Beach goers enjoy the sand along Lakeshore Drive in Sylvan Lake recently. (File photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Sylvan Lake sells itself as corporate retreat

Town sees untapped potential in attracting corporate travel customers

Sylvan Lake is rolling out the red carpet for regional travel agents.

The town, Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce and Days Inn hotel have joined forces to pitch the merits of the popular lakeside town as a corporate retreat destination.

This weekend a full schedule of events has been organized to show off Sylvan Lake’s best side to those in a position to direct visitors and corporate clients the town’s way.

“With industries such as oil and gas in flux, the Town of Sylvan Lake is hoping to benefit from a strong tourism industry,” said Vicki Kurz, economic development officer.

Nearly 20 Calgary-based travel agents who specialize in corporate outings and retreats will get a personalized tour of Sylvan Lake’s amenities and meet the owners of businesses, such as Sylvan Lake Paintball, which offer the kinds of diversions popular as team-building exercises.

Kurz said the local Days Inn hotel approached the town with the travel agent hosting proposal.

There is plenty of untapped potential in Sylvan Lake for corporate retreats, she said.

“Absolutely, especially with the NexSource Centre opening,” she said, referring to the town’s new $34-million recreation complex and seniors centre.

Sylvan Lake has been steadily adding to its hotel room inventory. There are 227 brand-name hotel rooms available.

“We probably have double the capacity from four or five years ago,” she said.

If the initiative proves as successful as expected, Kurz hopes to see a similar event for Edmonton-based corporate travel agents.

Meanwhile, Kurz continues to work on attracting investors interested in building a convention centre in Sylvan Lake.

On a trade mission to China last December, she promoted the opportunities for a hotel and convention centre to potential investors.

This weekend, travel agents will be toured around the Days Inn, Lakeshore area, local restaurants and will be in the crowd for the town’s annual 1913 Days Parade on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday will feature a golf or spa outing, depending on the weather.

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