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Thursday, 02 November 2017 14:39

Castle Area gathering input on tourism with open houses Nov. 8-9

Written by  Demi Knight
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The best kept secret of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in southern Alberta, Castle Mountain Resort and its tourism capabilities will be under review this November with two open houses to gather local input and create a better vision for tourism in the area.

On Nov. 8, the town of Pincher Creek is hosting an open house at the Pincher Creek Community Hall from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and one more on Nov. 9 that the Blairmore Elks Hall to gather the public's thoughts on how to elevate the beautiful mountain destination.
Marie Everts, Marketing Events and Economic Development Officer for the Town of Pincher Creek,  says that this open house is important to residents within the town as the Castle Region is home to so many people within Pincher Creek.
“The Castle Region is much loved by many who live here.  I think there is always interest when a strategy is being created that will have impact on those who call Castle home,” says Everts  “The Castle Region already has a significant impact on our economy and as the strategy moves, changes or grows it is important that we are a part of the plan.”
The natural beauty, cultural significance and outdoor activities that this resort offers to the area has been substantial over it’s decades of being active. From superior skiing and snowboarding terrain to its scenic views, the area has become a large tourist attraction to locals, nationals and internationals alike.
Because of these factors, the Government of Alberta is hoping to hear from local residents, indigenous peoples and interested Albertans on what they think makes the area so special. The government hopes to hear ideas from the public on ways to create a vision for the future tourism capabilities of this resort which will in turn create better economic success for these surrounding areas and create more jobs within the community.
“Pincher Creek is the ‘home town’ of the Castle region, people who live, visit and play in the Castle region typically use Pincher Creek for services, accommodation and more,” says Everts. “From a community perspective, I think input on what is happening is important and having the chance for collaboration and partnership.”
As the area moves forward with new strategies to increase visitation and maximize tourist developments, the government is reaching out through the upcoming open houses to create an inclusive environment so changes can be made to benefit not only the tourist sector, but all the localsthese developments will affect.
“It is hard to estimate how many people will come out to the open house, but I will do what I can to encourage people to attend and give feedback,” says Everts of the approaching open houses. “There was some discontent around the announcement of the Castle Park and a lot of the feedback that I heard was that there was no community consultation, well here is an opportunity to I am encouraging everyone to get out and use that opportunity.”
However, it’s not only locals who are encouraged to offer their input but travellers as well, either those that have visited the area, hope to visit or are passionate about Canada’s mountain communities. Anyone interested in being a part of the conversation can offer their ideas by completing an online survey available on the Alberta Culture and Tourism website at: before Nov. 19.
With hopes to grow and maximize opportunities for tourism in every region of the province, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, who will be hosting the online survey are working with industry partners with the Government of Alberta to achieve a collective goal of tourism in Alberta to be a $10.3 billion-dollar industry within the province by 2020. Working with the beautiful mountainous Castle area is just one way in which the Province hopes to reach this goal with the help of the general public.

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