Ontario and Quebec probably have one of the biggest seasons of the year when there is no beach or boating fun…..the winter rush. Every year resorts, trails and cottage rentals begin the buzz again once that lovely white carpet of icy goodness drops lays itself down. Our original winter season has taken a very long time to get going for our cottage rental business. Most of it has had to do with the weather over the last few years, as the climate change has brought on warmer temperatures and less snow. It’s the snow that fosters the outdoor activity. When it doesn’t snow, and when the lakes don’t freeze that well, everything kind of gets slushy and messy and the trails become empty again. More and more cottage owners are creating winter packages that stretch a bit longer and offer more value at better rates to bring in the weekenders for skidoos, skiers, ice fishing and “sugar shack” festivals.
The hiways become full again, and when you couple that with flurries and slippery roads, there are more accidents and dangers during travel, so be more cautious. Always try and travel during daylight conditions. The last thing you want is to get stuck at dark in the cold. Be smart and always have an exit strategy in those types of situations. Travelling with some road salt and a small shovel is also a good idea.
Other little extras that provide value during the winter months are things like coffee and tea provisions. Most people bring their own, but sometimes with the snow crazy conditions they don’t plan on running. Have a bit of a back up supply in the event you are stuck for a few days without power or businesses being open, gives guests and owners some temporary options. (What better way to look after your guests than having some propane on the fly in the event that the BBQ provides the main source of heat for cooking?) And ensuring the stock of wood is ample and ready to go in the fireplace also helps keep the dwelling warm and can also provide an alternate source of cooking if the hydro goes out.
Definitely leading into the Christmas and New Year’s season you will find yourself either competing like crazy for some cottage rentals, or possibly being offered more than your usual amount of money if you’re a cottage owner. There is after all, only ONE New Year’s Eve. And it is highly recommended that you make a point of having a set of rules and guidelines for your guests and your renters should you chose to secure a cottage rental. That is probably the biggest “party” of the year. Age has no real factor on stupid. And if you are close to water that has not yet frozen, perhaps someone should be the responsible adult and keep tabs on all that occupy to ensure no one is drunk in the bush and exposed to the elements.
Have fun but try not to get snow crazy. It could cost you a lost skidoo, getting stuck in the cold or even possibly your life. Be smart and be safe.