New home build site opens north of Prince Albert

Lake Country Co-op held a grand opening for its new Ready to Move (RTM) Home and custom-build site on Thursday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Lake Country Co-op expanded their presence north of Prince Albert with the official opening of a new Ready to Move (RTM) Home and custom-build site on Thursday.

The six-acre site includes a 5,000 square foot show room space. The site is located five minutes north of Prince Albert just off the Red Wing Service Road.

Vice-President of Consumer Operations and Innovation Geoff Germane said they’ve done a lot of business north of Prince Albert, and the new site will allow them to better-serve their customer base.

“We’ve had great support from all of our members and everybody in the area,” Germane said. “Lake Country Co-op has been around for 80+ years. We’ve been building and customizing homes and stuff for the last 30 years, but we felt we needed an opportunity to enhance what we’ve been doing, bringing a better experience and bringing a new showcase to the area.”

Lake Country has been building homes in different communities for the last few years. The list of build sites includes their Shellbrook and Spruce Home locations.

However, Germane said they wanted a site closer to their home base in Prince Albert, since they’ve started showing lots and properties as well.

“It was a little too far to go,” he said of their other locations. “This gives us a little more access to our home centre when we’re needing things, and it’s on a major highway in the development area, so it gives us more opportunity to meet the needs of customers.”

The new location will provide a professional space to design, consult, and view progress on a new build. There will also be space for continued winter storage for boats, trailers, and RVs.

Inflation, cost increases, and labour shortage have hit the construction industry hard in 2023. In June, a Royal Bank of Canada report showed construction prices have risen 51 per cent since the first quarter of 2020.

Despite the challenges, Germane is confident Lake Country Co-op’s new venture will prove successful.

“We’ve got a highly talented team (and) many years of professionalism with all our staff, so we’re consistently buying and sourcing out and partnering with contractors, (and) partnering with our vendors in order to bring the best goods and services at the best value we can offer,” he said. “It’s tough (with) the economy and inflation. The market is going up and down, so we’re trying to build off of trends and being fluent with the market and everything that’s happening within North Central Saskatchewan and across the Western Provinces. We’re trying to just bring the best value that we can into the community.”

Thursday’s grand opening included a ribbon cutting ceremony, a free smoked lunch, self-guided tours and giveaways.