Posts Tagged ‘The Ranch Resort and Conference Centre’

Road Trip to Bethany!

Jeff and I took a road trip to Bethany last week, visiting local businesses to profile for my blog.

The Ranch Resort Banquet and Conference Centre – Home to The Guitar Boutique

 inside The Ranch Resort

The Ranch Resort and Conference Centre

The first stop in Bethany was The Ranch Resort Banquet and Conference Centre, formerly the Ranch Ski Resort, on Ski Hill Road.  We got a tour of the three floors, where there is lots of room (over 10,500 feet) for any special event.  It’s a lovely space for weddings or a New Year Eve party, overlooking the ski hills, trees and private lake.  What I really wanted to see, though, was The Guitar Boutique.

inside The Guitar Boutique, Bethany, Ontario

inside The Guitar Boutique, Bethany, Ontario

When I was younger – much, much younger; high school younger – I went with a guy who played the guitar.  He played in a band and loved his Gibson Les Paul more than me.  Anyway, the time I spent with him gave me only a tiny slice of education about the instrument but enough interest to think a store full of shiny guitars would be cool to visit. We brought our friend Sean Anderson,who plays guitar for Canadian rock group, Finger Eleven along with us.  Sean Anderson

Sean Anderson at the Guitar Boutique
Nick Angelo and his prized Dusenberg guitars

Nick Angelo and his prized Dusenberg guitars

Nick Angelo is the owner/operator of The Ranch Resort and The Guitar Boutique, although he calls himself more of a creator than an owner.  He definitely has a vast array of experiences under his belt; the most pertinent to The Guitar Boutique being how he and his band The Four Frenchmen were the only Canadian band to ever open for the Beatles when they played in Montreal in 1964.  What an experience that must have been!

Nick has brought his many years of music industry experience to Bethany.  I asked him how a guitarist from Montreal wound up in Bethany and he told me a story of wanting a horse and buying a farm in the area.  His claim to be a creator rings true when you hear about his accomplishments – musician, live engineer, real estate, gardening business.  He moves from passion to passion, developing one of his interests, creating a business and then moving on to his next pursuit when the business is established.   And he really moves on.  I asked Nick if he missed music and he assured me he doesn’t miss what he no longer does.  Despite his musical background and being surrounded by some of the most beautiful guitars around, he hasn’t played since the 1970s.

Nick has had an interest in Bethany since moving here.  He was owner of the Rocket Man restaurant (before it was Aunt Dee’s) and oversaw the renovations of Orange Hall before moving up Ski Hill Road and buying The Ranch.  A year without snow put a damper on his dreams of a ski hill, but he was soon moving on to his next venture.

inside The Guitar BoutiqueThe Guitar Boutique has an amazing selection of guitars; electric and acoustic, amplifiers and accessories for the guitar lover.  Some of the brands were known to me, like Gibsons and Rickenbackers, including a rare Rickenbacker signed by John Lennon, which I got to play.  Well, just hold actually, but I did strum a little. I’d forgotten the one song I used to know, Smoke on the Water but it was fun to pretend!

rare Rickenbacker signed by John Lennon!

rare Rickenbacker signed by John Lennon!

Along with the Schecters, Gretsch’s and Tanglewood Accoustics are Nick’s first love- his selection of Dusenbergs, hanging with pride when you first come in to the shop.  The German-made guitars are, in Nick’s opinion, the best guitar out there and his collection of them led to his opening the store.  Another Guitar Boutique has opened in Peterborough and there are plans for a third in Toronto.guitars

Bethany seems like an odd, out-of-the-way place for such a unique business but Nick assured me he gets traffic from Toronto including plenty from locals.  I guess everyone does want to be a rock star!  Nick has been profiled on CHEX news and on the twelve part series, Guitar Picks, hosted by veteran guitar icon, Kim Mitchell.

jamming with Sean and Nick at the Guitar Boutique

jamming with Sean and Nick at the Guitar Boutique

It was interesting meeting Nick and hearing about his life and how it brought him to Bethany.  And I was right – The Guitar Boutique is a cool place to visit, even for the non-playing types!

Next week – visiting the Williams’ Design Studio

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