With Moose Jaw’s economy so dependent on tourism, it’s no surprise that 2020 was a difficult year for many local businesses.
At Tourism Moose Jaw, the number of visitors entering its doors fell by 63 percent, according to managing director Jacki L’Heuruex-Mason. Overall, the statistics are a bit mixed.
“Whether it’s that [the size of our city] or our community spirit, “explains L’Heuruex-Mason,” we seem a little less destroyed than some other parts of the world. We had a lot of cool initiatives encouraging people to shop locally and I think that was really effective. However, there is definitely a segment of the industry, particularly hotels and restaurants, that were not built to take away and are enjoying great success. “
Still, L’Heuruex-Mason says the past few years have been very good for the local hotels and that they have saved some money.
“They were smart with their money, but we can’t take it for granted. If we can support these local businesses in any way, I think we have to take it seriously.”
One of the initiatives Tourism Moose Jaw is taking to boost local businesses is the launch of their family and couple stay packages. These packages offer an all-in-one discount to local hotels, restaurants and shops and are currently available to both residents and visitors.
“You don’t even have to think about it, they’re all wrapped up for you. Maybe you’re tired of looking at the four walls you’re stuck in and you just want to get the kids out and give yourself something to look at There’s also someone out there who just focuses on couples who need a little break. You can have a really great, safe, and fun trip even if it’s only 15 minutes away. “
Even with vaccines on the horizon, we are not out of the woods yet and the next few months could be some of the toughest for the local economy. L’Heuruex-Mason, however, is hoping for what she calls a “slingshot” economy in which the local economy comes out of the gate with a boom after the pandemic ends.
“People are going to go crazy. They will want to explore once they feel safe. We’ve worked as part of a restoration team with the city and a number of other community organizations and we’re definitely ready for it. That would be the best scenario. Da Moose Jaw is a very affordable and accessible place, I see we are having a lot of success. “
At the end of the day, L’Heuruex-Mason says some companies have slipped through love no matter how determined the efforts were to keep them open. The good news, however, is that most of the local businesses have been able to keep their doors open, thanks in large part to the people of Moose Jaw.
“I’m really proud of the stance Moose Javians has taken when it comes to supporting local businesses. Lots of people have explored local businesses that they have never been to before. I want people to understand where these are from Dollars come from These are the people and places that are the first to give back to sports teams and health concerns. They support us, so it is good that we support them. “