It was a strong year as tourism continues to make a comeback, according to Tourism Moose Jaw Executive Director Jacki L’Heureux Mason. 

Tourism Moose Jaw held their Annual General Meeting on Monday in which L’Heureux Mason shared some of the highlights and a few lowlights from the past year. 

The good news was the revenues were up pretty much across the board. Tourism Moose Jaw saw merchandise sales increase by two per cent and memberships increased by nine per cent. 

One of the more dramatic increases in revenue was through trolley tour revenue. Having the new trolley has had a major impact on Tourism Moose Jaw’s bottom line as revenues increased 39 per cent. L’Heureux Mason said it was nice to have a reliable trolley that could be used late into the season. 

“Just the fact that we were able to comfortably and worry-free operate it for right up to our Halloween tours was great. We, for the first time, ran weekend tours all the way through to the end of October,” she said. 

L’Heureux Mason after the Halloween tours, they put the trolley is storage for about a month and brought it back out briefly for the Christmas Twinkle Tours. While she said they didn’t expect to make much money off the Twinkle Tours, each tour sold out. 

Tourism Moose Jaw also hosted a number of successful events in 2023. They held a Fathers Day promotion at Battle Creek, had two hotdog sale fundraisers for the Moose Jaw Humane Society and hosted a sold-out Prohibition Days pub crawl. 

Two highlights were the Greek Night and Sidewalk Days. 

L’Heureux Mason said Greek Night, which they do in partnership with the Downtown Moose Jaw Association, continues to grow every year. 

“The first year we hoped for 240 people and ended up with 300. Last year, we hoped for 300 and ended up with 350. So, we are just consistently selling out very quickly. It’s become a really fun event that we get to do, totally different than what we’re used to with Sidewalk Days and Prohibition Days,” she said. 

Meanwhile, 2023 saw one of the most successful Sidewalk Days ever. It was the second biggest turnout for vendors and was in the top-three for attendance. 

“(It was) probably top three of most attendance we’ve had, which over the years the most attendance was a one-off. We had moved it back to June and it happened to be really, really nice. So, we know moving into July does cut into some people’s lake time, so we’re always happy when we had a busy year (like) last year. Like I said, we’re probably top two or three for attendance,” L’Heureux Mason said. 

Tourism Moose Jaw had a full slate of summer students last year. However, summer help could be a challenge in 2024. L’Heureux Mason said they have been turned down for summer student grants for the first time since she’s been with Tourism Moose Jaw.