By Craig Baird of The Gull Lake Advance
As part of the research, Crownwest Continental Group found that those who reside elsewhere like Swift Current will drive through Gull Lake for work reasons. As for the reasons for not living in Gull Lake, the inadequate supply of homes for purchase, or rental opportunities, was stated as the main reason why. Those surveyed also felt the commercial and social amenities offered in Swift Current met their needs better.
In total, 44 per cent of people surveyed said they would seriously consider living in Gull Lake if their housing needs were met and the costs we less than what they are in Swift Current.
“We learned that if a branded motel with a restaurant with early and late service was available, between 30 and 40 rooms per night on a weekly basis, 40 plus weeks of the year, it would be filled,” McDonough said. “Mostly by staff of large companies who work in the oil and gas sector, however others would frequent this lodging as well.”
Of those surveyed, according to McDonough, 37 per cent travel through 40 to 45 weeks of the year.
“Through our research of polling 200 people who reside in Swift Current and drive through Gull Lake to work, and residents of Swift Current who would have reasons to come to Gull Lake other than employment,” McDonough said. “We believe that a minimum of 40 people, 60 including family, would move to Gull Lake if rental and purchase inventory meeting their requirements were available.”
In the study, the importance of small towns taking opportunities presented to them was stressed repeatedly.
“A declining population puts an economic strain on business and usually results in a decreasing tax base that limits civic spending in the community,” McDonough said. “Therefore, a community that embraces business opportunities and intelligent growth will have a better economy than a community that does not.”
The Crownwest Continental Group has in 2010 and 2011, completed nearly $2.5 million of economic development in Gull Lake, the largest residential development commitment to the Town by a private company.
“The warm and hospitable Town of Gull Lake can offer much to many starting with its great location for business and development.”