Two southwest businesses were able to walk away with some hardware at Tourism Saskatchewan's 2017 Awards of Excellence Gala Thursday night.

Maple Creek's Ghostown Blues Bed & Breakfast won best Service Excellence Award, and the Historic Reesor Ranch walked away with the Business of the Year Award as a business with fewer than 20 full-time employees.

Scott and Theresa Reesor are the owners of the Historic Reesor Ranch.

Theresa Reesor said she is still processing the win.

"For me, it's pretty surreal," she said. "When they announced it last night it was hard to believe. It was such an honour and really humbling, really exciting, and amazing. We were up against two other deserving businesses for the award. I find it sometimes with awards you don't know who's going to win until the last minute. You're sitting on pins and needles for a long time, and it's pretty nerve-racking, but it was all worth it."

Scott Ressor added that it was an honour to be recognized for what they've done as a business.

Scott Ressor said that it was a team effort to help them win the award.

"We've had help over the years," he said. "Lots of great people that have worked with us and helped us put experiences together."

Theresa Reesor says that part of their success is because they love what they do.

"We love what we do," she said. "We've been doing this for 20 years now. It's grown in so many different ways, evolved over time to meet the needs of our visitors. It's always fun to do. It's a lot of work but really rewarding. We just love what we do, and we hope to be able to continue doing it for many more years. It's a really great place for people to come and unwind and get out of the city and enjoy what the Cypress Hills has to offer."

The ranch also received a nomination for the Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award. 


Picture of the Ghostown Blues Bed & Breakfast. (Picture courtesy of the Ghostown Blues Bed & Breakfast Facebook page)

Greg Hisey is the owner of Ghostown Blues Bed & Breakfast said that it means a lot to be recognized by Tourism Saskatchewan.

"That tells me what my staff is doing, we're doing right," he said. "We're delivering more than we say we are going to deliver. We always get people to say your rooms look great online and then when they get here their even better and that's not what a lot of motels do from what I hear. It's a good reflection of what the staff is doing. It's a good reflection on the quality of the product we're selling, so it's great."

He said that part of their success is due to the bed and breakfast being a unique experience.

"What we do is very unique," he said. "There is not another place like it in Canada, certainly not in Saskatchewan. That's always a risk when you don't just do a cookie cuter bed and breakfast. We did something entirely different, and people are recognizing it and enjoying it."

The southwest had a total of four businesses and one resident nominated among the 33 finalists. 

Grotto Gardens, the Town of Eastend and Graig Hilts were among the others representing the southwest that were nominated.

The full list of winner:

Rookie of the Year

FIBA 3x3 World Tour

Winner of Service Excellence Award

Ghostown Blues Bed & Breakfast

Tourism Employee of the Year

Chris Standing of Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Tourism Employer of the Year    

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority

Gil Carduner Marketing Award

Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club

Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award

Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association

Travel Media Award

Jim Byers

Community Event of the Year Award


Marquee Event of the Year

Ness Creek Music Festival

Business of the Year - Under 20 Full-Time Employees

Historic Reesor Ranch

Business of the Year - Over 20 Full-Time Employees

Grassroots Restaurant Group

2017 Tourism Builders Award

Bernadette McIntyre and Ian McGilp

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