New ser­vice of­fers day trips to south­ern Al­berta at­trac­tions

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Dave Mabell South­ern Al­berta News­pa­pers

“We don’t re­al­ize how spec­tac­u­lar south­ern Al­berta re­ally is.”

But Allen Gib­son wants to change that,

A vet­eran of the tourism mar­ket­ing in­dus­try, Gib­son is launch­ing a new ser­vice for south­ern Al­berta res­i­dents and vis­i­tors.

Fill­ing a gap in Leth­bridge’s tourism at­trac­tions, he’s of­fer­ing day trips this sum­mer which will of­fer catered meals and spe­cial events like bull rid­ing dur­ing a themed tour each week­end.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to be­ing of­fer­ing reg­u­lar tour op­tions to the res­i­dents of Leth­bridge and their vis­i­tors,” he says. “We think this is some­thing that’s been miss­ing in our tourism mix.”

Eight Star Tours, he says, will ini­tially of­fer two des­ti­na­tions.

On June 21, Gib­son will take guests to Writin­gon-Stone Provin­cial Park. A high­light of the day will be a visit with Wendy Slo­boda, who be­came a world-fa­mous re­searcher af­ter dis­cov­er­ing di­nosaur em­bryos on the Milk River Ridge.

Next Satur­day, his tour will take in part of the Mor­mon Trail Chau­tauqua Fes­ti­val. The day’s spe­cial event will be time with horse trainer Rod Olsen, as he demon­strates how he works with a young colt. Gib­son says the two tours – with spe­cial fea­tures chang­ing week by week – will be of­fered on an al­ter­nat­ing ba­sis through the sum­mer. Dates and de­tails are avail­able at 8StarTours.ca.

Fu­ture pos­si­bil­i­ties, he says, in­clude a tour fo­cus­ing on south­ern Al­berta’s power sources – wind, so­lar and geo­ther­mal as well as the hy­dro tur­bines in the Old­man Dam.

“What we have here is truly spe­cial,” Gib­son says. But for many south­ern Al­ber­tans, the only time they visit ma­jor at­trac­tions like Head-Smashed-In Buf­falo Jump is when they’re en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily mem­bers or friends who’ve come for a visit.

By or­ga­niz­ing nar­rated tour pack­ages, he says, he’s help­ing lo­cal res­i­dents learn more about their lo­cal area – while al­low­ing them to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence with their guests, with­out hunt­ing for spe­cial at­trac­tions, mak­ing restau­rant reser­va­tions or search­ing for de­tailed maps.

“I think south­ern Al­berta is ready for this kind of thing,” he says.

Based in Leth­bridge, Gib­son is a travel writer who’s also worked on mar­ket­ing for such at­trac­tions as Fort Whoop-Up and Water­ton Lakes Na­tional Park.

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