Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said she couldn’t be more proud that the City was named one of the Most Breathtaking Places in North America by Expedia.ca.
The City was ranked 26th out of 34 on the list.
“We really are a City inside of a park and anyone that has come into Red Deer or has lived in Red Deer and has experienced the real Red Deer, can certainly attest to that fact,” said Veer. “Red Deer continues to have one of the most extensive linear park systems in the country with over 120 kilometres of formal trails as well as the existing nodes and the plans for expanded park nodes.
“I think that is what really elevated us in the rankings.”
According to Expedia.ca, “One of the best features of Red Deer is that you can just as easily enjoy the lively downtown area as the great outdoors. It’s the latter category that really makes the town stand out, with Maskepetoon Park as the local favourite.
“This river area was largely ignored by visitors until the 1950s, making it still feel new and undiscovered. Additionally, the park is a designated pollinator park, so you’ll see a ton of buzzing bees and other winged critters doing their thing. Bower Ponds is also lovely, as this area features a serenity garden and natural amphitheatre.”
Veer said the ranking came as a, “Pleasant surprise.
“What was specifically sited in the criteria on the Expedia ranking was our linear park system and the fact that we have substantial downtown revitalization going on and a thriving arts and culture sector. We also received strong commendation with respect to environmental initiatives and natural heritage and preservation,” she said.
“Community pride is something that is integral to every Red Deerian. People who are from Red Deer often express and exhibit extensive community pride.
“When we heard the news it immediately attracted provincial attention and certainly interest around the province regarding Red Deer’s tourism prospects and I couldn’t possibly be more proud of Red Deer’s ranking and for the fact that we are finally garnering recognition for the City that we are and are becoming,” said Veer.
“Historically Red Deer has had an image and branding issue. Millions of people drive by on the QEII (Hwy.) and only see Red Deer in the 10 minutes that it takes them to drive past the community. Certainly the message of tourism needs to be to know the real Red Deer, you need to come into Red Deer to experience us.”