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Posted on: November 4, 2020

Economic Task Force reports on safe re-opening of Banff National Park economy

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The Banff and Lake Louise Economic Task Force reports positive steps in the work this summer to rebuild the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but believes more work is needed through the winter and beyond as the crisis presents significant risks to the communities.

Banff & Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), Parks Canada, the Town of Banff, and Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA) created the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force in May to deliver a phased plan to safely and effectively re-open the economy in Banff National Park, with five specific objectives. 

“We have been incredibly fortunate that Banff National Park, and its communities, have been widely heralded for our approach to safely welcoming visitors back while keeping our community safe,” said Leslie Bruce, President & CEO of BLLT. “The pandemic has been devastating to our economy, but strong collaboration and a coordinated, destination approach have helped us stand out as a place that Albertans and Canadians feel welcome and safe.”

The task force has released a progress report outlining accomplishments, learnings and performance indicators for the five objectives.  

“Although we fared better than many communities and better than some early predictions, we know many residents and businesses have experienced a very difficult year that should not be forgotten as we move into a period of uncertainty with slowing visitation, at the same time as there are COVID outbreaks in Alberta and Canada,” said Karen Sorensen, Mayor of the Town of Banff. “One thing is certain—rebuilding the economy will occur over the long-term and we need to remain vigilant about keeping Banff National Park safe.”

The task force progress report identifies how the partner organizations focussed on creating the environment for public safety, while helping businesses and services reopen. Task force members also continued to collaborate with other orders of government and advocate for the local economy. 

“The strong reputation we earned as a safe place to visit is thanks to the hard work and commitment of businesses in Banff and Lake Louise to establish the highest possible safety standards,” said Darren Reeder, Executive Director of Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association. “We are also thankful to the federal and provincial governments for listening to our discussions about aid programs and real support needed to help our economy weather this global storm.”

The progress report reviews the five objectives of the task force:

  • Safely re-open the destination 
  • Welcome visitors back to Banff National Park
  • Protect the destination’s brand reputation
  • Coordinate communications to our stakeholders
  • Seek opportunities to test future sustainable approaches

 Members of the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force include:

  • Karen Sorensen, Town of Banff Mayor
  • Kelly Gibson, Town of Banff Manager
  • Trevor Long, Chair, Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association
  • Darren Reeder, Executive Director, Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association
  • Dave McDonough, Parks Canada, Banff Field Unit Superintendent
  • Rick Kubian, Parks Canada, Lake Louise, Yoho, Kootenay Field Unit Superintendent
  • Pete Woods, Chair, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism 
  • Leslie Bruce, President & CEO, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

 For media inquiries, contact:

  • Angela Anderson, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, 403-762-7761 or aanderson@banfflakelouise.com
  • Jason Darrah, Town of Banff, 403-762-1207 or jason.darrah@banff.ca


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