Two Saskatchewan Tourism award winners in southwest PDF Print
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Written by Marcia Love   
Monday, 26 March 2012 20:48

Two tourist attractions in the Southwest have been recognized with Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence. Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd. was named Rookie of the Year and Consul's Reno Rodeo was the recipient of the Event of the Year Award for a budget under $20,000 at the Saskatchewan Tourism Awards Gala in Regina on March 22.
Jori Kirk, founder and CEO of Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures, said the wins raise the profile of the tourism industry in the Southwest.
"It just shows that there's so many different things to do for all types of people. It shows that in everything, from events to tourist attractions to accommodations, we're leading the way in all of those little areas throughout the province," he explained, noting Redmond House Bed & Breakfast and Dining Establishment was also in the running as one of three finalists for the Business of the Year Award in the under 50 full-time employees category. The award was presented to the Barn Playhouse in Saskatoon.
"The neat part is that... there's a lot of people that realize the Cypress Hills is there, and for people that always wanted to come down here and never have had anything to pull them, I think this recognition will pull people that way," Kirk added.
He said the award shows how committed the 11 employees of Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures are to visitor satisfaction.
"It says a lot about our staff, because when you're trying to do an experience, the staff is basically everything. When they were giving a tour, they were just so proud of what they were doing. They all felt a bit of ownership with the company, and it definitely translated into a good experience for people."
At the awards gala, the Reno Rodeo & Ag. Society was described as creating "a Saskatchewan field of dreams... with nothing but a vision – no money, arena, bleachers or other facility."
The committee is thrilled to have the "biggest little rodeo in the West" placed in the spotlight with the award.
Doug Richards, a member of the Reno Rodeo & Ag. Society, said the whole community can be proud of the accomplishment.
"If it wasn't for our volunteers and our sponsors and everybody involved in the rodeo, it wouldn't have been possible," he explained. "It's nice to be recognized for the work and the effort that was put in to make our rodeo as successful as it is."
Richards hopes the acknowledgment will draw more people to the Reno Rodeo as well as other attractions in the area.
"Not only will it help our rodeo as far as being recognized and people maybe making it a destination, but it's good for all the other things that go on down here," he said. "We're putting Consul on the map."
Now entering its fifth year, this is the second award the Reno Rodeo has won. The event was named Rodeo of the Year by the Canadian Cowboys Association two years ago.
"It feels pretty good," Richards said. "Obviously we're doing something right and we're going to try and continue that."

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Secrets of the Southwest
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