Sylvan Lake businesses feeling the chill of the cold summer
Some businesses in Sylvan Lake are feeling the effects of this year's colder than normal summer.
“Business this summer has been up and down, we had a late start because June was very cold and wet and windy. July was very much the same at the beginning and then off and on for the rest of July and August has been a little bit better,” said Charlie Everest, the owner of Aqua Splash.
“My business, the Sylvan Lake Aqua Splash is 100 per cent weather dependent.”
According to Environment Canada, the average high for June 2019 was 19 C, while in June 2018 it was 21.8 C. For July 2019 the high was 21.9 C, 1.9 C cooler than July 2018. For August, the average high in 2018 was 24.2 C but so far this August the high is sitting at 20.8 C.
The number of days with rain is up from the average as well. Since the start June, the central Alberta region has seen 51 days with rain. The average is 42 days.
“This summer were down about, in attendance for people coming out to the Aqua Splash, we’re down about 20 per cent, 15-20 per cent in numbers,” said Everest.
Even on nicer days, business has been down.
“The unpredictability of the weather has a lot to do with it, even if it’s going to be a remotely nice day people still don’t come,” he said.
Tourism contributes around $75 million to the Sylvan Lake economy annually.
The town is currently doing a new economic impact assessment of the industry.
“The study basically determines the economic benefit of the tourism industry here in the community. That of course helps entrepreneurs, investors both existing and potential,” said Communications Officer Joanne Gaudet.
The study is done once every four to five years, and is conducted by doing in-person interviews at the beach. The study also looks at pedestrian and traffic counts for the town.
“[Tourism] is a core pillar in terms of industries here in our community and it’s important to continue to monitor and manage it properly,” said Gaudet.
The results of the assessment will be made public in the coming weeks.