Published on : Monday, August 21, 2017
Last summer, the rains shut down its mountain bike trails, while unfavourable cold and wet conditions deterred Calgarians from trying its newest attraction — the large three-lane waterslide called The Plunge.
But the sizzling heat this summer which is touted as Calgary’s warmest summer on record has sent many locals looking for outdoor recreations.
“It’s been an awesome summer compared to last year,” said WinSport spokesman Dale Oviatt. “Obviously, (last) July was one of the wettest ones we had in a long, long time, so it was a little bit of a struggle getting people out and this summer they’re coming in droves.”
He said in spite of temperatures surpassing 30C for a record number of days this summer, visitors seemed unfazed. “You came out here on a weekday in the middle of the summer last year and there were lots of empty parking stalls. People weren’t coming out, but this summer you come out here and between the motor homes and the cars, the parking lot is pretty much jam-packed,” said Oviatt.
Many are reporting around 20 percent increase in business over last summer, but not all local attractions are seeing the same benefits.
Trish Exton-Parder, spokeswoman for the Calgary Zoo, said extreme heat and downpours are of equal concern for attendance, but the zoo’s combination of indoor and outdoor activities proves profitable for business. Despite a decline in attendance in July, she said the zoo has caught up in August to stay on target. Along with the zoo, horse-jumping destination Spruce Meadows has also seen the flip side of a hot and dry summer.