By Laura Keil

Tourism Valemount is usually not in the business of making people think twice before they visit Valemount, but with the hotel room and camping spot shortage due to pipeline workers, Society President Pete Pearson says they will be encouraging people to plan ahead.

“It’s so hard right now because of the accommodation sector,” Pearson told the Goat. “Even for camping, there are so few spots.”

He says the vision for Tourism’s marketing campaign this year will be largely to maintain Valemount’s presence and encourage people to plan ahead, similar to the approach taken by other North Thompson Valley communities.

“Clearwater, Wells Grey, Blue River and us, we’re all in the same boat as far as pipeline pressure so I think our messaging is going to really focus on ‘We’re here, but plan ahead. Call ahead and see what’s available first. Don’t show up on a Friday and expect to get rooms for the weekend to go biking.'”

With tourism re-opening, it’s going to be tough, he said.

“We want to still be able to welcome people. You don’t want to chase people down the road to Revelstoke or something.”

He said the Berg Lake Trail being closed is another big blow to local tourism. He was surprised by the data from Parks this year that the Berg Lake Trail economic impact is more than $2 Million/year.

“I had no idea that just the Berg Lake Trail would have that kind of impact “¦ just on the valley.”

He said Tourism has had to shift their focus from the Berg Lake Trail to other trails like the new Terry Fox trail.

“Just because Berg Lake’s gone doesn’t mean you can’t hike in the valley.”

Tourism Valemount’s interim manager Pierre Frigon is working remotely from north of Edmonton. Pearson said he was a big part of setting up the Destination Marketing Organization in Jasper when they went through that process. 

Stay tuned for an upcoming story with Pierre in the Goat!