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'Busier than we anticipated': Kayaks, cottages selling as Sask. vacationers head to the lake during COVID-19

Reference: CTV News

SASKATOON -- When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kevin Robinson, owner of Eb’s Source for Adventure, had to make a big decision.

"It was just passed mid-March when we started closing down. I actually laid off all of my staff, it was probably my darkest day in business," Robinson said.

"I’ve slowly been bringing them back ever since."

Now Robinson has more of a need than ever for his staff as kayaks and canoes are selling quickly while people look to the lake.

"We’re just seeing more and more families staying close to home. So that obviously means go to the lake. People are re-evaluating what they have to do for fun on the lakes," Robinson said.

He said that once they were able to reopen he was hoping business would be good, but he didn’t expect as many sales as he saw.

"I started to anticipate people having staycation and backyard camping and all that kind of stuff. We were expecting it to be busy, although it’s been busier than we anticipated," Robinson said.

Robinson said there have been some difficulties with brining product in as many of his North American manufacturers had to shut down and are now operating at reduced capacity.

Robinson said he is already thinking months ahead, planning out all the cross-country skis he hopes to sell once snow begins to fall.

Realty Executives real estate agent Mark Larson has also noticed more people heading towards cottage country.

He says he has found that in some areas of the province there have been nearly twice as many cottage sales from this time last year.

"From June 1 to today, so approximately two months, in 2019 for Emma/Christopher (Lakes) we had 10 firm sales and in 2020 same time period we’ve had 19," Larson said.

Larson said he is wondering what will happen in a few months when snowbirds will have to make a decision about international travel... Read More