The Recreational Market in Ontario
SMALL RECREATIONAL BUSINESSES Small recreational businesses thrive throughout Ontario. The small recreational business can involve a lakeside property consisting of a rural residential home with separate, winterized cottages including docks, boat launch and beach area; a seasonal houseboat business complete with primary residence, office complex, repair facility, houseboat trailer for launching and lakeside docking; or a trailer park with waterside convenience store and gas docks, seasonal cottages and boat storage. The small recreational business category also extends into ancillary services beyond accommodation, such as golf driving ranges and 18-hole mini golf courses, boat storage facilities with large lifts, and marinas. Boating and water-related activities remain a major attraction in the provincial recreational picture. While sailing and power boating are mainstays, expanding traveler interest in kayaking, canoeing and carious personal watercraft will continue to bolster this sector given Ontario’s abundance of fresh water lakes and rivers. Two examples from this growing component of the recreational market are highlighted. WILDERNESS CAMPS Wilderness camps and outposts (traditionally involving fishing and hunting) usually include accommodation and maid service, flight to and from the camp, meals, boat, motor, all gas, landing nets and fishing license. Northern camps are growing both in number and sophistication to meet the expanding needs of wilderness seekers. BED AND BREAKFAST (B&B) ACCOMODATIONS The typical bed and breakfast operation is located in the private residence, with rooms available for guests who pay for accommodation and breakfast. A seemingly endless variety of entrepreneurial B & Bs are available for the travelling public. Some attract visitors with quaint, historic homes filled with antiques and collectibles, while others focus on back to nature experiences and the calm of a remote rural setting. Bed and breakfast operations will continue to be an important accommodation option for the vacationing public. Owners of bed and breakfast operations can seek a rating for their operation through the local bed and breakfast association. SKI CHALETS/SMALL LODGES A ski chalet conjures images of timber, decorative A-frame retreats in the Alpes, complete with an upper floor balcony and exposed roof beams. However, the term ski chalet now generally refers to any structure designed for accommodation involving winter sports, whether or not it reflects Swiss design. Ski chalet rental operations cater to individuals, groups and corporate outings. In some cases, the chalets are part of a larger resort offering spa packages, restaurants and so forth. Ski chalets cater to alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating and snowmobiling, and are typically marketed based on location and sleeping accommodation. HOTEL, MOTELS, LODGES AND RESORTS The vacationing public is faced with a bewildering array of hotels, lodges and resorts. At one end of the spectrum, the traditional hotel configuration servicing business travelers may also attract the vacationing public given its prime location. At the other end, the large resort complex with numerous services will represent a destination in itself.