by Michael Joel-Hansen
THREE REGIONAL BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR SASK. TOURISM AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE
Three local businesses have been announced as finalists for Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence.
Grotto Gardens Country Market is nominated for the Fred Heal Tour ism Ambassador Award. While Ghostown Blues Bed and Breakfast is up for the Service Excellence Award.
The Historic Reesor Ranch is nominated for two awards. One being the Fred Heal Tourism Award. The ranch is also nominated for Business of the Year Award, for a business with under 20 employees. Scott and Theresa Reesor, own and operate the ranch. For them being recognized for the work they do is nice.
“It’s always humbling,” Theresa said, when reached at the ranch on Friday. Scott explained they do not look or think about the potential of being nominated for or winning awards while they are running their business.
“We just try to do what we do at the ranch,” he said.
He added being nominated for a Saskatchewan Tourism Award of Excellence is also nice because it comes from people involved in the industry.
“Some of our tourism partners have recognized us,” he said.
The ranch and the Reesors have won tourism awards in the past. In 2006 the ranch won the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award, an award which is no longer around. The award was for their contribution to tourism in the province. Theresa said being named as a finalist for the two awards is nice as the family recognizes the importance of tourism for people.
“You’ve got to take a break, people have busy lives,” she said.
Along with giving people the chance to get away and relax, Theresa said the ranch having a historical designation is something that is important to them. This is because it gives the couple the chance to teach people about the history of ranching in the province and its importance as an industry.
“The historical designation recognizes … that the ranch is an important part of Saskatchewan’s history,” she said.
Through operating their business, the Reesors have had the chance to meet people from all over the world who have come to stay with them. Theresa said the people who come to stay with them are a big reason why they do what they do.
“I think the people are the ones that encourage us to keeping doing it,” she said.
With the business operating and welcoming guests year-round the family is kept pretty busy, especially during the summer. However, despite this Scott and Theresa make the effort to be tourists themselves, and make sure to see parts of Saskatchewan they haven’t seen yet.
“We want to get to know our province more,” Theresa said.
This has taken them to places around the province like Manitou Beach and Biggar recently. Right now, the two have also been working on a redesign of their website, which is something Scott said they are excited about.
“(The) Reesor Ranch, new and improved,” he said.
Along with the Historic Reesor Ranch, Ghostown Blues Bed and Breakfast is also up for recognition. Owner Greg Hisey said when reached Friday he was appreciative of the nomination.
“It’s an honor to be nominated,” he said.
Hisey said he was happy to see his business nominated for the Ser vice Excellence Award in particular.
“It’s good, of all the awards, the service award is the one I’d prefer to get,” he said.
Hisey added being nominated for the service award reflects well on the business and all the people who work there. Ghostown Blues Bed and Breakfast has been running for seven years and has never been nominated for a tourism excellence award before. The bed and breakfast is a seasonal business which welcomes guest from May 1 until Sept. 30. Hisey said his business gets visitors from all over, something he credits to the overall area.
“(There’s) lots of interest in Cypress Hills, what we offer is unique,” he said.
The awards will be handed out April 12 in Regina at the Delta Hotels by Marriott.