Dear Quisisana Family,
As I sit down to write all of you, the lake is calm as glass and a loon is singing from about 10’ off the Music Hall point. The weather has turned, it has been warm and dry, the flower beds have been mulched and are turning green. We are now a group of 15, about half of whom are still working through their quarantine. The lake is still freezing but low enough for the docks to go in. Everything is shaping up the way it normally does, but this is where the normalcy has to end.
After much discussion and planning we are crestfallen to announce we will be cancelling our summer season. We are so grateful to our team for being flexible and thinking creatively of ways to make this summer happen. There is just no safe and responsible way to welcome a large group of guests from all over the country each week. We have struggled with coming to this conclusion. There is such a desire to live by “The Show Must Go On!” but alas, even Broadway is dark for the summer. We would also like to extend a huge thanks to our 85 staff who have patiently hung in there hoping they would be able to come up to Maine for another summer in the pines. We are also so appreciative of our guests for being understanding and supporting us through our efforts.
We will return your deposits in the middle of June. For those who choose to reach out to us before June 5th and put their deposit toward the summer of 2021, we will in turn offer you the 2020 rates for your summer ’21 stay.
This is incredibly disappointing to all of us who work hard to prepare for the summer and passionately want the Quisi season to happen. We have to prioritize keeping you, our staff and the surrounding community safe. We will take this opportunity to both continue our upgrades to the cabins and the grounds and work out possible structural solutions for next summer. We will sincerely miss hosting each and every one of you. Let’s all join together and hope for a healthy and more positive future. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.
With our heartfelt apologies,
Sam, Nathalie, Marshall & Nicole
Letter May 15, 2020
Dear Quisi friends,
The globe lights are uncovered and on Wednesday the main lodge screened-in porch had its plywood covers removed for the season. When I saw the porch there was a moment of joy as I thought about the summer beginning like always, and then my eyes started tearing up at knowing where we are at. As mentioned last week, we have decided to keep our doors closed for the month of June. We have been working with some camp groups on what they have learned about testing and how we might be able to take advantage of it for Quisi. Of course, like everything connected to the virus, there are still unknowns. The New York Times just ran an article about a different test machine that could miss the virus 48% of the time, making the reliance on testing much more difficult.
In the meantime, we are up to eight staff here and three will be out of quarantine after tomorrow. Chef Shannon is cooking dinners out of the bakery while we continue to finish work on the rest of the kitchen. Marshall has been busy working his magic in Quisiworks; he can’t wait to be out of quarantine so he can start getting into your cottages to add new touches. Nicole is packing up as I write; she will drive up with Kezar as her co-pilot on Sunday. Being together, albeit at a distance, will be very helpful as we figure out if all of our ideas and solutions to working around the virus could gel into a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us. You know you are part of something more than just running a business when you feel the warmth in the notes received from guests that feel like family.
We are setting a goal of finalizing our plans by next Friday. Until then, please keep thinking of walks on the pine paths, sitting at the edge of the lake, eating lobster and enjoying a night in the Music Hall. We will try to keep the dream alive.
Sam & Nathalie
Letter May 1, 2020
Dear Quisi friends,
We hope that this note finds you all safe and healthy. Looking out at beautiful Lake Kezar transports us away from the current reality of life in the midst of Covid-19.
The Governor of Maine has announced a 4-stage plan toward a gradual reopening of the state. The timeline is not favorable for Quisi opening on time. What is abundantly clear is that this summer will not be like other summers -- unfortunately, that is about as clear as we are about where we stand. We have been talking and working constantly on variations of our music program and our dining room. Sometimes it is fun to imagine having BBQ’s down by the beach in order to help with distancing, and at other times it is overwhelming just thinking about bringing in 85 staff to live and work together. How can we open a place that is built on a close knit community of both staff and guests? It is the essence of Quisisana. We are a place that heals and is needed more than ever, yet our attempts at healing could put our whole Quisi family at risk. You can be sure that Nathalie, Marshall, Nicole, Greg and myself have been going through countless possible solutions. We should have some definitive answers by next week.
The weather continues to improve albeit a normal wet start. Mark has the water turned on to all of the cabins and our new kitchen floor is finished. The new stone wall and patio in the front circle is coming together; our gardener, Kristen, is excited to start planting all around it. Nicole and her dog Kezar are running the Quisi office from their apartment in Larchmont till Memorial Day. We were able to watch violist Taylor Shay’s Juilliard graduation recital online; we wish we could see all of our graduating alumni’s showcase performances, alas many are postponed for the time being.
Please try to have happy thoughts of performances in the Music Hall, Sunday Buffet and boat rides with Patrick. And of course, the call of the loons during an impossibly beautiful sunset.
Sam & Nathalie
Letter April 16th, 2020
The Orans family has been up at Quisisana since the middle of March, experiencing the transition from winter to spring. We have watched a duck couple standing on the Music Hall point, an otter swimming through the last bits of ice, the bald eagle circling her nest above Point Cottage and the loons have been singing. The lake is ice free as of this morning. It is the beginning of spring in Maine and yet something doesn’t feel right. I wish we were able to write and tell you that our summer is a sure bet so pack your bags to be ready. Alas, there is no more clarity than the last time we wrote. We are still moving forward with the hopes of more positive news in the coming months. We understand all of the obstacles that need to be overcome before a summer together is possible. In the meantime, we are doing away with our cancelation policy altogether. If you need to cancel for any reason at any time before your scheduled stay this summer, we will refund your deposit. For those who choose to put their deposit toward the summer of 2021 we will in turn offer you the 2020 rates for your Summer ’21 stay. Keeping the dream of being together in the pines is our most important goal right now.
Please stay healthy.
Sam & Nathalie
Letter March 20th, 2020
Dear Quisi Family,
We hope this email finds you healthy and well. At this writing,
Marshall is busy hiring, Shannon is planning some new additions to our menu, Pete & Mark are hammering away on two new cabins and Nicole is taking reservations.
Hopefully we will have a better understanding in the coming months on whether the virus will affect our summer. We will be moving our cancelation date to May 1st and then evaluate from there. Please do not worry about your deposit at this point. Our goal is to have you at Quisisana, not keep your deposit.
We wish we could give you more concrete information and would be happy to answer any questions by email or telephone.
Remember, Quisisana is still three months away. Please stay healthy & hopefully we will be together under the pines soon enough!
Sam & Nathalie Orans
914-833-0293 Winter Office