Altona's Recreation department is just starting to crunch the numbers, but it appears the town's campground saw a substantial increase in use this past summer.

Recreation Manager, Eric Hildebrand, reports just over 2,000 nights were booked in the campground this summer compared to the around 1,400 in 2022. 

Interest in the sites started early in the season, he added.

"Weather plays a large part in that. We started this season off with a lot of sunshine and warmth. In June, we had a lot of contractors in the community working at the Bungee project and they kind of filled up the campground prior to the typical weekends getting filled up with baseball tournaments happening in June, so that was a really great injection for our campground to have some early season long term rentals." 

As the season moved into July, Hildebrand says they started to see the campground fill up not just on weekends, but during the week as well. 

"When you look at events like Canada Day, Sunflower Festival and this year's first annual Gospel Music Festival, these weekend events, obviously, they fill up immediately when we start taking reservations early in spring, and it can be a real tough place to get a campsite in, but we were really impressed with the weekday campground usage that we saw as well."

Hildebrand suggested the local amenities, including those in the adjacent Centennial Park, had something to do with the high volume of campers. 

"People are fond of camping in a location where you have amenities like the tennis courts, which you can also play pickleball on, or disc golf at the park. There's an outdoor beach volleyball court. And of course, the Aquatic Center is kind of the main feature in the park, and then you have the Buffalo Creek Nature Pond. The trails throughout the park are fantastic for families to be off of the streets and to be safe and in a nice environment - walking, bicycling, whatever it might be."

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