The Lethbridge Lodging Association (LLA), a group of 11 accommodation properties in the southern Alberta city, believes its corner of the province has the potential to be a top tourist destination and is working hard to make that happen.

Lethbridge at a Glance

  • Population: 100,323
  • Median Family Income: $92,490
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
  • Residential Vacancy Rate: 4.8%
  • Life Stress: 20.2%
  • Sense of Belonging: 71.9%

Source: Government of Alberta

“If you want to escape a bit of reality this is the place you want to come,” says Shilpa Stocker with the LLA. “We have fabulous, diverse dining, boutique shopping and wide-open spaces.”

To help entice visitors, the LLA is turning its readily available resources – hotel rooms – into tourist attractions. For example, in the winter of 2020-2021, the group transformed five hotel rooms into themed spotlight rooms, functioning as interactive photo studios with playful themes, such as “That ‘70s Room” and “Put 2020 in the Dumpster.” Coupling the rooms with a hotel package, the LLA offered not only accommodation, but entertainment for its guests.

Stocker says it’s all about enticing new visitors to the city and she believes those who visit will want to do so again and again. Lethbridge has several attractions, such as the world’s tallest and longest railway bridge of its type in the world, museums, art galleries, interpretive centres and spectacular parks and gardens, including the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.

Beyond the city, the whole surrounding region of southern Alberta offers scenic landscapes coupled with historical sites, such as Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

“People do need a break, they need to get away, and we are a relatively economical option, with wide open spaces and so much to do,” says Stocker.