Clubhouse reopens Tuesday with enticing new dishes, a slew of new dining options

After capably handling the recent wintery wallop, Big Canoe is due for some fun – and an invigorating blast arrives on Tuesday, Jan. 25 in the form of the reopening of the Clubhouse on Lake Sconti.

When the Clubhouse reopens, there will be plenty of changes worth noting including:

The introduction of specially curated standalone menus for lunch and dinner.
Expanded hours: We’re now open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so folks coming home from work will have more opportunities to dine
New menu items that range from a tuna poke bowl to chicken Madeira to a meatball hero on ciabatta
A standalone brunch menu every Sunday morning to go along with the separate lunch menu
The addition of a healthy options section of the menu
Adult dining in the Sconti room every evening, with dining also available for families in the main dining room
Fine dining on Saturdays with a “European-style” menu that changes weekly based on the availability of local ingredients
A special Happy Hour menu exclusive to the Black Bear Pub is available from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays
Weekly dinner specials Wednesday through Saturday starting Feb. 2

And don’t worry: Many longstanding favorites, from steak frites to the 8 oz. pub burger to chicken tenders, are a key part of the menu. From 3:30 to 5 p.m. between the lunch and dinner servings, only small plates will be available – except for those dining in the Black Bear Pub during those hours Tuesdays through Thursdays.

Along with the annual deep clean and seasonal maintenance, we completed some extensive training to get both our new and existing staff members to be even more responsive to the needs of guests.

“Our team has been trained to be even more proactive,” says Carrie Scott, director of amenities, “to anticipate the needs of guests rather than wait for them to request something.”

From exciting new small plates choices to reworkings of old favorites to drink specials that will tickle your inner mixologist, more additions are coming to Clubhouse dining. Continue following Inside the Gates online and Big Canoe Events and Happenings Facebook page to keep up with these great new additions.

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Don’t throw ’em out: Donate your Christmas decorations for a good cause

By Beth Herren

Everyone knows that December is the month for holiday cheer and Christmas decorating, not
July. But this is not a typo.

The Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Fellowship is simply planning ahead for a fabulous holiday fundraiser that happens to be in July. So while you are packing up your decorations, please keep us in mind. We will gladly accept all decorations you no longer want to use and store them until July when we have our Christmas in July Sale. And to make it easy for you to participate, we will be accepting your donated items from 10-11 a.m. or 1-2 p.m. every Wednesday in January in the Chapel upper parking lot. You don’t even have to get out of your car!

Remember, all proceeds from all of the Women’s Fellowship’s fundraisers go to local charities helping women and children in need in north Georgia. For more information, please contact either Virginia Brodwater or Maureen Clay at WomensFellowship@bigcanoechapel.org.

Open to all women, Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Fellowship is a welcoming community-wide organization whose activities enrich member’s lives and create a legacy of caring and giving in north Georgia. To learn more, please go to www.women.bigcanoechapel.com or join us on the Big Canoe Chapel Women’s Fellowship Facebook page.

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Coming soon: The new POA website

The POA is always looking for ways to make Big Canoe better, whether it’s a facility upgrade, improvements to our Clubhouse, or a new way to improve how our community can connect.

With that in mind, we want to prime you for a key 2022 development we’re most excited about: the launch of our new POA website.

In early 2022, you’ll see the introduction of a new, more user-friendly site that prioritized ease-of-use. We’re reorganizing the pages so that locking in tee times or reserving a pontoon boat; or checking your statement, finding your favorite clubs, and reviewing the calendar under your My Big Canoe tab is easier than ever.

And because so many of you have asked for it, we are adding a search function that will allow Property Owners to quickly zero in on the precise info they seek.

As someone around the POA offices likes to say, “it’s a journey, not a light switch.” And long after the new site goes live, we’ll continue to spend much of the year revising, updating and improving content to better serve you. It’s a detailed, painstaking process that will be ongoing – a stage in which community feedback will prove vital.

