Economic Development Strategy

Overview

Lacombe County is located in central Alberta, almost equal distance between the province's two major urban centres of Calgary and Edmonton, with a combined population of more than 2 million people. Highway 2 is the major north-south corridor in the province that provides ready access to the County, and is supported by secondary Highways 11 and 12, which serve as the major east-west transportation corridors through the County with Highway 21 through the east side and Highways 20 and 22 to the west.

Located within Lacombe County are the communities of Eckville, Bentley, Blackfalds, Clive, Alix, Mirror, the Town of Lacombe and the Summer Village of Gull Lake.  The County has a population of 10,312 people. In addition, the Town of Lacombe has a population of more than 11,500.

The County's economic base stems from its robust agricultural and industrial activity. Significant petrochemical activity occurs in the area, including the Joffre area (Nova), the world's largest ethylene production facility, and Dow Chemicals.

In addition, there are many smaller fabrication plants and agri-food businesses including cheese production, yogurt production, and various greenhouses.

The agriculture industry is supported by the Federal Research Station, Alberta Field Crops facility and the head office for Alberta’s Agricultural Financial Services Corporation within the Town of Lacombe. Other economic drivers include the Canadian University College, and a major new tourism project, the Alberta Downs Horse Racing and Entertainment Centre. This proposed $12 million project is located adjacent to the Highway 2 traffic corridor.

Hospitality

A variety of accommodations exist in Lacombe County, including 4 Inns offering numerous rooms and other amenities.  There are also 12 restaurants, 11 fast-food eateries, 5 pubs/bars, and 3 cafes in the County. 

 

Existing Attractions

The County has significant natural water-based attractions, featuring some of the more recognized lake-oriented destination resorts in Alberta.  These include Sylvan Lake, Buffalo Lake and Gull Lake.  There are a range of cultural/historic, rural and recreational attractions located throughout the region, as well as themed attractions such as balloon rides, corn mazes, and a steam train excursion.

 Some of the other attractions/events are as follows:

·      Brunch at the Beach
·      Kansas Ridge Ranch Rodeo
·      Pro Rodeos: Bentley, Olds, Ponoka, Rocky Mountain House, Sundre
·      Tees Longears Days
·      Jazz at the Lake & Shake the Lake 

Tourism Statistics

Lacombe County is part of the larger Alberta Central Tourism Destination Region. Overnight tourism spending in the region was approximately $456 million in 2007. Of this amount, 46% was attributed to visiting friends and relatives, 44% for pleasure and 6% for business travel. Approximately 32% ($147 million) of the $456 million was attributed to spending on accommodation and food/beverages, while 18% ($82 million) was spent on accommodations. 

Community Websites