Thursday, March 24, 2011

January Visitor Centre Traffic Up in January, Down in February...What More Can We Say?

With the four laning construction work and new entrance being built into the Terry Fox Visitor Center, the winter's been a little hectic around there.

That is why its good to report January's visitation to the centre was up 53% over Janaury 2010. This year, 717 Visitors, largely from Ontario (458), followed by Manitoba (91), visited the centre, versue 468 the previous year. The reason is very likely tied to the Ontario Winter Special Olympic Games held here in the city that saw hundreds of participants and family members froma cross Ontario attend. Canadian traffic dominated at 89%, US traffic was 61 residents (9%) and overseas traffic accounted for 18 (or 3%) visitors. This percentage breakdown is normal for January as US traffic and long haul transient traffic slows during the winter months.

February, however, was not so great and we did see a decline in traffic over the previous year by about 19% to 547 from 676 the year before. Once again, Canadian traffic accounted for 89%, US traffic at 10% and overseas at about 1%. February saw a significant number of snowfall days over the previous February, likely resulting in less highway traffic along the north shore. Snowfalls days can generally decrease daily visitation by up to 70%.

As we move into the spring and summer, the construction in the area will be ramping up even more so than it has through the winter months that saw a lot of rock blasting in the area. Expect some detours in the area and eventually a new park entrance roughly 800 meters to the east of the existing entrance towards the highway 527 intersection. I suspect the detour situation may compromise our statistical The new entrance will create safer sight lines and dedicated turn lanes, replacing the current location on a curve that when compounded by the four name divided road, would become too dangerous.

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