Kneehill County implemented a pay parking pilot project at Horseshoe Canyon for the 2021 season, running from mid-May to the long weekend of September. Parking fees were $2/visit.
Overall, the pilot project was a success. Having staff on-site at the Canyon during weekend/outside regular work hours was of benefit to the Canyon and guests, as staff could address tourism questions, visitor concerns, encourage responsible visitation, and tend to washroom facilities. The Travel Drumheller Ambassador onsite also provided a welcome presence.
$17,492.26 (Lower traffic numbers due to prolonged heat, wildfire smoke, border closures, etc.)
At the September 28, 2021, Council meeting, Council directed administration to include provisions for paid parking and Kneehill County's Ambassador Program at Horseshoe Canyon in the proposed 2022 budget. Council also made the motion to discuss long-term planning for Horseshoe Canyon at a future Committee of the Whole meeting.
Should the project continue, it is recommended that parking fees stay consistent with those in the area, that a partnership with Travel Drumheller continue, that hours of staff on-site be extended, and a parking booth/facility constructed to provide staff shelter and increased revenue through branded sale items (water, t-shirts), etc.
These recommendations were brought forward as "Next Steps" in consultation with ratepayers through the Horseshoe Canyon Focus Group.
The booth would cost an estimated $25,000, which was budgeted for previously and postponed pending the Horseshoe Canyon Focus Group recommendations.