Stanley's Blog

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021 update

 If you are hoping for a post where I am going to tell you everything you need to know about the border, I will save you the suspense. We have been given no information as to when the border will reopen.

Here is what we do know. As I mentioned before, Canada is lagging behind on the vaccinations. With the lack of domestic production here, we see global supply chain problems trickle down all the way to our little neck of the woods. The vaccinations have started, but not anywhere near to what the U.S. is doing. Chantal and I have received our first vaccination (only because or her nursing status, and myself as a first responder). Both my parents and Chantal's Mom received theirs, but Chantal's dad missed his as he was 6 months too young for the cut off. He will get his next week.
The Covid numbers in Ontario have swelled as we hit our second wave, then dropped a bit, but have risen back up as the more contagious variants seem to become more prevalent now. Some areas are harder hit than others, but we have seen up to three cases per day in our small catchment area, which is a lot for us.
There are calls from US representatives along border states, as well as Canadian MP's from border areas supporting the reopening of the border. The border is federally controlled, and our current government has made any decisions regarding the economy / Covid restrictions / borders etc. based on medical data passed on from the senior advisors staff. The are all talking vaccination...vaccination....vaccination. So unfortunately for us their doesn't seem to be anyone telling us what's after the vaccinations.
We have seen some different projections saying that most of Canada would have their first vaccination by mid / end of June, and the second one in the summer or early fall. The U.S. may have everyone fully vaccinated by that time. With that end of June phrase being mentioned in passing several times, many in the industry feel that we may see some sort of reopening in late June or early July.
Again this is our speculation but it seems that is where we are headed. But.....I have been wrong in the past.
What does that mean for us today. For those of you who are holding onto reservations for May and early / mid June, I have very little faith that the border will be open by that time. If your dates are at the end of June and in thru July, I am holding out hope for some kind of plan being instated for that timeframe.
If you are one of those people with the early dates, here is what we can do.
1. Hold on and see what happens. See what announcement come closer to the dates, and play it by ear.
2. Look for some dates later in the season. If you want to explore some late summer or fall dates, you can check online, email me or give us a call. If you do find a week online you can just go ahead and book it if you want. You have to enter a credit card to make the reservation, but your card does not get charged, and we can just move your deposits over to the new dates.
3. Throw in the hat and just move everything to 2022.
What ever you decide, you are still going to get first chance at booking your same week / cabin for 2022. Also deposits will be carried over. If you aren't sure about 2022 right now, we will hold deposits as a credit for now. We unfortunately cannot return any deposits at this point until we are able to reopen and begin to see some revenue. Thank you for your support and understanding.
So enough talk about all that already...What else is going on up here. We are well into an early spring, and have had some warm and very dry conditions. This winter was one of the warmest and driest on record. We only had one stretch of cold weather that lasted about two weeks, and the rest of the winter was rather mild. We did receive very little snow however, so that means we are very dry, and the water across the entire area is extremely LOW! There are no fire restrictions in place, but I would expect to see them soon. The ice is melting around the sides of the lake quickly, and we could easily see a mid April ice out if these conditions continue. We have been busy with dock upgrades, cabin projects and lots of little things that we can't wait to show everyone once you finally make it up here....
We are not letting all this Covid get to us and are keeping positive and are thankful for a healthy family and all the support we have received for our friends and guests.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Feb 10, 2021 update

 I wanted to reach out to everyone with an update of what is happening up in Canada these days. Well for one….COLD!!! When I woke up this morning it was -40 straight temperature. Yikes!!

Let’s start off talking about vaccines. Canada is lagging on the vaccination front. We kind of got caught with our pants down on this one as the pandemic hit right when Canada was rebuilding several of their vaccine production facilities. Our current domestic production will not be up and running till July of this year, and that is just one of the smaller facilities anyways. The other production facilities are still 1-2 years from being operational.  All of our Pfizer vaccines are coming from Europe; however we do get our Moderna Vaccines from the US, and we have recently approved the Astra Zenaca vaccine, and the J&J vaccine is pending approval.  Pfizer and Moderna have both had supply chain issues, so Canada has received less than their promised amount for February, but the manufacturers have pressed that it will be made up for in March, and their delivery targets will be met.

