E-bike rentals are available at Pike Lake, Blackstrap Provincial Park, and Moose Mountain Provincial Park. Photo credit: Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport has partnered with 14 new local businesses throughout the province to enhance visitors’ experiences at provincial parks during the summer season.

Amenities such as e-bike rentals, youth swimming lessons at the lake, farmers’ markets, fully-furnished cabin rentals, new food offerings and more, have been added to different parks within the province.

“We’ve been partnering with private businesses for a lot of years now,” said Jordan Huber, Director for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.

“We work with our private businesses to bring a full range of high quality services and recreational opportunities to parks that compliment our core services.

“It encourages development in the private sector, growth and investment in the province, and enhances the tourism sector and supports the local economies, all at the same time.”

The new additions to the parks are to improve tourism within the province and to encourage people to get out more during the warm weather, said Huber.

“We have a lot of different businesses, we have mini-golf that’s mostly operated outside, we have our fixed roof accommodations so people can go check out the park and if it’s bad weather, they can go hang inside,” he said.

“We have grocery stores, restaurants, concessions, e-bike rentals, there’s just a lot of different options tourism related and any other services you’re looking for in parks.”

Over the last few years the provincial government has been making an effort to bring more businesses to help improve the park lifestyle

“It’s been sort of a change in direction over the last handful of years. We’ve been trying to communicate regularly with the public and private sector that we are open for business,” Huber said.

“Our business development team often provides communication on our Facebook page saying ‘if you’re interested in operating a business in Sask Parks, please reach out. We would love to work with you.’

“We’re ready and open to operate with the private sector to provide some new services to the visitors.”

Small business owners can still reach out to the ministry of parks if they are interested in bringing their business to a local provincial park for the summer.

“They can contact us at any time. Depending on what service they’re offering, if it’s less infrastructure intensive we can sign a one-year agreement to test out that product or service,” said Huber.

“If there’s more infrastructure we usually open it up and have a competition that’s transparent and fair to the community. That usually takes a little bit more time, but definitely adds a little bit of value when you have multiple proposals.”

The following parks in the province have new accommodations and new experiences for visitors to enjoy this summer:

– Fully-furnished cabin rentals offered by Lake Time Rentals at Meadow Lake Provincial Park

– Fully-furnished cabin rentals offered by Mistik Resort at Good Spirit Provincial Park

– Inflatable waterpark offered by Sask Aquatic Adventures at Moose Mountain Provincial Park

– Specialized paddle and marine-related training, specialist water and ice rescue courses, first aid and other specialized training, offered by Amphibious Response Support Unit ONE at Echo Valley Provincial Park

– Three styles of E-bike rentals offered by 306 E-bike Rentals at Moose Mountain Provincial Park

– E-bikes and fat bike rentals offered by Aurora E-bike Rentals at Pike Lake and Blackstrap Provincial Parks

– Youth swimming lessons on the lake with Shara Vick at Makwa Lake Provincial Park

– Youth swimming lessons on the lake with Shayla Huber at Katepwa Point Provincial Park

– Good Spirit Summer Market at Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park

– Greenwater Farmer’s Market at Greenwater Lake Provincial Park

– Lakeside Market at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park

– Hot dogs, hamburgers, mini donuts, sweet treats and more offered by Perras Carnival Treats at Echo Valley Provincial Park

– Baked treats, specialty coffee, sandwiches and other snacks offered by Travelling Bakery at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park

– Handmade, locally-sourced pizza and burgers offered by La Fenice Pizzeria at Candle Lake Provincial Park

Huber said he hopes people and families enjoy their time at the regional parks across the province since the new additions have been supplied.

“We’re just hoping this can add to their experience in Sask Parks whether it’s customer service, recreational opportunities or being outside during the summer months, they are all very important to Sask Parks, and anyway that our visitors can go out and support these small businesses is definitely a plus.”

He spoke about why it was important for the ministry to partner with local small businesses.

“One of our province’s mandates is growth, and small business growth is definitely important to the province of Saskatchewan,” said Huber.

“Anytime we can partner with the private sector to get them making some money tourism related, or otherwise, is always a positive.”

Update on water park at Kenosee Lake

The well-known Kenosee Superslides at Kenosee Lake has been temporarily closed the past few summers due to Sask Health Authority requirements not being fulfilled.

Huber was asked what the provincial government’s plans are for opening the water slides back up to the public.

“The superslides will not be open this year. We’re still working through what the next steps are going to be with the old water park,” he said.

“However, we do have the new inflatable water park that’s going to be on Kenosee Lake at the beach there. I’ve seen the new designs and drawings of what that water park is going to look like and it’s going be big and attract a lot of visitors. It’s going to be super fun for the summer that’s for sure.”

The ministry said plans for the superslides are still being decided.

By Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 04, 2023 at 09:32

This item reprinted with permission from   Moosomin World-Spectator   Moosomin, Saskatchewant

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