Good year at local campgrounds in spite of rainy weather

Katrina Owens
Lakeside Leader

The word going around town is that Slave Lake’s tourism has increased during this summer. The Leader was interested to see if the gossip had some merit to it, so we called local campgrounds and the Lesser Slave Lake Visitor Information Centre (VIC) to see what they had to say about it.
We found out that from June to August has been pretty busy for the campgrounds, in fact, Big Fish Bay manager Willy Driedger, says he had more than 600 campers come through his RV Park in the month of July.
“It’s been very good; even with the rainy weather the season has done well,” he says. “We’ve had to turn away people for the August long weekend.”
Greg Weller, owner of Lakeview Campground and Marina (also known as ‘The Point’) echoes Driedger and says his 60-odd spots are always filling up with out-of-town visitors. Same also goes for Norm’s Walleye Camp.
“Things are going pretty good this season,” Weller says. “We’re always pretty well full.”
Roland on the River and Northshore Homestead, both open year-round, say this summer has been noticeably busier than previous years.
“The majority of our campers are from out of town,” says Betty Lessard of Roland on the River. “But we do get quite a few locals too. We’re steady all the time – our big start, just like everyone else, was the May long weekend.”
Northshore Homestead owner Roland Eben-Ebenau, similar to Lessard, says most of his visitors are touring the Lesser Slave Lake area.
“I have people coming from all four corners of Alberta – they’ve realized Slave Lake is the centre of the province and want to see it,” he says. “Once in a while I’ll have someone who’s made a long-distance journey from Ontario; other times I’ll have people from America and Europe come and stay.”
Eben-Ebenau adds, “We’re fairly steady; someone’s always coming and someone’s always going.”
Regional economic development supervisor, Marie-Lynn Starnes, says the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Visitor Information Centre, has had more than 350 people walk in its doors since the beginning of summer. When The Leader spoke with Starnes last month, she mentioned that visitors from all over the globe have been popping by.
“We have visitors from all over the world including United States, Australia, New Zealand Switzerland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Nepal and China,” she said.
More information on campgrounds is online at www.slavelake.ca.

Sunny days

Local campground Roland on the River looking like quite the peaceful retreat on a nice summer day.

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