The Lions Club in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, is willing to operate a city-owned campground, club members they told the city council Tuesday (Feb. 23).
Peter Belyk, representing the local club, informed the council they would like to partner with the city on a west-end, river-valley campground, according to the Fort Saskatchewan Record.
“To build a proper campground costs you millions and millions of dollars,” he said. “We can’t handle this ourselves but we can sure make it successful as a partnership.”
This year, a $1.4-million day-use area is expected to be built in the West River’s Edge recreation area. Last December, the council had originally approved a $3.7 million campground and day-use area, but cut the campground to save $2.3 million this year.
One concern among the council at the time was whether they would have to hire more staff to care for the campground. The Turner Park campground employs two contractors for the months it’s open.
The Lions Club’s proposed partnership removes that hurdle. “Our labor is volunteer,” Belyk said.
Councillor Tom Hutchison, a strong supporter of the West River’s Edge recreation area, was happy to learn of the club’s offer.
“I think this is just absolutely amazing,” he said. “It’s just fantastic.”
Involving the Lions Club also offers their brand to the potential campground, Belyk noted. The Lions operate campgrounds throughout North America, most of which are sought-after camping locations because of the club’s reputation for providing excellent service and value.
In the region, Leduc, Devon and Spruce Grove have all partnered with their local Lions Club for at least 25 years to operate financially successful campgrounds, Belyk said.
City officials and the Lions Club are expected to meet to further discuss a possible partnership.