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

Former Central Alberta MLA appealing fine for not protecting a list of 20,000 electors

List included names and addresses of voters in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

Red Deer beginning two major construction projects

Ross Street’s 1935-era water main to be replaced and 67th Street roundabout landscaped

Lacombe firefighters on moose duty

Unfortunately, injured moose had to be put down by Fish and Wildlife officer

UPDATED: Spring craft sale attracts shoppers

Over 150 artisans at Red Deer craft sale

RCMP searching for man who may be armed

Citizens should not approach James Holley if spotted, says police.

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Doctors warn of cannabis risks for pregnant or breastfeeding users

OTTAWA — The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is warning pregnant and… Continue reading

Avicii, DJ-producer who performed around the world, dies

NEW YORK — Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out… Continue reading

Red Deer filmmakers are among 2018 Rosie Awards nominees

Cache Productions, Ignition Films in the running for AMPIA Awards

Audit clears Facebook despite Cambridge Analytica leaks

NEW YORK — An audit of Facebook’s privacy practices for the Federal… Continue reading

Marijuana sector firms get marketing pushback as legalization looms

TORONTO — Some Canadian marijuana sector companies are getting pushback against their… Continue reading

Red Deer volleyball player Samantha Gagnon named athlete of the month

A high school volleyball player has been named the Alberta Sport Development… Continue reading

Sarah Jessica Parker calls Cynthia Nixon’s run ‘exciting’

NEW YORK — Cynthia Nixon’s quest for the governorship of New York… Continue reading

Lawyers for Russian player say FIFA ends anti-doping case

By Graham Dunbar THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA — Lawyers for Russia defender… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month