Dakota Resort Division
Hospitality and generosity to guests is a traditional value of the Dakota people, it’s in our culture to share and provide a welcoming atmosphere. So it was natural for us to develop tourism and service oriented businesses at Whitecap. We also enjoy the advantage of being located adjacent to the South Saskatchewan River in a valley that rises into natural sand dunes. The unique location and proximity and access to the City of Saskatoon, the largest event and visitor tourism market in Saskatchewan, makes Whitecap a natural location to develop a resort style tourism development.
We have developed a 20 year tourism master plan focusing on a resort style development with multiple complementary attractions including; The Dakota Dunes Golf Links, The Dakota Dunes Casino, a resort hotel, resort residential, RV camping facilities, retail, and four-season recreation and cultural activities. Our goal is to have the premier tourism resort in Saskatchewan.
The Dakota Dunes Golf Links opened in 2004 and it was the beginning of the Dakota Dunes Resort concept. This 18-hole, full service, natural masterpiece is the Province’s only complete Graham Cooke, Cooke-Carleton designed golf property. It has been recognized by industry and players with multiple awards including the title of ‘best new Canadian golf course’ by Golf Digest in 2005. It plays host to the only annual Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada stop in Saskatchewan ‘The SIGA Dakota Dunes Open’.
Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear and his Council were instrumental in developing a ‘land use planning study’ for economic development, and they saw a vision in their land base, that was originally viewed as marginal for any traditional agricultural use. The designated land was ideal for golf course construction and the local golf course market was buoyant with strong demand for play.
The idea to build a golf course was born. Chief Darcy Bear and the Whitecap Development Corporation brokered partnerships with the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band to see this development come to life.
The Dakota Dunes Casino opened its doors in 2007. The Casino is the largest Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) operated Casino in Saskatchewan measuring approximately 80,000 square feet. This project was the result of the vision of Chief and Council and a partnership between the seven member nations of the Saskatoon Tribal Council.
The Dakota Dunes Casino has brought hundreds of jobs to Whitecap and along with the Dakota Dunes Golf Links attracts over 1 million tourism visits annually