Japser preparing for busy 2017

Maligne Lake in Jasper. Photo Jess Wood.

How Jasper will deal with summer visitors

JASPER, Alberta – As with other gateway towns to Canada’s national parks, Jasper is trying to prepare for the expected crush of people next year, when park visits will be free to mark the 150th anniversary of the country.

The challenge described by municipal officials in Jasper is how to close the door when the house fills without removing the welcome mat.

“There’s going to be a point when we’ll have to tell people that the park is full, without deterring them from wanting to come back to Jasper,” Christine Nadon, communications manager for the municipality of Jasper, told the Jasper Fitzhugh.

“What we’re concerned about are the people who show up here without a hotel or a campsite booked, and once they realize everything is full, end up parking in a municipal lot and camping illegally,” she said.

Jasper doesn’t expect to have the busyness of Banff. There, 24,000 vehicles pass through the gates daily in July and August. But many Banff visits are from Calgary, just an hour away. The closest metropolitan area to Jasper is Edmonton, four hours away.

“If someone drives the four hours from Edmonton then they’re probably not just staying for the day, which is why we’re really focused on illegal camping,” Nadon told the Fitzhugh.

New and bigger hostel in works for Jasper

JASPER, Alberta – A new and much bigger hostel may be in the works for Jasper. Hostelling International plans to construct a two-story building with space for a maximum of 154 people but also buildings for staff and other operations. The organization has five hostels, but they’re all in wilderness areas. This would be the first within the town.
Canadian towns study options for marijuana

Jasper prepares for cannabis legalization

JASPER, Alberta – Town authorities in Jasper have begun reviewing their options for local regulation of cannabis sales should the federal government in Canada legalize recreational use in 2017.

A task force has recommended that Canadian adults over the age of 18 should be able to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana for recreational purposes and grow up to four plants in their homes.

The impact of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana on Jasper is far from certain, the Fitzhugh reports. It points out that Parks Canada has authority over land use and development within the town. But the municipality thinks it might have a say-so about where within the municipality cannabis can be sold.