Zachary Strom

Businesses have a good summer

Some Central Alberta tourist-related businesses will see increased revenues following this summer’s bounty of sunny, warm weather.

Some Central Alberta tourist-related businesses will see increased revenues following this summer’s bounty of sunny, warm weather.

Tourism Red Deer executive director Liz Taylor said that final numbers won’t be tallied up until the end of September, but early indications are this was a good year for events and attractions.

“The fairs and the festivals were happy,” Taylor said. “And I think the hotels are doing well.”

Tourism Red Deer’s new website was also picking up a lot of “hits” from viewers, she added.

The factor that seemed to make for a profitable summer across Alberta was all that nice sunshine.

“I think it’s going to end up being a good summer across the board,” Taylor said. “The weather started out a little bit scary.”

Ellis Bird Farm closed for the season on Labour Day Monday.

Myrna Pearman, site services manager and biologist at the tourist attraction 15 km southeast of Lacombe, estimated that more than 10,000 people visited.

About 8,500 people attended in 2011, she said.

The weather was a huge factor, but so was increased publicity, she said.

The farm received some increased attention south of the Canadian border when PBS Television profiled Ellis Bird Farm on a Northwest Profiles segment.

“Word is getting out,” said Pearman.

It also appears golfers were smiling on the fairways, too.

Rob MacPherson, general manager of the Ponoka Golf Club, said this season was much more favourable than last year.

“The only drawback was that some days were too hot,” MacPherson said.

“Otherwise it’s been great.”

This season was probably the best in four years, he added.

Melody Ellerby and her husband Tim have owned Lakeside Go-Karts and Mini-Golf in Sylvan Lake for 11 years. This summer was “a little bit busier” than last summer, she said.

“We had tourists from a number of countries and all over Alberta,” said Ellerby.

Out in the West Country near Nordegg, David Thompson Resort was experiencing good business as well. It includes a 130-site campground, plus three group sites, cabins and a 46-unit motel.

Ron Killick, who has owned the resort for 18 years with his wife Wendy, said it was very wet in May and June.

But once the warm temperatures hit in mid-July, the resort has been very busy until now.

“We’re going to be about the same as last year for business,” Killick said.

He attributes depleted provincial staffing, such as fish and wildlife officers, for not keeping random camping at bay.

This practice of people camping for free is costing his business.

He’s frustrated that people can camp anywhere, throwing their garbage and sewage wherever.

“The provincial government has to do something about all this random camping,” said Killick.

“It doesn’t make sense that we’re paying upwards of $40,000 a year in property taxes when people can go camping in the ditch across the road.”

Just Posted

Pioneer life at Red Deer museum

Sunnybrook Farm Museum teaches students

Red Deer College student receives scholarship

Funding from Canadian Hearing Society

Central Alberta school districts are graded on their no-smoking policies

ASH wants them to tighten restrictions on tobacco, vaping, as well as cannabis

Free film shown in Red Deer Thursday to celebrate Recovery Day

A free film will be shown in Red Deer on Thursday about… Continue reading

Calder School takes shape in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum’s latest addition

Hushing my buzz: Alberta finance minister says cannabis warehouse will be secret

EDMONTON — Alberta is starting to stockpile marijuana but isn’t saying where… Continue reading

Relatives mourn death of Calgary-area woman killed by pet dog protecting child

CALGARY — Relatives of a Calgary-area woman killed by her own pet… Continue reading

Florence death toll climbs to 37; Trump visits stricken area

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at… Continue reading

Toronto election proceeding with 25 wards after court sides with province

TORONTO — Ontario’s top court has sided with the provincial government in… Continue reading

Scheer welcomes former Liberal MP Alleslev to Conservative caucus

OTTAWA — Andrew Scheer is trying to fire up his Conservative troops… Continue reading

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled today that Canada wants more… Continue reading

Uber driver suing Bucs’ QB Winston over groping incident

PHOENIX — A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay… Continue reading

Thousands of fans request grand jury probe of Prince’s death

MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of Prince fans are asking federal authorities to open… Continue reading

Most Read