sept. 15, 2008
We've laughed, we've cried, and now we've waved goodbye to our final guests for the 2008 season! This morning, the Bluewater planes whisked away the last of our valued and loyal guests! We are now in the process of winterizing the camp which should take up the next few weeks. Pit and Julie would like to extend a very special thank you to all of our guests this summer. It was one of the busiest in recent memory! It appears that the lure of the "Aikens Experience" is just that much stronger than the outside economic factors that worried and affected most of of the fly-in fishing industry this year! We started off the year with a bang, having almost no room left to book in our first two weeks. The "Season Opening" special has been a very popular promotion, and it certainly has brought a great number of guests to our camp to get the season started right. June was a busy month with many families and friends coming up to Aikens. We had a high number of father/son trips, as well as couples! The month was filled with planes (nearly 2.5/day) escorting an army of small groups in and out of the lodge. Logistically, it was tough to keep up to the flight schedule and guide schedule, but both Julie & Pat were on top of it and there were no snafus to speak of! July afforded us our regular break for the staff. We generally black out 7-10 days early in the month to send everyone home for a break. As you know, the 7-day a week schedule can take its toll and having that chance to recharge the batteries is a must for us and our staff. This year, the boys planned another golf outing (Pat's birthday is the official excuse to get on the course) during the break. There was also the Winnipeg Folk Fest and Dauphin Country Fest that kept our staff entertained. When we reopened during the 2nd week, we played host to many corporate groups, the largest of which was the group from Komatsu USA. August was an incredibly busy month. We have a very loyal group of people and businesses that reserve their same weeks year after year. By early June, we could no longer accept any more bookings from Aug 3-29th this year! We also played host to the "2008 Toyota Call of the Tundra", which was a very exciting event for Aikens. You will be able to see the 30 minute show on Global TV in Canada next month. We will also send out a DVD copy in December to everyone on our mailing list. If you would like to be added, please email us your contact info. September, as is normally the case, was a very relaxed and enjoyable month. Most of the staff returned home to go to school this fall. We had our small "September Crew" help out again this year with the handful of groups that wanted to take advantage of September's great walleye fishing. Now that we are at mid-month, we have reached the end of the line for bookings this year! We had our final shorelunch yesterday and bid farewell to a great season on the water. Thank you to all for visiting us this year. We hope that your "Aikens Experience" was better than ever, and we hope to be able to top it again next summer! We would also like to send out a very special thank you to our staff. Once again, they were the stick that stirred the Aikens drink. The "Aikens Experience" for our guests is based largely on the world-class service, but also on the interaction and laughs they share with our young and vibrant staff. For our staff, working at Aikens instills a very strong work ethic yet at the same time they have the opportunity to unwind and have fun with everyone that visits us! There is a great balance of work vs. play at Aikens Lake. Our staff wakes up every day ready to tackle that day's needs & projects, and for that we want to thank them a million times over! Of course, the "Aikens Experience" is never complete without thanking our business partners at Bluewater Aviation and OTours for their incredible service. They shuttle all our guests from Winnipeg to Silver Falls (OTours) and then Silver Falls to Aikens (Bluewater). We heard nothing but postive comments about the service and great first impression people have about our operation before they ever step foot on our docks! Thank you Michelle & Roger along with your great drivers. Thank you Ed & Steve and all your attentive staff and ace pilots! Well, that about wraps it up for the 60th season at Aikens. The first paid customers arrived here in 1948... making Aikens Lake the oldest fly-in fishing lodge in Manitoba! We are proud of our history and heritage here at Aikens. Although we have revamped many of the cabins and boats, the past is always a part of the present. It has been a long haul to get where we are today, and it has all been very worthwhile. Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge would not be where it is without our valued guests! Thanks again and see you next year! ps - We will continue to update the website on a hopefully weekly basis over the offseason.