Accommodations in the resort community are largely booked until the third week of August, chamber treasurer Randy Kershaw told Global News. Hotels are reserved on most weekends, with some weekdays still available.
Rather than travelling out of province, many tourists are choosing to stay within Saskatchewan’s borders. Prince Albert National Park and its Waskesiu townsite remain popular choices.
“Waskesiu is really busy right now,” Kershaw said. “Lots of local Saskatchewan people are staying home.”
He noted the closure of Elk Ridge Resort and renovations at another hotel have also put accommodations at a premium.
This spring, COVID-19 meant prospects didn’t look “very rosy” for Waskesiu businesses, Kershaw said. Provincial restrictions on businesses led to financial hardship for some.
“The hotels are doing very, very well, but the retail businesses still have to pick up the loss of income from May and the first part of June,” Kershaw said.
The Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce has also lost its primary source of income, as all hall rentals have been cancelled. Restrictions on mass gatherings have prevented weddings, conferences and reunions from going ahead.
Waskesiu is about 230 km north of Saskatoon.