Driving the “Aikens Experience” - Remembering Guy Bérubé
May. 12, 2011
When Gerry and Lorraine Turenne and Phil and Jackie Lavack bought the lodge in 1988, most guests from Canada and the United States drove directly to the float plane base in Silver Falls. Guests were mostly from the Midwest and were within a day's drive. The North American wide marketing plan introduced by Gerry in 1989 quickly changed that and by the 1990 season 40% of our non-Manitoban guests were arriving via the Winnipeg International Airport. Need being the “Mother of Invention”, a new ground transportation service was created to make the trip from the airport in Winnipeg to Silver Falls fast, safe and worry-free.
Guy Bérubé, a retired inter-provincial bus driver, was recruited to deliver the service. Guy quickly became Aikens Lake’s icon for punctual, dependable and friendly service. After his first year, Guy recommended the purchase of a new 12 passenger van and helped in its selection. The “ ground transportation” option grew in popularity and by the time Guy retired in 2002, over 80% of our guests were using the service.
In 2003, Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge contracted with Michelle Gervais, president of O Tours Inc., an award winning tour company, to continue developing and delivering what had become a very popular option in the Aikens package.
In 2006, new partners Dale and Chris Jensen purchased a magnificent, new, 8-passenger luxury van, known as “Aikens 1”. It was added to the fleet and the ground transportation option was included in every package. The “Aikens Experience” has been exponentially enhanced by this now essential, dependable, comfortable and worry-free component which guarantees that our guests will enjoy their vacation from door to door. The ability to be on the dock at Aikens by 5PM for anyone in North America is a huge competitive advantage for our lodge. This past winter, O Tours Inc has also added a new 15-passenger van so our guests will continue to ride in style in either van.
Guy Bérubé passed away on April 6, 2011 at the age of 80. We very much appreciate Guy’s contributions to the lodge and the dedicated, excellent service that he provided to our guests. We are secure and content in the knowledge that he is keeping a watchful eye on us all as we travel to and from Aikens Lake. Merci beaucoup, mon ami!
Link to obituary: http://www.passagesmb.com/obituary_details.cfm?ObitID=176962