Certified personal trainer Alana Hecker draws from her extensive training experience and degree in Kinesiology to propel clients toward their fitness goals during 50-minute boot-camp sessions within a spacious gym studio. She leads up to 40 students through rigorous combinations of exercises designed to tone torsos and torch fat. Alana also helms informative individual assessments that can determine a client’s current level of physical fitness, chart their progress as they make their way through the program, and predict the middle initial of their first-born child.
Big payouts aren't the only things that draw smiles at Dakota Dunes Casino. Across the facility's 85,000 square feet, visitors break into grins over sprawling buffet, the full-service bar, live entertainment, and, of course, gambling. A multitude of staffers roam the casino floor, ensuring each guest has no cause to frown.
More than 600 machines fill the slot area with electronic beeps and bright neon lights, which display names such as Life of Luxury and Dakota Dunes Mysteries. The largest potential payday comes from the Smoke Signals Jackpot, which awards its winners with at a minimum of $250,000—enough to purchase the entire moon in 1952. Hundreds of machines may dispense thousands of dollars at any given time, while one- and two-cent machines dispense more frequent thrills. Inside the poker room, games of limit and no-limit Texas hold'em stretch well past midnight.
Dakota Dunes Casino also hosts the occasional live music performance from country and bluegrass artists along with other entertainment acts.
Though Boh’s Cycle & Sporting Goods’ staff stocks racks with gear by The North Face, Thule, and Ripzone, their commitment to outdoor adventure extends beyond the shop’s walls. Certified paddling instructors lead introductory canoe and kayaking lessons down Moose Jaw river, imparting water-slicing basics and teaching the correct hand signals for pizza delivery by the local birdlife. Simple kayak and canoe rentals are also available for up to a full day’s worth of tranquil water traversal for the more confident. When embarking on land voyages, customers can peruse the shop’s selection of bikes and parts, or get adjustments from the shop’s mechanics, who can repair and fine-tune road-weary bikes or sharpen skates and repair skis in the winter. Besides bringing together lovers of the outdoors inside the shop, Boh’s crew also runs a running club that converges Tuesdays and Sundays before setting off for hill climbs and speed drills or distance runs.
In the mornings, Kathleen Whippler—YMCA of Regina’s senior director of funds development, marketing, and communications—greets a group of ladies on their way to an arthritis exercise class. They’ve told her how the class helps keep aches at bay for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, she sees parents drop their kids off at the Y’s special-needs program. They’ve told her that before the program, there was nowhere for their kids to go, let alone a place they were excited about. Experiences like these keep Whippler passionate about her work at YMCA of Regina. “You can see the difference you make—what I do affects the lives of other people.”
These programs reflect YMCA of Regina’s overarching mission to build healthy communities. As bustling community hubs, both locations tout dozens of programs and amenities, such as four-lane pools, cardio machines, free weights, and more than 65 weekly exercise classes. Furthermore, the centres strive to make fitness a key part of any lifestyle; personal trainers lead private sessions, fitness classes include yoga and Zumba, and the Northwest centre invites guests to scale a climbing wall.
Although physical fitness is a critical part of overall wellness, the Y’s services extend far beyond the workout room. The centres host an alternative suspension program that strives to transform school suspensions into positive, transformative experiences, and the Community Café provides youth with job training. Whippler says services like these help form tight-knit communities. “It’s just a place to belong,” she says.
Bobbin winders, needle plates, and feed dogs—the pair of technicians as The Sewing Machine Store have learned the ins and outs of all these components during more than 63 collective years of servicing sewing machines. Although they specialize in models from Pfaff, Singer, Baby Lock, Janome, and Bernina, the experts will tackle any machine whose needle has signed a peace treaty with the fabric it once stabbed, even providing one-day turnaround for those out of town.
In addition to mending broken machines or equipping shoppers with new ones, The Sewing Machine Store—once known as S & S Sewing Centre—also holds acres of quilting fabrics and space for classes. Owner and veteren seamstress Kathy Kennedy preside over many of these lessons, which focus on everything from sewing basics to advanced quilting techniques. In addition to classes, the Saskatoon location also invites guests to use the machines and tools in its pay-by-the-hour sewing lounge whenever their own gear is out of commission.