The Altona campground experienced a busy and successful summer in 2022.
"If we want to look in terms of comparison to last year numbers in 2021," explains Recreation manager Eric Hildebrand, "We had an increase of just over thirty-five per cent in nights booked for this past summer and a twenty-one per cent increase in overall reservations or bookings in 2022 compared to 2021. So, really an outstanding season for our campground facility within the Altona Centennial Park."
Hildebrand says user numbers were bolstered by the lifting of pandemic restrictions, allowing the return of baseball tournaments plus other community gatherings such as festivals, weddings, family reunions, church picnics and corporate events.
"Which then allowed organizations such as Altona Minor Baseball to go back and host their baseball tournaments. So, those three weekends, they fill the campground on their own just with baseball. Then of course, community events - everything was was wide open. We had Canada Day in the park, we had the Manitoba Sunflower Festival, Pembina Valley Pride event was in the Centennial Park."
Hildebrand says unrestricted access also boosted use of the Aquatic Center.
"We didn't sell season passes in 2021 last summer because of the restrictions in place. We didn't feel that season passes would be fair for limited to swim slots. This year we were able to go back and have a traditional season at the pool where season passes were being sold and utilized by families and individuals. Our swimming lessons that we provided this season were on par with what we would normally do going back to 2019 and earlier. A huge increase this year from last year."
There's been an increase in usage of the town's green spaces overall, noted Hildebrand. The outdoor basketball pad in Ash Park has become so popular that one user group offered to spruce up the concrete surface with colorful painted designs. The town is now considering upgrades to that green space including a permanent washroom facility and a picnic shelter.