While our website is an essential tool for so many, it’s also a digital front door to our community. As such, we can’t wait to show you in as soon as we’re live.

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Big Canoe back open on Wednesday

5 p.m. TUESDAY, JAN. 18 UPDATE: With much of the recent snow and ice melted, Big Canoe on Wednesday will open all amenities except the golf courses – though the driving range and Pro Shop will be open. Access for visitors and contractors entering the gates will be restored.

Most of our ice-covered roads have thawed, but please exercise caution in case of black ice while driving at elevations of 2,000 feet or higher on Wednesday morning. The same rule applies to crossing bridges and overpasses, which will ice overnight.

In case of a fallen limb or tree, please call Public Safety at (706) 268-3376.

As always, call 911 in case of emergency.

Keep up with the latest weather developments on the National Weather Service website.

The POA will continue to provide weather updates via email and through the Big Canoe Events and Happenings Facebook page.

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National Weather Service message for Big Canoe area: Stay off the Roads

10:30 a.m. MONDAY, JAN. 17 UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for Pickens and Dawson counties “where temperatures are expected to remain below freezing all day Monday.” A wind advisory is also in effect until 7 p.m.

Please do not become complacent and wrongly assume it is safe to drive. “Slick road conditions remain a concern,” especially on mountainous terrain, NWS announced. Please err on the side of caution and stay off the road rather than put yourselves and POA employees at risk.

Public Works will continue to ensure that one lane is consistently cleared for emergency vehicles from the Main Gate to the North Gate.

Because of the weather, all amenities are closed today and gate access is closed to visitors and contractors and limited to Property Owners in order for staffers to clear as many secondary and tertiary roads as possible.

Keep up with the latest weather developments on the National Weather Service website.
Utilities Inc. of Georgia, the water utility that services Big Canoe and is not operated by the POA, is recommending that “Big Canoe residents should be prepared for potential water outages, especially those who live in the higher elevations.”
If you have any UIG or water-related questions, call 706-268-3400 or email bigcanoe@uiwater.com.

Through the weekend, the POA will continue to provide weather updates via email and through the Big Canoe Events and Happenings Facebook page.

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Winter Storm Warning for Big Canoe in effect until midnight Sunday, Jan. 16

10 a.m. SUNDAY. JAN. 16 UPDATE: The National Weather Service forecast for Pickens and Dawson counties calls for a Winter Storm Warning through midnight with heavy mixed precipitation; snow accumulations of two to five inches, with up to eight inches possible at elevations above 2,500 feet; ice accumulations of up to two-tenths of an inch; and wind gusting over 35 m.p.h. in the valleys and over 50 m.p.h. on ridgetops and at elevations 2,500 feet and above till about 2 p.m. today.

“Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the strong winds, heavy snow and ice. Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the NWS announced.

Although every Big Canoe road was brined on Friday, the POA strongly urges everyone to stay home and off the road at least through Monday, and possibly Tuesday, depending on the weather conditions and your elevation.

Many streets are currently impassable and the dangerous combination of ice accumulations and 35 to 50 m.p.h. wind gusts will make Big Canoe’s winding, steep roads even more dangerous.

To provide access for emergency vehicles, POA plows this morning cleared a single lane and applied a salt-and-grit mixture from the Main Gate to the North Gate. The Public Works vehicles have begun plowing from the higher elevations and are working their way down toward lower elevations.

Please stay off the roads as driving in Big Canoe in these conditions unnecessarily puts both travelers and POA employees at risk.

As always, call 911 in case of emergency.

As a result of the weather, all amenities are closed on Sunday and Monday.

Keep up with the latest weather developments on the National Weather Service website.

