Annually, approximately 100,000 tourists visit Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is located within the County of Newell and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists come to camp and experience the naturally occurring beauty, but there is a lack of other tourist destinations and tourism opportunities to expand or enhance their experience.
The County is also home to Lake Newell, a large man-made reservoir located 14 kilometres south of the City of Brooks. Travel Alberta refers to the lake as “one of Alberta’s best kept secrets - Southern Alberta’s largest and warmest lake. Perfect for canoeing, sailing, fishing, swimming, etc.”
To best leverage the region’s tourism assets and recognizing the need for more adventure tourism opportunities, the Newell Region embarked on something new; the creation of business plans for tourism operators. These plans create opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to capitalize on existing and popular tourist destinations.
Outcomes for the project included;
This project was made possible through the province of Alberta’s Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) grant program.
Please click on the business plan for further information OR click HERE to download the full document (PDF).
The opportunity exists on both Lake Newell and Red Deer River for rentals of water sport equipment. The development of water sport rentals at these two locations would extend the range of outdoor adventure tourism opportunities available in the area.
The opportunity exists for the creation of comfort camping facilities on the privately owned land surrounding Dinosaur Provincial Park. The development of comfort camping facilities would significantly increase luxury camping capacity in the region to meet increasing demand.
There is an opportunity to build a Nordic spa on the land surrounding Lake Newell. The development near Lake Newell Resort would be the second largest spa in the province.
Building additional campgrounds is a tourism business opportunity available to the private landowners surrounding Dinosaur Provincial Park. Over 100,000 tourists visit the Park each year, placing significant strain on the campground accommodations within the Park itself.
The rise of glamping and guided excursions, alongside the rise of self-developed expertise and the extension of local knowledge networks via the internet combine to create an interesting opportunity for the region.
There is an opportunity to develop tourism around the pre-existing agricultural infrastructure and cultural heritage of the region. Many agricultural regions have branded themselves based on their produce and there is the chance to create a circuit or network of businesses and groups that tie into the cultural history of agriculture in the County of Newell as well as its present and future.
Combat archery games have existed alongside paintball and lasertag for many years, but it has recently exploded in popularity. This is partially due to the rise of franchises with bow-and-arrow wielding characters, such as Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. 2011 saw John Jackson invent a formalized version call “Archery Tag”. He has now licensed his concepts and gear to more than 170 locations.
There is an opportunity for the region to participate in a rapidly growing trend which is an indoor, four-season attraction. “Escape Rooms” originated in Asia in the early 2010s, naturally evolving from exploration-themed video games. There is a following for escape rooms, known as “Escape Room Enthusiasts”.
There is an opportunity to develop a network of “adventure touring activities” on off-road private land and public roads in the County of Newell. These tours would involve renting a vehicle or animal for guided or self-guided day-tours.