While Experts Announce Predictions For A Milder Winter Ahead, Norseman Restaurant and Walkerlake Resort Maintains An Optimistic Outlook For 2010 Tourism

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Enviornment Canada experts have recently predicted that they expect that the warmer than normal fall temperatures and the arrival once again of El Nino will translate into a warmer and drier winter ahead for Ontario's cottage country. Although this is worrying for many tourist-centered establishments, Norseman Restaurant and Walkerlake Resort has announced that they expect that with the many activities, attractions and area events available this winter, the warm weather should impact cottage country's tourism industry only minimally.

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips has recently announced his prediction that we could be in for a mild, dry winter. Phillips has stated that the unseasonably mild temperatures that we have been experiencing this fall will most likely continue into the winter, since it is an El Nino year. El Nino, which turns up every three to seven years, typically brings milder temperatures, drier conditions and less snow. This prediction could mean trouble for those businesses in Ontario's winter tourism industry that solely rely on cold temperature and abundant snowfall. However, as noted by Noreseman Restaurant and Walkerlake Resort, past years have demonstrated that many Ontario resort owners have found ways to attract winter customers to their properties regardless of snow conditions. Norseman Restaurant and Walkerlake Resort (http://www.norseman-walkerlake.com) insists that that there will be enough events and activities taking place this winter, that a lack of snow should only have a minimal overall impact on Ontario cottage country's tourism industry.

While the past two winters in Ontario have been colder, receiving and with more snowfall than normal, the winter of 2006/2007 will go down on record as one of the mildest ever. Although extremely mild weather winter forced closures and layoffs at snow hills and some larger resorts, many Muskoka and Haliburton area resorts reported little or no reduction in winter business. This is perhaps due to greater consumer awareness of the Muskoka region and all that it has to offer visitors throughout the year. As well, there has been a steady increase in the area's infrastructure and the number of tourism-driven attractions, activities and special events available. Fine dining is a primary driver for many vacation getaways. Special event menus and wine tastings are a big attraction and can be marketed as the centre piece of a vacation package. With many possible alternatives to skiing and snowmobiling for attracting visitors, this year's anticipated mild weather is not much of a concern for some Ontario winter resorts.

At the year-round Algonquin Park area cottage resort, Norsemen Restaurant and Walker Lake Resort (http://www.norsemen-walkerlake.com), owner Les Gayne reports that winter bookings and business continues as usual. "In the past, lack of snow has not had a major impact on our business," states Gayne. In years when there hasn't been a lot of snow, guests seem to enjoy themselves every bit as much because there is so much to see and do in Muskoka and nearby Algonquin Park. Mild weather means guests might be able to walk and bike along the many area trails. I believe that people can be enticed out of the city whether there is snow here or not. Not everyone wants to go skiing or snowmobiling and not everyone likes snow. No matter what the weather, people simply enjoy getting away to a beautiful lakeside location to take pleasure in the beauty of nature. Many come to enjoy a romantic getaway or a family weekend. In our case, we have a fabulous chef and we offer exceptional gourmet dining packages along with our well stocked wine cellar. People often travel from Toronto for the dining venue alone. Realistically, we are located in Ontario's snow belt and even if we don't receive the normal amount of snowfall, we are bound to get enough to still satisfy the winter sports enthusiasts," adds Gayne.

Although climatologist Dave Phillips anticipates a milder winter ahead, he cautions that we should not judge an entire coming season from the spectacular weather that we have been experiencing this fall. According to Phillips it's a "crapshoot", a less than scientific prediction of Ontario's winter ahead. What is for certain, with global warming and changing weather patterns, Ontario winter resorts need to diversify and adapt so that they are not solely reliant on the weather to keep their accommodation occupancies up during the winter months.
 
Contact Information:
Les & Suzi Gayne
Norsemen Restaurant and Walker Lake Resort
1040 Walker Lake Drive
Huntsville ON P1H 2J6
(705) 635-2473
(800) 565-3856 Toll free
info(at)norsemen-walkerlake(dot)com
http://www.norsemen-walkerlake.com

About Norsemen Restaurant and Walker Lake Resort: Located near Algonquin Provincial Park and the town of Huntsville in the Muskoka Lakes - Lake of Bays region of central Ontario, Norseman Restaurant & Walker Lake Resort is an intimate four season cottage resort with seven secluded lakefront cottages and fine dining on the shores of pristine Walker Lake. Famous for its gourmet restaurant and Muskoka wedding receptions, this Algonquin resort, offers superior cottage rental accommodations, many onsite amenities and is close to countless Muskoka attractions. To learn more about Norseman Restaurant & Walker Lake Resort, call toll free 1-800-565-3856 or visit their website (http://www.norsemen-walkerlake.com).

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