'I had tears in my eyes': Reopening plan gives hope for Saskatoon event planner
SASKATOON -- The province’s three-step reopening plan announced on Tuesday is giving a glimmer of hope for Saskatoon businesses that rely on people gathering.
Crystal McLeod, the owner of RSVP Event Design in Saskatoon, says the past year has been difficult and the reopening plan is a light at the end of a tunnel.
“Honestly, I had tears in my eyes. I was so excited and just felt like ‘oh my goodness we have a bit of a tentative plan in place’ because there’s been so much uncertainty,” McLeod told CTV News.
She says business went down 90 per cent at the start of the pandemic but had clients call her “immediately” with excitement and relief when the reopening plan was announced.
“Everybody has been suffering over the past year so this was just … my phone was exploding last night, lots of texting messages and emails and everyone was so excited to see some hope.”
McLeod plans many events and weddings at the Delta Bessborough, whose venues have also been affected.
Director of sales Amanda Cisecki says they were happy to have a roadmap for the coming months.
The hotel already has 40 weddings booked this year. Step Two of the plan, which is aimed for the third week of June, says gatherings for indoor and outdoor will allow for 150 people.
In the winter Delta Hotels Bessborough decided to build outdoor dining domes in the gardens so people could dine outside all-year long.
Right now four people are able to sit at a table but will be expanded to six during Step One of the reopening plan.
“As long as everything goes as planned, we’re really preparing to be having more people to gather mid-July. But definitely for August we’re hoping to see a big change, she said.