Dakota Dunes Resort Officially Opens

First-ever full-service resort in Saskatoon marks opening with ceremonial ribbon cutting

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October 9, 2020

Dakota Dunes Resort, Saskatoon’s first ever full-service resort experience, officially welcomed its first guest today. Owned and developed by Whitecap Dakota First Nation and managed by Atlific Hotels, the highly anticipated property is supported by Indigenous Services Canada, and is located on traditional Whitecap Dakota Unceded Territory. Set amongst an expanse of natural rolling sand dunes, the welcoming resort is nestled within the idyllic setting of the South Saskatchewan River valley basin with beautifully designed guest rooms, on-site farm-to-table dining, an award-winning golf course, and is connected to the Dakota Dunes Casino.

The 155-room resort stands as a tribute to its indigenous heritage with angular window trims and exterior wood panels echoing the traditional tipi. This thoughtful nod to the Whitecap Dakota Nation culture carries through to the resort’s guest rooms by way of art and design with soothing neutral tones, rich wood furnishings and an artistic representation of traditional Whitecap Dakota culture in every room. Moreover, each thoughtfully appointed guest room offers spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding landscape as well as ultra-comfortable beds and deluxe amenities.

The hotel was inaugurated during a ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony this morning. After a blessing by Elder Vivian Anderson, and honour song performed by the Wahpeton Drum Group, Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear, Rob Harvey, Regional Director General of Saskatchewan Region, Indigenous Services Canada, Philippe Gadbois, Sr. Vice President of Operations, Atlific Hotels, Regional Chief Bobby Cameron, Federation of Sovereign

Indigenous Nations, Zane Hansen, President & CEO, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority and Brad Tokarchuk, Director Corporate Finance, Bank of Montreal addressed the small gathering before dignitaries including the Chiefs of the Saskatoon Tribal Council assembled for the ribbon cutting. The ribbon was cut by honoured Veteran Willis Royal while the Wahpeton Drum Group ushered the attendees into the newly minted hotel with a victory song.

“This hotel is another step forward in our resort masterplan and an important regional employer,” said Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Dakota First Nation. “Our vision was to build an important destination landmark that will serve as an entertainment, business and leisure hub, and at the same time celebrate our proud Whitecap Dakota history and culture. We want our guests to feel welcome to enjoy the many amenities and entertainment options at the resort, and to connect with this very special region when they stay with us.”

“The Dakota Dunes Hotel is the result of a long-term partnership that brought together Indigenous leadership, and industry representatives, to create a world-class tourist destination that will attract visitors from all over the world,” said Marc Miller, Minister for Indigenous Services. “The residents of Whitecap Dakota First Nation and surrounding area will benefit and prosper from the Dakota Dunes Hotel project for years to come.”

“The Government of Canada is proud to support Indigenous Tourism in Saskatchewan and across the country. Once it is safe to travel again, the Dakota Dunes Resort will certainly attract many international tourists to the region. The investment today, ensures prosperity and job creation but also offers the opportunity to celebrate and share with the world the culture, hospitality, and history of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation,” said Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism

Designed by aodbt architecture + interior design in association with Lemay Michaud Architecture Design, Dakota Dunes Resort is the perfect setting for any gathering from intimate team building activities to weddings and conventions offering 10,000 sq. ft. of flexible event and meeting space. The resort also offers a plethora of convenient onsite amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, indoor rooftop pool and hot tub with outdoor deck overlooking the Dakota Dunes golf course, lobby market and Wanuskewin gift shop. Many of the facilities offer lots of natural light thanks to floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the resort’s stunning landscape.

“The thoughtful development of the Dakota Dunes Resort as a full-service tourist destination will provide visitors a complete entertainment and leisure experience, and further cement Saskatoon as an important tourism hub,” said Philippe Gadbois, Senior Vice President of Operations, Atlific Hotels. “In addition to its world class golf course and casino, the Dakota Dunes campus now offers a perfect resort with a variety of top-notch amenities that pays homage to its proud indigenous history. We are very proud to operate and manage the hotel on Whitecap Dakota’s behalf, and thank them for trusting us with this important attraction.”

Rounding out the resort’s offerings is its unparalleled onsite dining as well Saskatchewan’s #1 ranked public golf course and Saskatoon’s only casino. Moose Woods Home Fire Grill offers something satisfying for everyone with its farm-to-table menu showcasing the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and outstanding cuts of meat grilled to perfection. Those looking to spend time outdoors, taking in the area’s rolling sand dunes and prairie grasses can enjoy a round of golf at the acclaimed Dakota Dunes Golf Links. This masterpiece is the province’s only complete Graham Cooke designed golf course replete with a 7,100 square foot clubhouse, intimate restaurant and onsite pro shop. Finally, guests looking for some excitement need look no further than Dakota Dunes Casino, which is connected to the resort.

Saskatoon’s only casino offers 80,000 sq. ft. of gaming including a variety of popular slot machines, traditional table games as well as e-Tables for roulette, baccarat and blackjack, Saskatchewan’s only high limit gaming room and on-site dining.

Just 20-minutes from downtown Saskatoon, Dakota Dunes is a relaxing oasis set amongst the Canadian prairies. As perfect for a weekend retreat with friends and family as it is for a business getaway, Dakota Dunes Resort offers world-class hospitality and an unforgettable, authentic indigenous experience for all.

About Dakota Dunes Resort

Dakota Dunes Resort is Saskatoon’s only full-service resort. Located on traditional Whitecap Dakota Unceded Territory, the property offers 155 beautifully appointed guest rooms highlighting its indigenous heritage with spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding natural landscape as well as ultra-comfortable beds and deluxe amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, indoor rooftop pool and hot tub with overlook deck, lobby market and Wanuskewin gift shop. The property’s conference centre has 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space and first-class food and beverage options including Moose Woods Home Fire Grill which offers an excellent farm-to-table menu and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information please visit www.dakotadunesresort.com