With the promised allotment of vaccines, and Canada’s population of roughly 37.5 M (smaller than California), Canada has aimed for full vaccination by mid / late summer. Ontario suggests that our vaccinations can be done by July for everyone who wants one. The vaccinations have been rolling out, but they have been only in senior care homes, remote first nations communities and some health care providers for now.

Currently we are flattening our curve right now. We did see some high number after Christmas (high for us), and after some stringent lockdown measure put in place, we are seeing drops in numbers everyday. This is good news as our measures are working!

Canada has instituted some tough measures for Canadian travellers in the short term. We basically have told our airlines to cancel all flights to Mexico, Caribbean, and other warm destinations to stop the spread during winter / spring break trips. We are really trying hard to squash things up here.

We are also watching the numbers drop in the US. As the vaccine rolls out to the south, we are watching the numbers in the Midwest lower drastically too. This is also good news!

Where does this leave us for 2021? That is a tough question. I believe both the Canadian and US governments are trying to put stopping the pandemic first, and then the rest of the government business after that. I think that is why we have not heard anything from them regarding a border opening plan. The pandemic numbers on both sides need to be on a manageable level.  March and April are going to be particularly important months ahead of us. This will project how well the vaccine roll out is going in Canada, and how well our preventative measures are working across the provinces. It is with these markers that will layout any framework for the border reopening.

Do I have concerns about the border not reopening? Well after last season, I can honestly say I have learned to expect anything… I am optimistic that their will be a border reopening at sometime this season, but I do have some worries that there may not be a framework in place for those guests early in the season. (May / June). Again, this is only speculation. I am sure that any framework that involves opening the border will include showing up with a negative test taken at least 72 hours prior to arrival at the border (this is already in place now for returning Canadians). I am not sure if a vaccination would be part of the requirement for entry, but if you do get it, that is just one more box that could be checked off that may make crossing the border easier when it does open.  

I know this may not answer all your questions about your upcoming trip to Stanley’s. I want to just provide you with the most up to date information that we have available. I will increase the frequencies of these updates as information becomes available.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

On a happier note, here are a few photos from earlier this winter.

Monday, September 28, 2020

2021 Bookings

 Time to think about next season everyone...

Well here is a very short recap...Well we did open, and we did have a small number of guests from the area visit us this past season. But we really did miss our US friends up here this year.
With the extra time on our hands we have been able to do a huge amount of maintenance and upgrades to the entire property. So we have so much we want to show everyone...
So how does a business survive being closed for the most part for an entire operating season? Well a large part is the support from all of our guests who have rolled over their deposits and pushed their reservations over to 2021. Thank-you so much as well as all the kind words, your stories and prayers for us. Thank-you.
We will have to take on some debt to carry us through this 2020 season, but in setting our prices for 2021, we understand that many of our guests have had their own struggles. We are looking at only a 2% price increase for next season, which is our basic inflation rate in Canada.
We are trying to re-confirm with everyone who have pushed their trips to 2021, that the corresponding dates are still applicable. Once we have all of the groups who are re-booking set, then I will open things up for guests who would like to change dates, group sizes, cabins and so on. We would like to get this done as soon a possible as we have several new groups that are waiting to come visit Stanley's for the first time.
As I write this, Canada is entering it's second wave of Covid. We are expected to peak in October, and right now we are seeing 1500 new cases for the entire country today. There are mandatory mask requirements for everyone in indoor public places, and gathering numbers have been reduced in size across Canada. The numbers of cases after we peaked in the spring have been as low as 250 for the entire country for a day, so we can make things happen when we need to.
What are our thoughts about next season and the border...Well, here is what we are thinking / hoping. There have been some promising progress on a vaccine that could start to be utilized in early 2021. This would be a great development. There have also been some great strides made on a rapid Covid test. We could see a model that would require a proof of a negative test or vaccination record as an admission requirement to enter Canada. Hawaii has started using the negative Covid test requirement, and it may form a model for many other destinations to follow. Please remember these are our gathered thoughts and observations, and the official government procedure may be different. I know there is incredible pressure on both governments to come up with a suitable plan to facilitate the re-opening of the borders between Canada and the US. Currently the border is still closed to non-essential traffic.
Stanley's is optimistic and positive, and are ready to welcome everyone next year and to make up for 2020. This fishing next season is going to be UNREAL, and you won't want to miss it.
So looking forward to talking with everyone soon about their 2021 dates and even better, seeing you next year.
Take care and stay safe!
Rob & Chantal and the staff of Stanley's Resort