Utilities Inc. of Georgia, the water utility that services Big Canoe and is not operated by the POA, is recommending that “Big Canoe residents should be prepared for potential water outages, especially those who live in the higher elevations. A supply of bottled water is recommended, and it is also a good idea to capture water in a bathtub or other large container when possible.” UIG, which suggests preparing as far in advance as possible, will communicate information on any pending outage.

If you have any UIG or water-related questions, call 706-268-3400 or email bigcanoe@uiwater.com.

Through the weekend, the POA will continue to provide weather updates via email and through the Big Canoe Events and Happenings Facebook page.

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Big Canoe weather update Friday, Jan. 14

The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy mixed precipitation starting Saturday evening with a total accumulation of 2 to 3 inches of snow with amounts up to 5 inches at elevations above 2,000 feet into Sunday. Ice accumulations and wind gusts as high as 35 m.p.h. are possible, which will make Big Canoe’s winding, steep roads impassable.

The POA strongly urges everyone to stay home and off the road starting Saturday evening and to plan on remaining at home at least on Sunday and Monday, and possibly Tuesday, depending on the weather conditions and your elevation.

Every single Big Canoe road is being brined today in advance of the storm.

Please take advantage of the advance notice to follow the advice of Fire Chief Ricky Jordan, who recommends that all Property Owners stock their homes with enough food, water and prescription medicines to last for at least several days. Firewood, extra clothes, blankets, flashlights with fresh batteries and candles are good to have on hand in case of power outages and propane shortages. And keep up with the latest weather developments on the National Weather Service website.

As a result of the weather, all amenities will be closed on Sunday.

As always, call 911 in case of emergency.

Utilities Inc. of Georgia, the water utility that services Big Canoe and is not operated by the POA, is recommending that “Big Canoe residents should be prepared for potential water outages, especially those who live in the higher elevations. A supply of bottled water is recommended, and it is also a good idea to capture water in a bathtub or other large container when possible.” UIG, which suggests preparing as far in advance as possible, will communicate information on any pending outage.

If you have any UIG or water-related questions, call 706-268-3400 or email bigcanoe@uiwater.com.

Through the weekend, the POA will continue to provide weather updates via email and through the Big Canoe Events and Happenings Facebook page.

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Marina enhances safety in the quiet of the winter months

Photo by Gene Pennington

By Tom Durban

During the quiet time of fall and winter the Marina has a chance to catch its breath and take care of projects. One of those projects is an upgrade to the pontoon boats that is mostly unseen but important to our patrons.

All the large pontoon boats have had two safety-related upgrades: 1) Locking neutral throttle mechanism and; 2) Safety cage around the propeller. These two changes provide an enhanced level of safety, particularly for people swimming off the boats.

The locking neutral throttle mechanism ensures the propeller is stopped whenever the boat captain puts the boat in neutral. I’m addition, a wire cage has been installed around the propeller to provide another level of safety. These changes have been planned for some time and the Marina is happy to make them a reality.

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Sign up to donate at the Big Canoe Blood Drive on Feb. 24

The Wellness Collaborative is back with the Big Canoe Blood Drive in memory of Joyce Chura from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in McCormick Hall in the Big Canoe Chapel.

Along with the knowledge that they are helping others, donors will also get complimentary T-shirts, gift cards and cholesterol screenings.

An active volunteer involved in such groups as Big Canoe Animal Rescue and the Programs & Events Committee, Chura also was instrumental in starting the blood drives here in Big Canoe.

You can schedule an appointment here.

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What to know about monthly assessment increases

As outlined in the POA Board meeting on Nov. 18 and again at the annual Town Hall meeting held at the Chapel in Dec. 4, the POA monthly assessment to Property Owners increased by $30. To understand what that money pays for: $15 of that goes toward operations – this assessment hasn’t been increased since 2019 – and $15 goes toward capital expenses.

Watch the presentation from the November Board meeting for a detailed debrief on the POA’s financials and 2022 budget, which starts at the 48:00 mark here, with specifics on the assessment increase at the 1:24:50 mark here.

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