Written by Contributed
Campers who want to spend their summer vacations in Saskatchewan’s provincial parks will be able to start making campsite reservations on Monday, March 2, and those wanting to apply for seasonal ones need to submit an application for a draw for an opportunity to get in first by tonight at midnight.
“Camping in Saskatchewan Provincial Parks is exceptionally popular,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Mark Docherty said. “In fact, it is so popular that in past years the campsite reservation system hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. The experience of our visitors is very important to us, and we have made some important changes to our reservation system this year.”
As in previous years, the launch will be staggered, with different parks becoming available on different days.
This year, however, the launch will be spread out over more days than in the past.
This was a suggestion made by campers, and this change will help to reduce the demands placed on the system.
In addition to spreading the launch over more days this year, a queuing system will also be implemented.
This system will enable SaskParks to manage how many people are accessing the reservation system at once. At peak volume times, visitors attempting to access the reservation website may find themselves redirected to the queue, waiting to enter the reservation website. This process will help to both ensure the stability of the reservation system and that demand is met.
As in past years, reservations will open at 7 a.m. each day. The queuing system will begin each morning at 6:40. As customers attempt to access the reservation website between 6:40 and 7 a.m., they will be moved to the queue and assigned a random number.
Beginning at 7 a.m., customers will be redirected to the reservation website based on their unique number. As new people attempt to access the reservation website, they will receive a place in line.
In the fall of 2014, the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport asked its visitors whether or not they supported the idea of allowing Saskatchewan residents an opportunity to book their nightly camping in advance of people from other provinces or countries.
A large number of responses were received and the majority of people were not in favour of a “Saskatchewan First” system. The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport is appreciative of the opportunity to engage with its visitors in this way and thanks everyone who took the time to respond. The nightly reservation system will continue to allow all campers the same opportunity to book their Saskatchewan vacation.
Campers who are interested in the opportunity to have a seasonal campsite in one of the provincial parks have until tomorrow, Thursday, January 29 at midnight to submit their applications online. The draw to award the campsites will be made on Monday, February 2.
The schedule for reservation launch is as follows:
• Monday, March 2: Blackstrap, Pike Lake
• Tuesday, March 3: Buffalo Pound, Danielson, Douglas
• Wednesday, March 4: Echo Valley, Rowan’s Ravine
• Thursday, March 5: Duck Mountain, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake
• Friday, March 6: Crooked Lake, Moose Mountain
• Saturday, March 7: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
• Sunday, March 8: The Battlefords, Saskatchewan Landing
• Monday, March 9: Meadow Lake
• Tuesday, March 10: Bronson Forest Recreation Site, Chitek Lake Recreation Site, Lac La Ronge, Makwa Lake
• Wednesday, March 11: Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Narrow Hills.
The opposition is not impressed with this system however.
NDP Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport critic Cathy Sproule wants the government to reconsider its refusal to give Saskatchewan families first crack at Saskatchewan campsites this summer.
In September, the premier said the government would consider giving Saskatchewan people a head start when it comes to booking provincial campsites. Tuesday, the government announced it wouldn’t follow through on that.
“The parks belong to Saskatchewan people,” said Sproule. “We love showing off Saskatchewan’s beautiful parks and lakes to the world, and we welcome tourism. But, giving Saskatchewan families a short head start on accessing some favorite campsites is common sense.
Sproule said giving Saskatchewan campers a small window to reserve their favorite site before the system is opened to campers from outside the province is a small way to ensure there are affordable recreation and vacation opportunities for Saskatchewan families, whose tax dollars help support the parks on top of camping fees.
Annually, there is a rush to book in-demand campsites through an online reservation system. In addition, the government contracted out the booking system to an out-of-province company, which caused crashes and billing errors last spring. The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the value and importance of Saskatchewan’s provincial parks and continues to invest in them. The 2014-15 budget increased funding to provincial parks by 4.6 per cent and capital investments will total a record $14.9 million this year.
via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post http://ift.tt/1BtSQn9