Just recently, Dakota Dunes Resort and Casino was recognized for its tourist innovation over the last few years. At this year’s edition of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, the gaming resort was given the business innovation award, which acknowledges businesses that have demonstrated the ability to adapt after the emergence of the unprecedented situation of 2020.
Besides recognizing businesses for their acclimatization to the post-unprecedented situation landscape, the award also acknowledges those who have started after the emergence of the virus. It should be mentioned that Dakota Dunes Resort and Casino expanded its operations to provide a full-service resort option for guests back in October 2020.
Celebrating Indigenous Tourism
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada announced that the winner of this year’s business innovation award was Dakota Dunes Resort and Casino at the International Indigenous Tourism Conference held in Manitoba. As the name of the association suggests, this honour celebrates Indigenous tourism and their activities across the Great White North.
In an interview, CEO and President of ITAC, Keith Henry commented that the resort’s success can be attributed to Chief Darcy Bear’s determination to develop a world-class Indigenous resort. He added that despite the recent industrial challenges and closures, the casino managed to establish itself as one of the few Saskatoon hotels to get a perfect 5 of 5 TripAdvisor rating.
Furthermore, Mr. Henry commented that the winners of the award represent an impressive and diverse group of Indigenous operators from coast to coast that have successfully navigated through the last several turbulent years. He added that they now continue to lead and thrive in the markets after the effects of the unprecedented situation have almost dissipated.
Lastly, Mr. Henry mentioned that every winner and finalist in the awards should feel incredibly proud of their contributions to the current success and growth of the industry. He also explained that during the lockdown years, the sector essentially lost almost 30 years of growth in just about 20 months. However, business is recovering well now.
Launching Its First Sports Bar
It should also be noted, that this March, Dakota Dunes Resort and Casino debuted a sports bar on its premises. This is the first sports bar for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority and it is branded Sevens Sports Bar. According to SIGA’s Zane Hanson, the launch of the bar was possible only after the introduction of regulated online gaming in the province.
Saskatchewan’s iGaming market is rather new as it first started taking online bets in November 2022. For November and December 2022, the market generated more than CA$31.8 million in online wagering handle. A platform for the digital initiative was provided by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and its PlayNow online betting site.
Source: Philip, Chandra “Dakota Dunes recognized for tourism innovation” CTV News, March 15, 2023