Sylvan Lake to pitch its opportunities in China

Sylvan Lake is joining a trade mission to China to drum up investment.

Investment wish list in hand, Sylvan Lake economic development officer Vicki Kurz is taking her pitch to China.

Kurz will be among about 10 Central Albertan representatives, including Central Alberta Access Prosperity, the region’s economic development organization, who will join the 10-day provincial trade mission organized by provincial representatives and the economic development organizations for Calgary and Edmonton.

Trade missions have gone before but this mission is also branching out more into the investment side of economic development. Some are pursuing leads in agriculture and agri-food and information communication technology.

Kurz is among six representatives who will be pursuing investments connected with tourism during the trade and investment mission that will take place Nov. 15-28.

She is taking background information, already translated into Mandarin, for three investment opportunities.

“We’re looking for a themed amusement park,” she said. With the removal of the waterpark, the town would like to see an amusement park built to attract tourists from May to October.

The town is also looking for interest in a lodge and conference facility. One was proposed years ago at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Centennial Street but the project got no further than the construction of an underground garage.

“We’re also looking at investors interested in assembling (commercial) properties that are a little older and re-developing them in the downtown.”

Kurz said there are not a lot of investment dollars floating around Alberta given the downturn.

“So, the idea is to go and see if there are investors in other countries who are interested,” she said.

The trip is not meant only to promote the town. Kurz will also be talking about area companies and she wants to hear from others interested in having their businesses promoted before she heads overseas.

Airfare and accommodations will cost the town less than $5,000, she estimates. As part of a provincial trade mission many costs, such as transportation, meeting spaces and translation services are covered.

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