Alberta’s Discovery Wildlife Park has been approved for a significant development upgrade that will include two new cabins for its campground.

At council’s Jan. 22 regular meeting a development permit application from the zoo was presented and approved for the construction of a new washroom facility and holding tank, a new registration building at the entrance of the campground, a new water well near the campground and two cabins in the campground area, according to the Innisfail Province.

Doug Bos, co-owner of the zoo, said the investment for the new amenities is worth about $120,000. He said construction will begin immediately, with the new facilities up and running when the zoo opens for the season this spring. Bos, who is a town councillor, recused himself from council’s discussion on the zoo application.

The park’s report said the intent of the new washroom facility and holding tank north of the main park building is to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the zoo, including those coming on bus tours. He said the new washroom will have six women’s and three men’s stalls along with four urinals.

He said the idea for the two new cabins, which won’t be serviced, is to round out the park’s “camping opportunities” by attracting more visitors from large urban centres.

“Many people who live in the cities don’t have tenting gear or anything,” said Bos. “Last summer we had a number of tenters there that when the wind came up it blew their tents away, so now they can move into a cabin.”

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