Residents of the Crowsnest Pass business community met up at Ben Wong’s restaurant in Blairmore to discuss the economic climate of the region.
What stuck with me throughout the day and following week was the desire of the group to encourage businesses to come to the community and encourage more people to come and visit.
The towns in the Crowsnest Pass region all have row upon row of small business buildings at first glance. If you take the time to stop and walk in one would realize a hidden collection of unique and useful shops for every service from health and fitness to hunting and clothing stores.
All these are a great testament to a town’s take on small business, however, the question still remains; how will the region encourage big business to come to the region.
The obvious answer would be investing in the mining industry like with the recent, acquisition of land for Riversdale Resources (this not only brings a large company to the area but provides employment and more business for local services).
But, this will also create tension over the land itself and what it could be used for whether it is a matter of preserving a historical space or a tourism attraction.
Big business is well and good, but one of the main points made during the business meeting is the ability of the area to increase tourism.
Look around you. How is the Crowsnest Pass not already a booming tourism centre?
There could be hiking and outdoor adventures (zip-lining, etc.) in the summer and endless winter activities like; skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing- even heli-skiing adventures.
Every single one of the activities could bring massive business increases to the towns and communities of the Crowsnest Pass area, not to mention, it would showcase the beauty of the region.
At the end of the day, I find it hard to believe there isn’t one local inhabitant of the area who doesn’t stop and realize the value of their surroundings whether it is from a business, environmental or outdoor enthusiast point-of-view.