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Usage up nearly 40% at Turner Valley campground

Revenue was higher than expected at the Turner Valley Campground this camping season.
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The Turner Valley Municipal Campground saw higher than expected revenue in 2022.

Camping proved to be more fruitful than anticipated in Turner Valley this year.

Revenue was up at the Turner Valley campground compared to past years as overnight stays rose nearly 40 per cent compared to 2019. 

Monique LeBlanc, with the Town of Turner Valley, gave council a year-end campground report on Nov. 16.  

“We’ve had quite a successful year,” LeBlanc told council.

She credited the weather, dedicated staff and the introduction of a reservation system, albeit a manual one, for the good season. 

“When people knew that they could come here, and it was a guaranteed spot, then it would definitely increase the usage,” LeBlanc said. “Over and above all that, we had a wonderful host again this year."

Turner Valley first hired a paid host in 2021. 

The campground saw a $2,500 profit for the year with higher revenue and lower costs than expected. 

Receipts totalled more than $39,500 for the season, with operating expenses coming in at $37,000. 

The campground's proximity to the Town’s outdoor swimming pool and the Flare n’ Derrick community hall was a draw for visitors, LeBlanc said. 

“We had a number of special events that were full-booked family reunions, weddings, a lot of people booked the hall because they knew their guests could stay at the campground as well,” she said.

“That seemed to be a big feature.” 

Internet connectivity and the ability to accept electronic payments were also introduced this year. 

The campground opened fairly early and had higher occupancy over the summer months. Overall, occupancy was 38 per cent for the season, LeBlanc said.

“When you crunch down the numbers for the amount of time that we’re actually open, then it dropped our occupancy rate," she said.

The 18-site campground saw an estimated 1,122 site rental days compared with 690 in 2019. 

For next season, LeBlanc said an improved cancellation policy would reduce lost revenue from last-minute cancellations. 

Due to the amalgamation between Black Diamond and Turner Valley, the campground will begin to use the same online reservation system that Black Diamond has. 

“In general, it looks like it was a very good year," she said. "We had very, very few complaints and lots of compliments, so we always like to hear that.”