Sylvan Lake asks tourists to stay home this long weekend
EDMONTON -- The Town of Sylvan Lake usually welcomes the return of summer tourists to its community beginning on May long weekend. But this year, they're asking out-of-towners to stay home.
Lakefront parking lots are blocked off, washrooms are closed and picnic shelters are not available.
"We're kind of following the recommendations from Dr. Hinshaw that request that people stay within their primary communities," director of emergency management Ron Lebsack told CTV Morning Live Edmonton. "[It's] for the health and safety of our community as well as for the health and safety of the province."
Stage 1 of Alberta's relaunch strategy began on May 14, allowing many businesses to reopen at 50 per cent capacity.
Lebsack said the restrictions mean businesses will only be able to help local residents. In the meantime, they don't want to be overwhelmed with tourists.
According to Sylvan Lake Visitor Services, more than 760,000 people visit in the summer season alone.
The town has its own relaunch plan in place, following the province's plan, and hopes to open the lakefront later in June.
"We've got our little tag line: come visit us in Sylvan, but later," Lebsack said. "Certainly when things open up, we'd love to see everybody again."
Sylvan Lake is 160 kilometres south of Edmonton and 18 kilometres west of Red Deer.