Black Diamond merchants are hopeful they will see a more profitable summer now that the community campground will be back in full operation next month after years of repairs, the Okotoks (Alberta) Western Wheel reported.

For the first time since the 2013 flood, the Foothills Lions Club is opening every campsite in the Bob Lochhead Memorial Park campground in Black Diamond to users after club members spent the last three years reviving its main attraction.

The campground’s land, buildings, trees, picnic tables and fire pits were washed away when the flooded Sheep River swept through the campground almost three years ago.

Foothills Lions Club members began repairing the south portion of the campground in 2014, opening a few sites to users later in the season. Work continued over the next several months allowed the club to open 27 full service sites and a tenting area on the southern portion for the entire 2015 season.

Repairs continued over the last several months as Foothills Lions Club volunteers paved roads, planted trees and grass seed, upgraded the garage roof, installed new signs and added picnic tables, fire pits, planters and benches to prepare the most damaged northern portion for opening this season.

Now the campground will have 52 RV sites, down from 64 before the flood.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to make this a first-class camping experience for everybody,” said James Lee, chairman of the Foothills Lions Club reconstruction committee.

“There’s bigger sites for trailers so people can spread out a little bit more. We can take a greater number of the bigger trailer units now.”

The Foothills Lions Club installed $260,000 worth of electricity, bringing its sites up to a 110 amp capacity with 42 sites featuring 15-, 30- and 50-amp outlets, said Lee. The club is paying for $110,000 and the remainder was covered by insurance.

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