West End Resort at Round Lake adds marina
July 27, 2020, 10:04 am
Victor van der Merwe - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
West End Resort at Round Lake adds marina
Willie Kuzub in front of the new marina he has developed at his West End Resort on Round Lake.
by Victor van der Merwe
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Willie Kuzub, owner of the West End Resort on Round Lake, has made a substantial improvements to his property by putting in a marina. This has been a long time coming and something Kuzub felt would be of great benefit not just for campers and boat owners, but for the habitat as well. Having owned the resort for a long time, he had a sense of what needed to be done to bring the area’s full potential to life.
Long term vision
It all started when he bought lake side farm land in his early twenties. When the previous owners of the West End Resort were ready to sell, they came to an agreement with Kuzub.
“I purchased the Tantallon bar when I was 24 and then the following year, that is when the owners of the campground approached me.”
Kuzub has been running the West End Resort now for 20 years and was there during the flooding of 2011.
“That set me back pretty much ten years. None of my buildings got hurt so much as the land that had a lot of campers on is pretty low elevation so a lot of that got flooded out in 2011,” says Kuzub.
He used this moment to put in place a vision he had for a marina.
“Over the course of the next couple of years I had gotten into the construction business. I acquired a few pieces of equipment so I could do some subdividing on the (lake side) farmland that I bought. We always had a bit of a vision what we wanted to see out of that marina,” says Kuzub.
Carefully planned project
Kuzub says that in 2016 it seemed the right time to start seriously thinking about building the maria.
“On the construction end we had done quite a bit of work with an engineering firm and we decided to come up with a design and apply for it and see what happens.”
The next obstacle would be getting all the paper work in order.
“We applied at Sask Water and they said we had to apply to the federal government. Once the federal government approved it the Saskatchewan government approved it too,” says Kuzub.
Although the process may have seemed daunting it made the work much easier going forward.
It isn’t just the visitors to the West End Resort that will benefit from this marina, but with its construction came the added benefit of helping the water habitat.
The shallow bay that has been deepened into the marina would see fish trapped in there and they would freeze every winter as the shallow water froze to its full depth each winter. Deepening the bay and opening it up to the lake allows the fish to survive the winter.
“The way we presented it to the government was that we were going to allow this aquatic habitat to survive—to not die every year. Extending it allows us to create more aquatic habitat,” says Kuzub.
Highlighting the benefits for the lake and the aquatic habitat helped get the project a green light.
Do it yourself
The plan was there and the paper work was in order, now all that needed to be done was the actual construction. One way that Kuzub set out to keep cost down was to do most of the work himself using his experience in the construction businesses.
“We needed a lot of equipment to pull it off. That was kind of the reason I got into the construction end so I could help develop roads and stuff around my camp ground.”
The construction company expanded after the flood of 2011 and allowed Kuzub to have the equipment needed for the marina project.
“I could never have done it, or afford it or justified doing it hiring another contractor. It wouldn’t have been feasible at that point,” explains Kuzub.
A project that started with a vision in 2016 became a reality in 2020.
One feature that stands out is the new boat launch that was put in by Kuzub.
“The original boat launch doesn’t work, because there is not enough water in the actual lake. If we can’t get boats in the water, who would want to camp here. Now we can launch boats even if the lake were to drop by two feet,” says Kuzub.
The boat launch along with the boat slips will help guests enjoy this summer.
“We got 50 (boat spaces) there right now and I got room to probably triple that. With the materials I have purchased I can be at a 150 easily,” says Kuzub.
There is also talks of expanding the boat launch to accommodate two boats at a time.
Investment starting to pay off
The time and effort it took to do this project is paying off now. As Kuzub is seeing renewed interest in the Resort. Not just from campers but from people wanting to live close to the lake year round.
“People are inquiring about buying residential lots. The nice thing about the bay is that you can leave your pier in the water, in the winter. It is not going to be destroyed,” says Kuzub.
With the marina in, Kuzub can now focus on expanding the campground, residential lots and activities around the lake.
“Right now we have a 110 camp sites. I’d like to have a couple hundred for sure, maybe more even. I’ve been picking up golf course equipment. I am planning on doing a par 3, nice little family course,” say Kuzub.
Just like the regional and provincial parks of Saskatchewan, West End Resort has had a busy summer.
“It is unbelievable, it’s incredible, we are packed almost all the time right now. People are booking sites now for next year,” says Kuzub.
The feedback that Kuzub is receiving is also very positive. “We couldn’t be more happy with the feedback we are getting, everyone is just saying it is so nice and so handy,” says Kuzub.
The easy access for boats have people using their vessels more too.
“People who have been with us long term are saying that last year they used their boats three times the whole season, and now use it three times on an afternoon because it’s so much easier with the marina,” says Kuzub. “It might help people who are getting older be able to camp for a few more years, since there isn’t as much work when the boat can just be left at the marina.”