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Alberta Campers Enjoy Busy Victoria Day Long Weekend

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Campgrounds across Alberta (Canada) were either full or nearly full throughout the weekend, whether Sundre, Drumheller, the Bow Valley, or other popular destinations.

As per a report, Jack Goodall, the site manager of Greenwood Campground on the banks of the Red Deer River in Sundre, said that while his facility was bustling, the town center was a little bit quiet for a long weekend. 

Just outside of Sundre, Westward Ho Campground was filled to capacity with dozens of campers taking part in a baseball tournament around the area.  

“We were just about a full-up, and we had awesome groups, really good,” he said. “I think everybody came just to relax and enjoy themselves.”

Spring Creek RV Campground in Canmore said they were flooded with phone calls leading up to the long weekend, and the city was at a near gridlock with traffic headed east on Friday and Saturday.

Campers also turned out to campgrounds closer to city centers seeking to reduce the distance driven in their gas-guzzling RVs since fuel costs remain at historic highs. 

At Calgary West Campground, site manager Mei Lam said she had some cancellations from people out of town due to the high gas prices. The people who did make the trip were mostly hockey fans from Edmonton or Red Deer who’d nabbed tickets for the game on Friday, a match between the Flames and Oilers.

The campground enjoyed a great weekend, but it wasn’t back to the pre-pandemic norm, and Lam attributes this to the ongoing absence of foreign visitors.

“The long weekend should be a lot of overseas customers from Europe and Germany, but we don’t see that many yet,” said Lam, adding that she expects the campground to get busier as summer approaches and local families begin to look for easy getaways.

This was also the first May long weekend since 2019 that allowed unimpeded travel for Albertans across the provincial boundary to B.C.

Over the last two years, governments warned against unnecessary travel because of COVID-19, as well as other health orders that hindered campers from traveling too far. 

Construction halted over the weekend on the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden and is now fully open for the influx of travelers through the area. 

Starting Tuesday, intermittent lane closures and stoppages will return for the summer, and the extended highway closure is again planned for the fall, forcing travelers to detour through Radium.

This story originally appeared on Calgary Herald.

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