Tourism board supports rail project
reprinted from Red Deer
Advocate (Laura Tester) October 28, 2010
Tourism Red Deer is
giving an initial stamp of approval to a Red Deer group's proposal
for a children's theme park and group transportation museum in the
largely undeveloped district of Riverlands.
Executive director Darren Kuz said the tourism board met earlier
this month with Paul Pettypiece, president of Forth Junction
Heritage Society, to hear the group's dreams for tourist attractions
in the city and Red Deer County that embrace a railway theme.
Kuz said the board was impressed with what they heard and as a
result, the project is being supported in principle. A letter of
support will be crafted and given to Pettypiece within a week.
"In general, they were very supportive of his presentation and the
hard work that was put into the proposal," said Kuz on Wednesday.
"Whatever goes into Riverlands, we'll do what we can to market it to
residents and to visitors."
The heritage society wants to see shops, a children's theme park,
observation tower restaurant and ground transportation museum within
Riverlands, west of Taylor Drive and south of the Taylor Bridge. A
second main attraction will occur in an unidentified location within
Red Deer County. It would include replicas of several regional
railway stations for overnight lodging, a railway park, and a
Being in the initial stages, the society's plans haven't received
formal endorsements by the city and county.
Kuz added he anticipates Tourism Red Deer's first study on tourism's
economic impact will be done by the end of 2010.
Tourism Red Deer hired Atif Kubursi, an economic professor at
Hamilton's McMaster University, to do the $30,000 study funded
through the City of Red Deer.
"We want to find out the overall value of what the tourism industry
is," said Kuz.
Some of the questions that will be answered include the number of
full-time jobs directly related to tourism within the city and
The study's results will help Tourism Red Deer to craft detailed
marketing plans, Kuz said.