Community campsite benefits community well-being and economy

May 28, 2021

Bearnard, Northern Development’s photo ambassador, enjoys the nice weather at the Mackenzie Community Campsite.
Photo: Northern Development

Since 2019, Northern Development has approved over $28,000 for improvements to the Mackenzie Community Campsite to enhance tourism offerings in the area, support the local economy and improve safety for users.

“As people continue to stay close to home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for the opportunity to provide safe and welcoming local recreational opportunities to our residents,” said Joan Atkinson, mayor of Mackenzie. “The construction and improvements to our community campsite were made to promote tourism in Mackenzie but in today’s pandemic environment, there is little tourism traffic. In the meantime, our locals can exclusively enjoy this outdoor experience. We look forward to welcoming out-of-town guests once this pandemic is behind us. Our new community campground and the outstanding recreational opportunities in close proximity to the campground, promises to provide visitors old and young with a fabulous outdoor adventure.”

Phase Two of the Mackenzie Community Campsite Development project saw the completion of $27,633 in upgrades, including the creation of 12 new campsites, increasing the facility’s capacity for hosting guests. Each new site features gravel access, concrete picnic table pad and a picnic table. The campground also received new solar lamps and upgraded outhouses. The addition of new sites means that more people can stay overnight in the community, leading to increased revenue for local businesses from tourism.  

Less than a year after Phase Two was completed, Northern Development approved a $15,000 Economic Diversification Infrastructure grant for Phase Three. The third phase of the campsite development focuses on increased safety and user satisfaction by creating a new, 200-metre multiuse trail from the campground to Morfee Lake Public Beach, connecting accommodations to a popular attraction.

Prior to the construction of the trail, patrons had to choose between walking down a road, which can see heavy traffic, or taking a less accessible trail, which frequently has drainage issues, to access the beach. The new trail will provide a safe, direct and enjoyable route between the lake and campsite.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic altered travel habits, the tourism industry generated $22.3 billion in revenue in B.C. in 2019 and the number of tourism-related businesses in the province had increased two per cent since the previous year. Investing in new and existing tourism amenities, from campgrounds to mountain bike trails, helps grow the northern economy while improving the quality of life for residents because an enjoyable place to visit is a good place to live.