Thumbs up to the SCBEX Busi­ness of the Year...

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Front Page - BY MATTHEW LIEBENBERG— mlieben­berg@prairiepos­

The Liv­ing Sky Casino is the re­cip­i­ent of the Swift Cur­rent & District Cham­ber of Com­merce 2017 Mem­ber Busi­ness of the Year award.

Cham­ber of Com­merce CEO Karla Wiens made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing a sur­prise visit to the casino, Sept. 24. She was joined by cham­ber board mem­bers for the pre­sen­ta­tion to Liv­ing Sky Casino Gen­eral Man­ager Trevor Marion.

He was ex­pect­ing to re­ceive a few peo­ple for an ap­point­ment, but then saw an en­tire group ar­riv­ing.

“It was a re­ally nice sur­prise,” he said. “They said the group moved to door nine, and I was like what's go­ing on, and then to see you guys there. I though some­thing big has got to be hap­pen­ing. So this is won­der­ful.”

The 60,000 square feet casino, which cur­rently pro­vides em­ploy­ment to 185 peo­ple, opened its doors to the pub­lic in De­cem­ber 2008.

The casino will kick off a five- month long 10th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion this week­end with an event to re­flect on high­lights from the past decade.

“This is a won­der­ful hon­our,” he said about the busi­ness award. “Here we are, in our 10th year com­ing up. It means a lot to tie it in there, that we can say for this year it's our turn to brag that we're busi­ness of the year. You take a look at some of the busi­nesses that have won this be­fore. It's a great cat­e­gory and a great ac­com­plish­ment to be in.”

There were some chal­lenges along the way and the casino ini­tially opened with a staff of 275, be­cause it ex­pected to at­tract many vis­i­tors from the 1.6 mil­lion ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling ev­ery year through the city on the Trans- Canada High­way.

“We ex­pected a good chunk to stop, but for the first few years we weren't very good at stop­ping them and bring­ing them in,” he said. “So we had to drop our staff num­bers a lit­tle bit, but we're com­ing back now and 185 is a great team to have.”

Shar­ing suc­cess is one of the key guid­ing prin­ci­ples of the Saskatchew­an In­dian Gam­ing Au­thor­ity ( SIGA) and the Liv­ing Sky Casino has been ap­ply­ing that con­cept in the com­mu­nity.

“As part of be­ing SIGA and be­ing a part­ner in the com­mu­nity, that's what they want,” he said. “Our vi­sion when we built here was not just to come and build a casino and take, but shar­ing suc­cess and be­ing a part of the com­mu­nity, be­ing a great cor­po­rate spon­sor. and a cor­po­rate part­ner. That's what we wanted to achieve and I think we're do­ing it.”

The win­ner of this award is se­lected by the cham­ber's board of di­rec­tors. It is pre­sented to a cham­ber mem­ber that ex­em­pli­fies lead­er­ship, in­no­va­tion, cor­po­rate ste­ward­ship, com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, and cus­tomer ser­vice.

Ac­cord­ing to Wiens the board's de­ci­sion to select Liv­ing Sky Casino for this award was unan­i­mous.

“It's al­ways a tough de­ci­sion, be­cause we have so many de­serv­ing busi­nesses that the cham­ber likes to rec­og­nize as the mem­ber busi­ness of the year, but the Liv­ing Sky Casino has re­ally out­done them­selves on their past 10 years of op­er­a­tion here in Swift Cur­rent,” she said.

“They do so much that I don't think the com­mu­nity is even aware of. Their staff vol­un­teer all over the place, they have so many events in and around Swift Cur­rent, and they re­ally, re­ally worked hard to be­come part of our com­mu­nity and to bet­ter Swift Cur­rent and sur­round­ing area. So our board of di­rec­tors felt that Liv­ing Sky Casino was a very, very wor­thy re­cip­i­ent of the mem­ber busi­ness of the year award.”

The for­mal pre­sen­ta­tion of the award to the casino will take place at the SCBEX Spirit of Swift Cur­rent Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence award gala, Oct. 26.

This will be the 20th an­niver­sary of the SCBEX awards and a record 110 nom­i­na­tions were sub­mit­ted in eight award cat­e­gories.

An event for nom­i­nees will take place at Great Plains Col­lege on Oct. 2, when the fi­nal­ists in each award cat­e­gory will be an­nounced.

Photo by Matthew Liebenberg

Swift Cur­rent & District Cham­ber of Com­merce CEO Karla Wiens makes a pre­sen­ta­tion to Liv­ing Sky Casino Gen­eral Man­ager Trevor Marion, Sept. 24. Stand­ing be­hind them, from left, Cham­ber 1st Vice Chair Karen Rich­mond, Board Chair Doug Ev­jen, and Cham­ber Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant Mike Ro­gowski.

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