Outdoor recreation spots stay busy in the pandemic

Outdoor recreation spots in southern Alberta are doing booming business in the pandemic

It’s been over six months since COIVD-19 forced many businesses to close or change the way they operate. The challenges have been tough for many establishments but some have been able to stay busy - namely outdoor reaction spots.

“This year has been surprising how good it has been going. It’s been very busy. We’re one of the attractions that is mostly outdoors” said Theo Slingerland., who owns the Lethbridge Cornmaze.

The maze encourages people to book online while operating Monday to Saturday. It has been attracting visitors from southern Alberta and even B.C. residents.

“It’s great to get the kids a bit active and outdoors,” said Fernie resident Ayla Bennett.

The corn maze is capping its capacity at 200-300 people.

“The comments I’m getting from people on why they’re coming out is there is so little to do in Lethbridge and area at the moment. A lot of indoor activities are very limited or closed,” said Slingerland.

For Slingerland it’s a bit of a surprise how busy it has been.

“In the beginning (of the pandemic), we had no clue what to expect,” said Slingerland.

The Cornmaze was helped out by one of its biggest assets, which is outdoor land.

“We moved some things outside that used to be inside. We tried to do as much as we can outside” said Slingerland.

It’s not the only outdoor recreation spot having a successful summer. Broxburn Vegetables and Café offers people the opportunity to wander through their fields while picking raspberries and strawberries. It is open Monday to Saturday.

“From the numbers, we’re kind of seeing, it seems a lot busier. Just because it is that good outdoor activity” said Broxburn Vegetables and Cafe employee Naomi Van Liere. “We’ve seen a lot of new faces around here, which has been awesome”