic Exhibition in operation!
In October, a major German newspaper wrote a great article about “the two crazy Germans buying a 138m tower in the 1000 islands.” Many local papers picked-up on the story and wrote their own versions; we had an immediate jump in visitors; specifically asking to see and meet “Heidi and Konrad.”
It has been our plan from the beginning, to create a special experience for your visit to our top of the world. We now have exhibits on the first deck, showing attractions like Boldt Castle; in-depth information on Singer Castle, pictures and stories from the gilded age; the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. We try hard to cover all of the area's attractions. There is always a tour guide on hand, to inform (and entertain) by explaining what the River and the Thousand Islands has to offer.
We live in such a wonderful archipelago and for many of our visitors, it is the first time to indulge in its awesomeness from high in the sky. We feel we will have succeeded, if we can encourage visitors to explore more and/or to return to the area; hopefully someday becoming residents, as we have.
As a matter of fact, since the number one question we are asked is: “What is life like, on an island in the 1000 Islands?” (Short answer, great!) We always include some current real estate listings; we also wrote a small essay about the logistics involved in the winter, by using airboats, to transition from open water to solid ice.
During the first weeks in 2013, after we got to enjoy the magnificent views, as part of our closing and cleaning procedure, we thought; “Let's make more use of the Tower“. For the first extracurricular event, we invited a small group to join us, 400' above the ground, and to watch the 2013, 4th of July fireworks over Boldt Castle.
The event was great, so we invited the public to join us in August, for the Thousand Islands Bridge 75th Anniversary Fireworks. There was a dessert buffet starting at nine in the evening and later we enjoyed the display over the castle.
The Poker Run was another great opportunity to enjoy the magnificent view and oversight of the River. We also started to rent out the tower for receptions; a Photographer's Club Event, with plenty of sunset picture-taking opportunities; and a conference lunch, with 40 guests, closed out the season.
We were also honored and pleased to host the 2013 Thousand Islands Admirals Dinner, with 100 guests attending. On a beautiful Thursday afternoon in late June, the reception started with appetizers and bar on the first deck; clear skies and clear views for 40 kilometers, made for great memories. The dinner continued downstairs in the former restaurant and we closed it with a fantastic sunset, serving dessert on the first deck of the tower.
As a special treat, the Admirals had brought a saxophone player along and we were amazed how well the acoustics worked at our Rotunda above the St. Lawrence.
The Future and now…
What is coming in 2014? We completed all scheduled renovations on all three decks by the end of May. We also repeated the July 4th the Fireworks and dessert buffet.
The Cafeteria, with sandwiches and salads, is in the works. Now you can enjoy a coffee up on the tower; there is a coffee machine and baked goods on the first deck.
How about renting the Tower for your special occasion?
We welcome and entertain any ideas for new uses of the Tower; if you have an event in mind, please call or email through our website: (www.1000islandstower.com)
It has been a fantastic journey so far. Naturally we had to learn our “ins and outs” with the daily operations, such as how to restart all systems after a power outage, but we had great help and assistance from so many.
Thank you all for your support and we look forward to welcoming you at the 1000 Islands Tower throughout the 2014 season.
By Konrad Linckh,
Originally from Germany, Konrad Linckh, an electrical engineer, was working as CEO for the US-subsidiary of a German laser equipment manufacturer, when he came to the Thousand Islands for a vacation, in August 2010 and as he says, “fell immediately in love with the scenery”. He applied for and received permanent residency in Canada and the Linckh family moved to Gananoque, in April 2011. In the late Fall of 2011. Konrad took a visitor on a tour of the Islands and learned some good lessons about boating safety, the hard way. In fact, he shared his harrowing experience with TI Life, in An Unforgettable Turn of Events… Then in the spring of 2013, he and his wife Heidi, purchased the Tower. You can read all about it in, “I’d like to buy a tower today…”