Rob: Following a long weekend that a lot of people had anxiety about whether we would see a crush of visitors to the Bow Valley. We’re going to start with Banff because they actually have some numbers.

Tanya: Banff counts the number of vehicles that enter and exit the community on a daily basis. For example, on Saturday just over 3000 vehicles entered the town. That’s a 67% decrease from 2019 in terms of the four days overall, but it’s also more than we’ve seen for the last several weeks.

Rob: People might look at as snapshot of a particular area and say, “Oh, it’s super busy here. It must be really busy everywhere and this is way too much,” but we can just look at these numbers to see that no, that’s not the case.  They even count pedestrians in Banff. They did a count on the west side of the 200 block of Banff Avenue and found on all three days of the long weekend, the numbers were 85 to 90% below where they were a year ago. It might be busier, but it’s definitely nowhere near the numbers we would normally get. I think that means people are getting the message, not everyone, obviously, we definitely had some tourism coming through here. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If people are respecting social distancing and doing the things that they’re supposed to do, there’s gotta be a balance here, right?

Tanya: I think that as we see a gradual increase of economic activity and business, this is going to help us understand what it means to relax some of these restrictions. We’re going to be able to see, within two week frameworks, whether there’s a result connected to that in the spread of the virus. This is happening, even if we’re not comfortable with it.

I want to encourage people, let’s not turn this into a wedge issue. This is not my opinion versus your opinion. We’re all in this situation together and we’re all under anxiety and stress for a number of reasons. Let’s work together, understand each other and understand where people are coming from when they have concerns and try and work with that because me versus you and this side versus that side is only going to set us all up to lose in the end.

Filed under: Banff, covid-19, Mountain Insider