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

July 14th Update

Canada and the US agreed to extend the border closure for another 30 days till August 21st. This announcement was expected and is of little consequence as the 14 day quarantine order is still in place till the 31st of August.
So where do we stand today.....Well again, Canada is doing really well, we average 200-350 cases total for the entire country per day. Things are re-opening slowly, and we are still seeing a decline in total new cases. From what we have seen on the news, it looks like the US is not doing so well on the numbers of new cases each day. There are many states that have more total cases than we have seen in all of Canada. With these figures, it is easy for the Canadian Government to justify the border closure extension.
Do we think the border will open at all this season? I have no idea, and ultimately it will be the downturn of the US numbers that will signal to the Canadian Government that things are ready to move forward.
But on the upside... some more family time in Buzzard Lake.
Take care and stay safe!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

July 2 Update

Happy belated Canada Day everyone! Yesterday was Canada Day and we spent the day with friends just hanging out in camp and enjoying the lake view!
It has been a bit since the last update, and we have seen quite a bit of changes since the last post. Up here, the news surrounding Covid 19 is extremely promising. In Ontario we saw only 153 new cases today, and in Canada as a whole, we saw 216 total new cases for the day. Those are incredible numbers and we have really flattened our curve, even though we have began reopening businesses across the country.
Well the numbers that we are seeing coming from the U.S. are not so good...With reports of 50,000 + new cases in one day, the U.S. will surpass the entire amount of Covid cases that Canada reported in just two days totals.
These are important points that the federal government looks at when the are considering opening the border. So if we speculate on opening the border on July 21st and look at US 50,000+ case daily vs Canada 200+ cases daily, it doesn't take long to anticipate what will happen on July 21st. I am speculating that we will see another 30 day extension to August 21st on the border restrictions. So then what is next? Well to add more to the mix, Canada has just extended the 14 quarantine order for anyone crossing into Canada till August 31st. This will effectively prohibit any potential guests arriving from the US until September.......
We will start to contact guests regarding their July / August bookings, and even without the official border announcement, it is the 14 day quarantine order that will be our sticking point this time. This was officially announced today.
Well as disappointing as this is, we want to thank everyone for their support. It is a difficult time for us at Stanley's, but we are utilizing this time just to make everything better for you once you do make it back up to see us. We thank everyone who are helping us just push their reservations over to 2021 when their weeks have to be canceled, and for their kind words and prayers for us.
We are spending some great family time together and were able to participate in a social distancing make shift graduation ceremony for Gavan who completed his high school, and will be moving on to University next fall. We are so proud of him, and were glad he got to make the best of the situation for the class of 2020.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

June 16th update

Well the anticipated news release arrived today with the expected border closure extension to July 21st. So sorry for all those groups who we won't be able to see this July.
We are now focusing on next month in the hope that the restrictions loosen to allow the best social distancing possible...being up here out on a boat in the middle of nowhere.
We are all safe and healthy but are ready for this bumpy ride to be over.
Take care and stay safe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

June10 Covid 19 Update

As we have seen in the past, word will leak out from government sources as to what will be the upcoming border status will be. Well the news agencies are now reporting a possible extension to July 21st for the Canada / US border closure. Although there has been no formal announcement, these reports have in the past turned out to be true.

Not the news we wanted to hear but with some states still with rising numbers it is not totally unexpected. 

Tough, heartbreaking and disappointing for us and our guests who won't be able to visit this year. 

We now look to the next deadline in July and pray that we will be able to welcome our regular guests.

Stay safe everyone.❤️❤️❤️