Calgary

Not from Chestermere? That beach time is gonna cost you

People who don’t live in Chestermere will have to pay to get onto the city’s beaches, in part to offset COVID-19 physical distancing enforcement, the community decided Tuesday.

'Fencing and security is not free,' says mayor

Chestermere will now charge non-residents to access its beaches. (Helen Pike/CBC)

People who don't live in Chestermere will have to pay to get onto the city's beaches, in part to offset COVID-19 physical distancing enforcement, the community decided Tuesday.

It will cost you $15 if you are older than 15 years of age, $5 for ages three to 15, $40 for the whole family, and infants under three get in for free.

If you live in Chestermere — about 10 kilometres east of Calgary — have your ID ready or bring an adult who can vouch for you.

The city's mayor says the move is aimed at cost recovery.

"Fencing and security is not free," Marshall Chalmers said in a release.

"As Chestermere residents already pay for the maintenance of the beaches, adding an admission fee for those who do not live in our community will help to offset the costs of keeping visitors safe during this global pandemic."

Chestermere Lake has three parks along its shoreline and has added limits to how many people can enjoy them at the same time:

  • Anniversary Park will be capped at 615, with 115 people allowed on the beach at one time.
  • Cove Beach will max out at 205 people, with 39 beachgoers.
  • And no more than 483 people will be allowed at Sunset Park.

Chamber against move

The president of the city's chamber of commerce, however, does not support the fees.

"Putting any fee to the masses who visit the city, can and will negatively affect the traffic through the doors of our businesses," Zane Southgate wrote in a letter posted to social media.

"The chamber feels it prudent to seek more consultation before making a last minute decision that can affect more than 100 businesses directly."

The fees are effective immediately and will be reviewed at the end of the year.

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