Town of Drumheller officially launched its paid parking trial on Monday, October 2, which will continue through the month of October, as a way to ensure residents, businesses, and Municipal Enforcement officers are prepared for the full program beginning in May 2024.
The program will help raise funds to offset increased pressure on municipal services and infrastructure over the tourist season, identified between May and October, and although residents and those working in the municipality are able to apply for an exemption with a residential parking permit, some stakeholders have concerns about potential impacts the program could have.
“While we support the concept of paid parking to generate revenue to support the Town’s infrastructure, at this point we are not certain what impact the parking fee will have on visitation to the World’s Largest Dinosaur,” says Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce Executive director Heather Bitz.
She explains the cost for parking will vary for visitors depending on the time of year, noting visitors at times have a line up just to make the climb. As the paid parking trial was only recently announced, Ms. Bitz says there has not been any visitor comments at this time, though the Chamber has plans to listen to and share any feedback it receives with the Town.
Another facility which could be impacted by the paid parking program is the Drumheller Memorial Arena, which shares a parking lot with the World’s Largest Dinosaur.
Boedy Shields, director of Operations for the Drumheller Dragons, tells the Mail, “The Drumheller Dragons feel that the paid parking initiative that is being put into place on October 2 will have a large negative impact on the organization, and potentially attendance at home games.”
He says the additional cost for parking “could be a major deterrent,” especially for those who are travelling from surrounding areas outside of Drumheller.
“The message from our fans and supporters is that they are very frustrated with this paid parking project, and the Dragons organization stands with our fans in that viewpoint,” Mr. Shields adds.