Cabin fever in the Moose Mountains

The Moose Mountains in southeast Saskatchewan continue to be a major attraction to people wanting to enjoy the summer weather.

The region has many attractions in and around the scenic area, and draws tourists from every corner of the province. Normally on a long weekend, the area has tourists from a much larger area, drawing people from the U.S. and the western provinces, but due to travel restrictions, and concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, it was anyone’s guess how much traffic the area would garner.

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There were lots of attractions to entice the tourists to the area and by most reports, they are showing good numbers. The golf courses were booked solid at Kenosee Lake, White Bear, Carlyle and Moose Creek, which has been the case since they reopened. They are seeing extra traffic, since golf is one activity where physical distancing is easy to practise. 

The Moose Mountain Provincial Park [MMPP] was host to a drive-in movie Friday night at the temporary venue that was set up in the main beach parking lot. Showing on the screen was The Great Outdoors. As an added attraction were horses to acquaint people with, sponsored by Kenosee Lake Riding Academy and Masters Mini Golf, which had a special reduced rate on golf for the evening as well. The event was well attended and overall customers were very pleased to have another option for an evening out.

The Prairie Dog Drive In, just south of the Moose Mountains, held its own for numbers, with the big screen attracting good attendance for the weekend.

Just a short walk down the road from the main beach parking lot, the Kenosee Cubs were taking on the undefeated Estevan Wolves in the final night of Saskota Baseball League play. The Cubs erased the zero from the Wolves loss column, with the Cubs holding on to a 6-5 victory.

The Red Barn Market north of the MMPP also saw a busy Sunday, as it usually does. Playing live there, to the delight of those attending the outdoor market, were the Carragana Ramblers.

The main attraction at MMPP, White Bear Lake Resort and Moose Creek Regional Park would prove to be the hot sunny weather. Both the lakes and the Alameda Dam saw heavy boat traffic for the weekend. There was still some room on the water for a few more boats. The trailer parking was more than crowded to say the least and it was slow to get watercraft loaded at the end of the day.

One area attraction is the food service industry,  where it is a tough go in the restaurants and bars, having to reduce their capacities by 50 per cent or more to accommodate physical distancing guidelines put forth by the Saskatchewan Health Authority [SHA] for their reopening; making it a challenge to match pre-COVID-19 long weekend numbers.

In particular, the no dancing is very daunting for club owners and patrons and the seriousness of viral spread indoors seems to be keeping the public wary, causing most inside food sales to drop. With tight margins in the food service business it is difficult to give the same service with all the added conditions to maintain personal safety that the SHA has imposed to follow when open.

It is not possible to cut staff with the added safety guidelines to keep the numbers in the businesses’ favour and to deliver great service and a quality meal. For those customers choosing not to dine in, most if not all area restaurants offer takeout, so anyone worried about physical distancing can and should make use of that option and provide a boost to the hospitality and food service industry.

© Copyright Carlyle Observer

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