Building tourism: how you can help

Tylor Warman
Mayor of Slave Lake

Growth is good isn’t it? Council has been aggressive over the last couple of years on a plan to grow tourism and economic development in the region. We want our region to diversify, and feel tourism is the biggest opportunity we have going. Sometimes we have to take these initiatives on ourselves, and other times opportunity comes knocking on our door. Lately we have a bit of both, and so I thought I would reach out for a little help and feedback.
Over the last year, members of the public, stakeholders from the tourism industry, and council members from both the MD of Lesser Slave River and the Town of Slave Lake have been working to make tourism a priority in Slave Lake.
Earlier this year we created a tourism board which will work towards developing tourism projects, support business, encourage infrastructure development and market our region as a tourist destination. This group has recently filed for official status with the provincial government. As we wait for the approval, the board has begun the process of filling board positions, and is looking for more members to help provide direction, leadership and vision to keep things moving forward. The board has seven positions, two of which are filled by myself and Councillor Robert Esau from the MD. If you are interested in shaping our tourism future, please contact Darcie Acton, our Economic Development Officer through email at edo@slavelakeregion.ca. If you are interested in tourism, but the board is not for you, we will be searching for general membership as well. We need people who want to help promote this region and make sure we turn the Slave Lake Region into a destination and not a ‘stop’ along the way.
On a housekeeping note, we are currently in the process of refreshing the Visitor Information Centre. We will be hosting an event in mid May so keep an eye out for it. Or if you have the chance, stop by and see some of the exciting new changes at the Visitor Information Centre.
Trying to get people to come visit the Slave Lake Region, and stay with us can be tough. Marketing is expensive and requires a lot of legwork. What can be even tougher is making sure tourists have something to experience when here, possibly enjoy, and take part in. This leads me to my second request from you. We were recently approached by a developer who is interested in turning the Sunset Place land in the SW of town (directly south of Fournier Place where the temporary trailers are being removed).
This developer would like to see us retain the services currently located on the property, so they can potentially build a full hook up RV Park, and expand our camping facilities in the region. We often struggle to have enough camp sites in the area and as we try to grow tourism, people need a place to stay. We think this could be a good fit, but want to know your thoughts. There is a quick survey on our Town website.
Growing our community should be the goal of any leadership. The easiest way to do that is by showing people from here and people abroad just what this region has to offer. This project will continue to be a main focus as we help to strengthen our local economy and improve the quality of life for all our residents. I appreciate you making the effort and taking the time to help us shape that vision!

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