April 8th, 2008: Well we’re finished all our shows for the season, and we’re getting right into spring already! It still looks an awful lot like winter up at the lodge and there’s still a lot of ice down south so we’re worried about it being a late thaw this year. We have guests booked as early as May 18th, which is normally safe and should give us a week of open water before the first guests arrive, but so far this year there has only been a couple of days where there has been some melting up north. Our fuel haul in March did not work out, there was just too much snow on the runway to get it opened up for the freight plane to come in. Myself and a crew of guys will be going to the lodge this weekend to get the runway opened for the fuel and freight haul at the end of the month and to build a new dock at the lodge. Then we’re hoping that the ice lets out early enough so that we can get into Aswap to build a new full bathroom on the cabin, I have all the materials, we just need to get in there and get it done.
We’ve had a number of disappointing cancellations over the past 2 weeks, it reminds us that we have to be much more strict about getting deposits from groups so that we do not end up having holes in the schedule and wasting thousands of dollars at sportshows telling people we are booked. For those who cancel this late and have a deposit in, there’s not much we can do to refund the deposit, there’s really no point in taking a deposit if we can just allow you to cancel at anytime without penalty. If we’re able to fill in your date without having to discount it, then we can help out with the deposit by applying it to next season.
- May 28 – June 1 (4 days of fishing) for up to 10 people, special rate of $1999 per person.
- June 1 – 4 (3 days of fishing) for up to 8 people, special rate of $1599 per person.
- Combine May 28 – June 4 (7 days of fishing) for up to 8 people, special rate of $2499 per person.
- May 28 – June 1 at Aswap Lake for 4 – 8 people, special rate of $899 per person.
- July 6 – 13 (7 days of fishing) for up to 10 people, special rate of $2299 per person.
- July 17 – 24 (7 days of fishing) for up to 8 people, special rate of $2299 per person.
- July 17 – 20 (3 days of fishing) for up to 8 people, special rate of $1499 per person.
- July 20 – 24 (4 days of fishing) for up to 8 people, special rate of $1899 per person.
- August 7 – 12 (5 days of fishing) for up to 10 people, special rate of $2099 per person.
- August 12 – 17 (5 days of fishing) for up to 16 people, special rate of $2099 per person.
On the bright side, we’ve been able to resell all of the outpost dates that have become open again except for the late May date at Aswap. I will keep this list updated on the rates page.
Also, we have almost all our staff hired for this season! We have a great chef lined up who has some good ideas and the experience at some high end restaurants. Our new pilot also has some great experience flying floats in the Rockies, so this should be easy for him! And, we’ve found some great new guides with some more new ideas and fishing techniques to bring to the table.
We’re still looking forward to a great season despite the cancellations, it won’t be quite as full as last season, but last season broke a 6 year record and this year the American economy could be much better, so all in all we can’t complain. On a real positive note, we’re not only going to get through these tough seasons with the dollar at par, but we’re still able to put more back into the lodge like last year with the new cabin, new boat seats, new equipment for the outposts and this season with a new dock, a new bathroom at Aswap, new boat seats and other equipment for the outposts and we’ll likely rebuild the cabin at Kitchi Lake this year because I think the outposts are going to be even busier next season. All this and we’re paying down our debt to the bank from purchasing the lodge in 2006. We’re in a much better position than many of our competitors, three of which in Manitoba alone have gone bankrupt over the past couple of years. So your deposit is safe when booking with our lodge and outposts!