Drumheller has always been known as the go-to destination for badlands and dinosaurs, but an increasing number of outsiders are coming to the Badlands Community Facility to get married.
The BCF is booked into 2017 with weddings, and with 14 receptions this year, its most ever and almost double last year’s, the facility is booked so solid this wedding season that a couple of patrons are even getting married on Tuesday evenings.
“They say the BCF is where they want to get married, and they’re willing to adjust their schedule to have the facility as their own,” said bookings manager Erica Crocker.
“It’s a great feeling.”
She said close to 50 per cent of patrons are from outside the Drumheller area, coming from north of Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer to tie the knot. Crocker believes most of these bookings have some connection to Drumheller already, whether it be family, or an experience they had here and its nostalgia, but she also feels many recognize the attraction of hosting their ceremony in the valley.
“The town itself having so many hotels is appealing to people outside of Drumheller. We’ve got this scenery, we’ve got banquet halls that can accommodate large numbers, state of the art equipment… It’s quite the area to get married in,” she said.
Town Community Services Director Paul Salvatore said it isn’t unexpected.
“It’s been in our plan all the way through. Word of mouth has been the best vehicle for spreading the word about our facilities, but marketing, packages, keeping our website up-to-date and making sure people are in the loop on social media are keys,” he said.
“We’ve had some pretty neat high scale weddings that have taken place there. There’s a higher level of the way you can layout the room, types of finishes for tables and chairs, that gives people a bit of imagination for what’s possible.”
Local Kelsie Campbell says along with the facility’s downtown location, ample parking, the scenic river view, and the staff effort has been a major bonus of their reception booking at the BCF.
“Planning a wedding comes with its stresses, and the staff have been incredibly proactive and accommodating when dealing with any wedding ‘crisis’ I throw at them,” she said.