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Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Travel Alberta assist owners, visitors

 

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    Travel Alberta came to the Ramada in Drumheller on Wednesday, February 24 during their tour of the province, to make business owners aware of the marketing potential Travel Alberta can provide to businesses in the tourism industry.
    Travel Alberta is the tourism marketing agency of the Government of Alberta, its  mission is to manage the investment of Tourism Levy revenues effectively and efficiently in tourism marketing programs and services.      

    The agency re-invests the revenue into developing the tourism industry within Alberta, which represents a big share of the market and also markets Alberta to the rest of the world.
    About 15 business owners came to hear Travel Alberta’s update and learn about the tools available to improve their revenue.
    Shelley Grollmuss, regional executive director of Travel Alberta explained “We need to sell Canada first, then Alberta and finally your product”.
    Recently, they have entered into discussions with China to be able to market the area there and are hopeful to sign a contract soon. 
    Recent news in the flight industry is also opening doors to Alberta as a destination, Air Canada is starting a flight from Tokyo to Calgary,  three times a week, while Korean Airlines is starting a summer charter.    
    They also have a partnership with Dutch airline KLM which has opened a route from Amsterdam, giving them access to the whole of Europe.
    During 2010, they are also concentrating their efforts on the British Columbia market, so far achieving $50 million in unpaid media as a result of their efforts for coverage during the Olympics and managing to retain their brand advertising via the Vancouver to Whistler daily shuttle train until October 2010. They advised they would invest in a $2 million advertising campaign in BC too this year.
    While they are busy tapping into the international market and other provinces and developing a strong brand, they offer schemes and tools for local businesses to help them better market themselves and achieve higher revenue, often at no cost to the business.
    One of such offerings is their cooperative marketing, which is not only a financial help they provide to industry consortium, they will also advise and assist every step of the project. 

  


Dino Derby heading for Father’s Day

 

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    Drumheller Chuckwagon fans will have to dust off their boots a little earlier this summer as the Badlands Dinosaur Derby is coming on Father’s Day.
    The Dinosaur Derby is the flagship event of the Drumheller Stampede and Ag Society, and after a long history of a mid summer schedule it will be running on June 18, 19 and 20 this year. According to Ag Society president Larry Duxbury, because of scheduling conflicts, the Dino Derby was forced to run on the Father’s Day weekend.
    “It could be a blessing in disguise,” said Duxbury. It may prove to be a popular weekend, especially for those looking to spend time with dad on his special day. It also becomes the third event in the WPCA (World Professional Chuckwagon Association) schedule.
    The scheduling will make it an exciting week at Dinosaur Downs because the very next weekend, the 2nd Annual Tractor Pull and Agricultural tradeshow will be in full swing.
    Duxbury says the Ag Society rescheduled the tractor pull because a June date fits better into the schedule of the agricultural community. The Ag Society is looking at making it a full blown stampede week,  by tying the two events together.
     To get ready for the Dino Derby, the annual Canvas Auction is set for Tuesday, April 6.  Once again, Drumheller will be part of the auction, and local bidders will be able to head to the Stampede Barn to cover their favourite drivers’ wagons. There will be food and drinks at the event, as well as some of the top chuckwagon drivers in the province.
    Not only is it a chance to show your support for the event, but to meet some of the drivers on the track, and potentially  on the podium.
    Another bonus for bidders is that anyone who purchases a tarp, will have their name entered into a draw for tickets to wherever WestJet flies. WestJet will also have a presence at the Badlands Dinosaur Derby, with more tickets up for grabs.
    Again, this year, there are a number of ways to bid on a tarp for the Dinosaur Derby. While the Satellite Auction begins on April 6 at 5 p.m., those wanting to get a jump on bidding can register at www.wpca.com for a bid number and place your pledge on a tarp. The online bidding closes 24 hours before the live action begins.
    The Ag Society is in the process of sending out sponsorship packages to previous bidders. For more information, or to receive a bidding package, contact the Drumheller Stampede and Ag Society at 403-823-9339, or e-mail drum_ag @telus.net.

Landlord challenges utility structure

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    The owner of a Drumheller trailer court feels he is being discriminated against by the Town of Drumheller with recent changes to the way utility bills are being levied, and is willing to go to the Energy Utilities Commission to find a solution.
    Anthony Audia, owner of Greenwood Villa Mobile Home Park has seen a 300 per cent increase in his water and wastewater bill in the last three years. This year, he saw an especially large increase after the town changed how it bills for apartment buildings and manufactured home parks.
    Under the changes, each dwelling unit in an apartment complex or lot in a manufactured home park will be billed the $10 fixed rate for water and the $10 fixed rate for wastewater. Owning a property with 110 hook-ups, his bill increased by $2,200 a month, a cost he’ll have to pass onto his tenants. Even for the 15 lots that are unoccupied, he pays the flat rate.
    “Last year when they raised the rates, I kept quiet, but this is too much,” said Audia. “My tenants cannot afford another $50 increase per month. One-third of them are pensioners, there are some who are on AISH and some who work for minimum wage. In good conscience I cannot do that and this town cannot do that.”
    “I used to pay $3,000 per month a year ago, and last year it went up to $5,000 on average. Now it’s $9,000 in January.”
    This makes him worry about the impending summer months when usage goes up maintaining the property and playground.
    Audia adds he is  not able to make rental increases until November 2010.
    He said this is unfair because the whole property runs off one water meter, and Greenwood Villa maintains the entire infrastructure.
    “They don’t fix the road, I do. I maintain the sewers. If there is a break, I pay for the water that is lost,” he said.
    He said, in fact, he treats much of the sewer water that comes from the property, cleaning out the solid waste annually before it hits the sewers and municipal water treatment plant.
    “We do everything in our power to do things right, and they come back with this, I am out of my wits,” he said. “I tried to develop a community where people can be friendly. We have worked very well with the RCMP to clean up the place. We are looking after both the social and the building community.”
    Michael Roy, director of Corporate Services, said the town made the changes to make it more fair.
    “We had some members of the community comment it was inequitable that all the units in an apartment or a trailer park only had to pay the single fee, whereas a homeowner had to pay the same fee,” said Roy. “Council reviewed it and decided each residential unit would have to pay the fee.”
    He said he has seen the same practice in Taber.
    Roy explains the rate it is based solely on the number of units and not the number of water meters or sewer lines. The flat rate, he said is not related to the infrastructure.
    “That is the base fee we charge everybody, regardless of the amount of water consumed,” said Roy.
    Audia is pursuing the matter and has sent correspondence to the Alberta Utilities Commission. It is written into the Municipal Government Act that a resident can appeal to the commission and it can rule if the billing for the utility service does not conform to the public utility rate structure established by the municipality, has been improperly imposed, or is discriminatory.
    Audia has also sent a letter to Drumheller Town Council and hopes they can come to a resolution.
     He states, “Between February 19, 2010 and the time that the Alberta Utilities Board sets a hearing date, I am available to the Town of Drumheller to come to a resolution of this complaint. I would like to address Council, Mayor and administration on this issue through an in camera meeting…in the meantime, the ‘complaint to the Alberta Utilities Commission’ continues.”  
    Audia adds he has talked to councillors Sharel Shoff and Terry Yemen on the issue, and they have been receptive.

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