Good afternoon to all!
*Our thoughts are with everyone dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, and we hope everyone and their families who were affected are recuperating well.*
I have just returned home to Illinois after traveling solo to Thunder Bay, Ontario!
The 2012 annual NOTO (Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario) conference was held in Thunder Bay this past week and I had the opportunity to attend. This organization does advocacy work for the outdoor tourism industry and provides loads of information and opportunity for lodge owners such as ourselves. You may find more information about what they do on their website here. It also gave me a chance to surround myself with other camp owners, many from the Red Lake area, to swap stories and advice regarding lodge ownership.
There were 10 people in attendance from the Red Lake area, many of which I had not properly met. Here we are just after one of the many sessions I attended at the conference.
What a great opportunity to introduce myself and get to know other people in the industry! Travis was unfortunately unable to join me – my work schedule is much more flexible than his. Having one of us attend provided a great way to learn more about what is happening in Ontario regarding outdoor tourism, specifically in Northern Ontario. I got to hear several presentations on a wide range of subjects. One thing discussed and presented by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had to do with an update and response to the new online fishing license system. They are definitely working on ironing out any kinks that were faced during the first season. What do you guys think? Did you or will you renew your fishing license with the new on-line system? If you did this past summer, how did it work for you?
The annual general meeting took place during the conference as well. During the meeting, elections for the board were held and I was voted in to join the board of directors as a representative of the northwest region. Towards the end of the summer the owners of Bow Narrows Camp (located further west on Red Lake from us) talked to me about becoming involved with the board for the NOTO organization. They recommended me to run this year to fill an opening in the northwest region. I am excited at the chance to become more involved with the industry and hopefully meet more people and help out others in tourism.
Overall it was a great trip and the drive along the north shore of Lake Superior was beautiful. I did however miss all the trick-or-treaters that visited our neighborhood on Halloween night. Travis had a blast handing out candy until he practically ran out! We hope you all had a great Halloween and are ready for Thanksgiving. Is it possible that it is less than three weeks away?