Saskatoon firm that builds snowbird trip houses seeing uptick throughout pandemic
SASKATOON — As the weather turns to colder conditions, there’s one Saskatoon man who has his sights set on warmer temperatures, even during the lockdown of a pandemic.
Mike Delaire is from Saskatoon and started a company six years ago, building vacation properties in Mexico. When the pandemic hit, he was concerned about the future of his business, which he built from scratch after traveling to Mexico and falling in love with the country.
“When everything was getting shut down I was worried about the business with the travel restrictions. It all changed though, it went from a negative to a positive situation,” Delaire owner of Caban Condos said.
Delaire found that people who were in lockdown had more time to research and look into pursuing dreams that they’ve been putting off.
“I think that is what this whole COVID situation has done for people is change their whole mindset about so many things in life and put a reset on for people about hey I’m going to retire early or I’m going to work remotely. ”
This reset has resulted in Delaire selling condos to Canadians and Americans, site unseen. A development that surprised him initially. He’s sold to many buyers from Saskatchewan who like the idea of having a Canadian to work with.
Terri Peterson is a counselor who works at the University of Saskatchewan. She says people in Saskatchewan have relied on getting away to warmer climates and breaking up the long winter which helps many with their mental health.
“It’s a new way of looking at things and it’s inspiring and some of it is light and sun and warm breezes and that new life that comes with spring or with warmer temperatures,” Peterson said.
She says this winter will be different with restrictions on activities we’re used to like hockey games, indoor gatherings and travel so people need to consider their mental wellness and find what makes them happy.
“People are starting to think about that and wanting to get ahead of it almost.”
That’s what Michael Koenig is doing. He bought a property from Delaire near the fishing village of San Crisanto on the Yucatan coast of Mexico. Having a local Saskatoon business owner to deal with made all the difference he says. Koenig farms near Luseland and says once his farming duties wrap up, he’s heading to his Mexican home for the winter, pandemic or not.
“Where else would you be less affected by COVID-19 than on a beach with nobody else around,” Koenig said.
He’s had two flights canceled by the airline since the pandemic started but is booked to go after Christmas for some warm weather therapy. He says, it’s much-needed rehabilitation for his arthritis and also mental health and he plans to quarantine when he returns back to Canada.
Caban Condos currently has three buildings on the go and Delaire expects to have a lot of interest from more Canadians during the upcoming winter.