History greets you at every turn. Use the guide to see our Heritage Moments.
As with other Waskesiu accommodation, loyal customers return repeatedly and make the Skyline the home base for their Waskesiu vacation. This motel has commanded a view from its elevated position on Waskesiu Drive since 1954 when Dave and Mary Lepp built the first units. When family members joined them, they added more units. Twanows operated the business from the mid-1970s until Betty Anne and Jim Kielbiski purchased it and expanded with the Cedar Village Cottages. The current owners, Wanda and Gary Bender operate a group of accommodations under the name Waskesiu Resorts.
Running a business in a seasonal resort community has its challenges. To make your living, you have two very busy months and a few of weeks either side in June and September. You need short term staff and inexpensive accommodation for your employees, many of whom are inexperienced students. You are open all day, every day during your busy times. You are working in a holiday community without services handy for supplies and repairs. Your livelihood is dependent on the weather and the mosquitos. You are dealing with customers who, contrary to the popular saying, may not always be right or easy to please. Business owners choose to live and work here because they enjoy their clientele, have strong ties to Prince Albert National Park, and love Waskesiu.
Ken Arner writes about the satisfaction and enjoyment his father, Ernie Arner, felt operating the Arcade Stores for over two decades.
"Despite the difficulties of the early years, the consistent long hours and the modest income the store realized (even in the best years), Dad greatly enjoyed his time at Waskesiu. He made many friends, and was able to spend a great deal of time with his children. And most of all he took real pride in knowing that he had, in his own way, contributed to the making of one of Saskatchewan's great National Parks."
Memories of Waskesiu by Ken Arner 07/11/2005 in the collection of Parks Canada/Prince Albert National Park.
Second owners, Bob and Elaine Twanow took over the Skyline on April 1, 1975. Elaine shares a story about a jumping laundry extractor in Volume II of Waskesiu Memories.
“What I remember most vividly about our first season was the laundry facilities. We had acquired a very small laundry shed stocked with a minimal amount of bedding and towels, an old wringer washer with loose wringers, an overworked drier which had to be repaired and a mangler (a wonderful machine for pressing sheets!). The system we inherited was to send the sheets to a commercial laundry in Prince Albert about twice a week during the very busy season, but was the towels in the wringer washer and partially dry them on lines before putting them in the drier.
Bob’s aunt… donated an extractor to our laundry facilities, which allowed us to spin the towels at very high speeds to extract most of the water. Then we were able to put them directly in to the drier. The only problem was that the extractor worked so hard it kept jumping off the floor making a terrible noise until our cleaning girl, Louise Brenneman, sat on it to keep it still.”
Business owners at Waskesiu help each other with problems they may experience. Ron Clancy, an employee of the Milk Bar in 1949, relates in Waskesiu Memories III how he helped Mr. Ray Manville out when he was short of stock at his store.
"Ray's order for cigarettes and chocolate bars failed to arrive and he drove down to the Milk Bar and asked me to loan him some until his order came in. Our storeroom contained at least two hundred boxes of bars and probably the same in cigarettes. I took him into the storeroom and he picked up twenty-five boxes or so of bars and twenty-five cartons of assorted cigarettes, as well as some chewing gum and other small items. I wrote down what he had taken and even carried it out to his car for him. Of course, Monday when he got his order from his wholesaler, he replaced what he had borrowed."
In appreciation for the help, Mr. Manville then purchased all the wholesale ice cream for his cafe through the Milk Bar and became their biggest customer.
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