Planning Your Family Reunion
There’s no better way to make memories with your family that by gathering all together in a special destination, or more specifically the Cypress Hills Destination Area.
If you’ve been given the daunting task of organizing a family reunion for your clan – here’s all you need to know about the amazing choices for groups of all sizes that we have to offer:
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – Saskatchewan
This is the main activity and resort area within the Cypress Hills. For family reunions or other groups you can do a mixture of booking a group campsite for those with RV’s and booking fixed-roof accommodations (hotel rooms, townhouses, and cabins) at The Resort at Cypress Hills for those who prefer less rustic accommodations.
There are a number of group campsites, as well as over 650 individual campsites. Group campsites can be booked now, (by calling 306 662 5411) while the individual campsites for the upcoming season will not be available for booking until **Update: Online Reservations start, Saturday April 16th, 2016 at 7am. http://saskparks.net/Reserve-a-Site
The Resort at Cypress Hills, offers hotel rooms, cabins and townhouses, and boasts a spa as well as meeting rooms and outside recreation areas (firepits, bbqs, seasonal recreation (volleyball, skating rink). The Resort also has a Group Coordinator by the name of Kim Zeman who is a great resource. Her contact info is: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 306-662-4477 (which will also bring you to the main desk where you can find out availability). http://www.resortatcypresshills.ca/
Also within the Saskatchewan side of the Cypress Hills is the Historic Reesor Ranch. A prime location for family reunions, when booked the facility can also accommodate RV’s on the property (no services beyond electricity available). In addition to the bed and breakfast in the main house, they have individual cabins, and their Old Log Barn which offers individual accommodations, group gathering areas and their Ranch Hall Grill, where group dinners can be either catered or held. The property also has a firepit gathering area for groups, horseback riding adventures for booking, and lots of trails for hiking.
You can contact Scott or Theresa Reesor to discuss the details of a group booking at: 306 662 3489 or email them at: email@example.com
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – Alberta
As with the Saskatchewan side above, the Alberta side offers both individual and group camping. ( 2016 Update: Group campsites are available for booking as of February 8th starting at 9am through Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca , with individual campsites available starting February 22nd – but can only be booked 90 days in advance). Fixed-roof accommodations (hotel rooms, condos, townhouses and cabins) are also available at The Elkwater Lake Lodge. Call 403-893-3811 for available dates at the Lodge or contact the Elkwater Visitor Centre at 403-893-3833 for more information on their group and individual campsites. http://www.elkwaterlakelodge.com/
Also within the Alberta side of Cypress Hills lies YMCA Camp Elkwater . A four-season camp that during the summer is only unavailable for 3 weeks for summer camps, and the rest of the time is open to group/corporate booking opportunities. You can see more of what is available there at this link: http://www.visitcypresshills.ca/places-to-stay/bed-and-breakfasts/ymcaelkwater/ In addition to being able to book the entire facility (Main Lodge, Greer Cabin, Wood Cabin, Tri-plex and Summer Cabins), they can also provide you with names of local caterers or provide you with the services of their on-site cooks. With the opening of their new Tree Top Adventure Park they can additionally offer group programming for that, or for a number of other activities from canoeing, to archery, yoga, hikes etc. pretty much anything you can think of. To learn more you can contact Rhonda McKenna at the YMCA in Medicine Hat at 403-527-4426 ext. 118 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ghostown Blues Bed & Breakfast (near Maple Creek)
A wonderful bed and breakfast that features covered wagons, individual cabins, and “glamping” (large tents with hardwood floors and furniture), it has a large grassy area where a group tent can be erected, an outdoor kitchen/bbq area, as well as a central “Lodge” where people can gather. This facility is often booked for weddings and family reunions, and can be booked exclusively for your use. When the entire facility is booked, the owner (as with the Reesor Ranch) will allow individuals to bring trailers and RV’s on the property as well. You can contact owner Greg Hisey at 306-661-8481 or email email@example.com for more info. Their website where you can see pictures is: www.ghostownblues.com
The Town of Maple Creek
Right with the Town Maple Creek now has a number of options for those looking to host group events. While Willowbend Campground & Cabins have long held family reunions, the fact that they only have 2 cabins for rent onsite for those who do not want to RV, has meant that most groups had to bring their own RV’s, but with the opening of the brand new Cobble Creek Lodge which is right next door to Willowbend, there is now plenty of room for anyone who does not want to camp. Willowbend has a large group kitchen, an onsite minigolf, firepits, picnic tables, showers and full site services for RV’s as well as affordable tent camping. You can contact Willowbend owner Joan Chmilar at: 306 662-3006 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
As an add-on to any reunion held at Willowbend you can also host family in the nearby (within walking distance) newly built Cobble Creek Lodge (which has family suites available as well as a pet friendly room) You can contact them at: 306-662-5100 or by email Karenemail@example.com (that will bring you to Karen Southwood, who can let you know of any group pricing available as well as available dates). (http://cobblecreeklodge.com/)
There is also the nearby Maple Creek Commercial Hotel which is also within walking distance of Willowbend Campground & Cabins. You can make reservations there by calling: 306-662-2988 (http://www.maplecreekcommercialhotel.ca/http://www.maplecreekcommercialhotel.ca/ )
Once you have decided on a location to house your group, please know that there are also a number of “group” related activities that we can either provide, or that are already provided by our operators. Things like group bookings for Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures (ziplining + more), Cypress Hills Speedway (go-karts), Cypress Hills Taste-it Food Tours, Cypress Hills Winery, and Fort Walsh National Historic Site. Each of the Parks can also provide group activities like guided hikes or presentations, and we have a number of golf courses in the area that can also cater to groups.
As an organization, the Cypress Hills Destination Area, can also help organize other activities/services, including a tour bus (we work with an operator that has 17 passenger, 47 passenger and 52 passenger buses available for hire), so that everyone in your group can travel to activities together, as well as art classes/workshops that the group can do together, while also providing your group with “welcome bags” that can let them know what there is to see and do in the area.
I hope that gives you a start to base some of your decisions on! If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to call or email me!
Cypress Hills Destination Area Inc.