Evergreen Park delivered an update to County Council Monday, painting a positive picture for the multi-purpose facility.
Last year, the park saw over 414,000 attendees, with upwards of another 80,000 at the restaurant and casino.
“Five years ago, we were over $8 million in long-term debt, and we’ve been able to pay that down to $4.7 million at the end of 2016,” said Dan Gorman, General Manager of Evergreen Park.
They also saw plenty of growth in 2016.
“Renovated Clarkson Hall, also renovated the Drysdale Arena with new washers and a new viewing area,” Gorman said. “As a designated regional e-vac centre, we were also able to put in backup generators for both the ENTREC Centre and the REC.”
Clarkson Hall was hosting only one or two annual events in the past, they have nearly 35 booked for 2017 to date.
An independent economic impact study was also done for all seven regional ag. societies in Alberta for 2016, and it depicts how critical Evergreen Park is to our region.
“The portion that pertained to our particular society showed that, yes indeed, the overall economic impact for our region from Evergreen Park and of the events that we host, is just over $43 million dollars, which is just amazing,” Gorman added.
The Park, which has a 104-year history in the Peace Region, is peaking local interest once again as well. They’ve had new user groups approach them such as the Grande Prairie Polo Club, the Grande Prairie Disc Golf Club and local Indigenous groups interested in putting on an annual, or bi-annual, Pow wow.
Gorman says so far in 2017, revenue is slightly above expenses, which is a good thing, and that there’s an uptick in those using the slots at the casino.