Black Diamond thriving again 1 year after flood disaster
Province contributes $50K for website to promote 5 'Cool Little Towns' south of Calgary
Alberta Tourism is trying to help some of the small communities affected by last year's flood.
The province is putting up $50,000 to help re-launch the Cool Little Towns website — a marketing effort to draw tourists to Black Diamond, Turner Valley, High River, Okotoks and Nanton.
But in the town of Black Diamond, business already seems to be on the rebound.
The jukebox is spinning at Marv's Classic Soda Shop and customers are pouring into Black Diamond.
"Business has been fantastic, we've been steady pretty much all the time,” said waitress Angela McNutt.
Last winter things looked bleak, and the diner almost closed, she said.
"We were up to like three or four customers a day. So now, as soon as I open my door, I have at least 10 or 20 people coming in."
Mayor Sharlene Brown said she has big hopes for the summer.
"Last year there was a decrease in our economic development and our business community of 63 per cent right after the flood,” she said.
“We are now hitting that tourist season. We want to say that we're open for business."
Alberta Tourism minister Richard Starke says preliminary booking numbers are strong across the province.
"It's coming back, there's a tremendous amount of optimism for 2014,” he said.