Sum­mer kicks off with busy Victoria Day Week­end

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The sum­mer sea­son is here, and it was an in­cred­i­bly busy week­end for the val­ley.

The un­of­fi­cial be­gin­ning of the tourism sea­son is May Long Week­end. A quick drive through the val­ley saw at­trac­tions burst­ing at the seams. Roads were filled with bi­cy­clists, mo­tor­cy­cles, RV's and all kinds of fam­ily truck­sters tak­ing in all the val­ley has to of­fer.

On Sun­day af­ter­noon the At­las Coal Mine cel­e­brated its cen­ten­nial and the birth­day cake lasted only min­utes. The site was busy all day, and their over­flow park­ing filled.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum saw line-ups through­out the day, with vis­i­tors stream­ing to ex­plore the gal­leries. The mu­seum saw 16,665 vis­i­tors over the hol­i­day week­end, up 9 per cent over last year. Sun­day saw 5,738 vis­i­tors alone.

Car­rie Ann Lunde, head of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions for the Tyrrell, says they ex­pect a busy sea­son, and al­ready had a strong kick off

with record num­bers dur­ing the Fam­ily Day week­end.

“We ex­pect to be very busy. Last year was a record break­ing year at the mu­seum, and we are about on par this year in term of num­bers,” she said. “While we are down a lit­tle this year, we are still up 14 per cent over the five-year av­er­age.”

One rea­son to ex­pect the busy 2017 is the amount of press the mu­seum has been re­ceiv­ing, re­lated to its new ex­hibit that fea­tures the No­dosaur. While most of the Tyrrell's vis­i­ta­tion comes from right here in Al­berta, this might spur more in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

“The sheer amount of me­dia cov­er­age I am still field­ing from the no­dosaur, I think it is go­ing to be busy,” she said “There might be some trickle down too be­cause a lot of the cov­er­age we are get­ting is in­ter­na­tional I had a TV out­let from Bangladesh here yes­ter­day, and another com­ing from Ger­many. So we could see some in­crease in in­ter­na­tional num­bers over the next few years.”

She adds that part of her role is to look at how to in­crease vis­i­tor­ship, and the Mu­seum has been work­ing hard meet­ing both, lo­cal and in­terna- tional op­er­a­tors to take another look at Drumheller.

“The more we go to in­ter­na­tional trade shows and get more tour op­er­a­tors to come out here, and the more pro­file we can get with news in­ter­na­tion­ally all contributes,” she said.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum saw its vis­i­ta­tion over the hol­i­day week­end up 9 per cent over last sea­son.

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