July 13, 2014 6:52 pm

Saskatchewan’s biggest party means big bucks for local businesses

REGINA – Craven Country Jamboree continues to draw more than 26,000 people every year — and that’s good news for surrounding businesses.

Each morning, hundreds of festival-goers swarm local shops and restaurants to restock and refuel.

Mathew Solomon travelled from Edmonton, and said he ran out of supplies after a big night Saturday.

“It’s nice to have the store here to be able to have the luxury of refueling.”

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The crowd has grown in size every July, and that’s something the owner of Craven Motor Inn, Carolyn McKay, is happy to accommodate.

“We bring in a whole lot more beer,” she explained. “I think we brought in 16 palettes of beer to help us get through it and we stocked up with extra staff. Usually we get things all ready the week before so come Monday we’re ready for anything.”

Most festival fans are restocking on alcohol, camping supplies and looking for a good meal before returning to the party.

Owner of Craven Country Restaurant, Gary Matlock, said that business has been a lot busier than usual.

“I love it. It’s just great for us. It gets our name on the map, gets our restaurant out there. It’s just beautiful.”

Perhaps one reason business is booming, is the event’s substantial growth over the past 10 years.
The director of marketing with the Craven Country Jamboree, Kim Blevins, said the talent budget has grown from $800,000 to $2.6 million in a decade.

“Back then $800,000 was a lot of money, and now $2.6 is a lot of money as well. But the thing we have been able to do is keep our ticket prices reasonably low.”

Even with a low ticket price, those returning every year say costs do add up.

“All together with tickets and camping, probably spent about $1,000,” said Solomon.

Despite the funds spent, it doesn’t appear anyone is leaving with any regrets.

“The music’s been worth the trip, and just the experience. The atmosphere’s been a lot of fun. It’s quite the thing they put on out here,” Solomon added.

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