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B10 - PRAIRIE POST - Friday, October 28, 2011

Brooks Dinosaur Provincial Park a must-see attraction

BY ROSE SANCHEZ — Visitors continue to make time to see the hidden

gem that is Dinosaur Provincial Park in the Badlands northeast of Brooks. Although officials are still analyzing data gained

through the busy summer months, they believe visitor numbers are staying constant from year to year.

“Right now (in tourism), if you’re saying you’re holding your own, you’re doing pretty good,” says Brad Tucker, head of visitor services with Dinosaur Provincial Park. There were likely less American visitors this past summer due to the high Canadian dollar, but a strong number of international visitors and a lot of Albertans took in the picturesque site. Numerous visitor programs are offered through the summer months and well worth taking in. A sunset tour proved popular even though it was a little more expensive. It offered a chance to photograph some of the amazing landscapes in the park. “People are watching their spending, but are still willing to spend money

on a quality program they want,” says Tucker. This past summer, a day camp was added for

children ages seven to 12. It was also well attended. “We offered about the same total number of

programs, but we are constantly changing them to keep up with the change people are looking for in their tourism experience,” says Tucker. Another new popular addition which

may be expanded next year was comfort camping. In Dinosaur Provincial Park there are no cabins, just campsites for tenting or RVs. Comfort camping was the chance for visitors to spend a night in a walled tent on a platform. The three tents available were fully furnished, had electricity, a fridge and a barbecue on the deck. The were $100 a night and 75 per cent occupied throughout the summer. The unique camping experience offered

a chance to enjoy the comforts of home, while still feeling the wind blowing against the sides of the tent. “They were our only sites with a river-

front view,” says Tucker. “They appealed to people who had never camped and

people who had camped their whole lives and didn’t want to sleep on the ground.” Based upon the positive experience of comfort camping in Dinosaur Provincial Park, other parks in Alberta may also pursue the idea next summer.

Continued on page B11 In Dinosaur Provincial

Park, the landscape is breathtaking and visitors only have to look down to be able to see bones from dinosaurs which roamed the landscape millions of years ago. In the photo above, the fossil is the light coloured area which resembles a piece of wood.

Photos by Rose Sanchez

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