Located on beautiful Kinosoo Beach at the Cold Lake Marina in Cold Lake, Alberta, Wicked Watersport Rentals has everything you need for an amazing day at the beach. You can rent single, double or kid's kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, peddle boats, boogie boards, blankets, wetsuits, and sports equipment such as volleyballs, frisbees, basketballs, footballs and more. Wicked Watersport Rentals even has things you might not expect like an inflatable island and a Wicked Party Pontoon Boat. The truly adventurous can fly in the sky like a superhero on a Flyboard with lessons from a certified instructor.
Kinosoo Beach, with its three-block stretch of fine sand, was named one of Canada's top 25 beaches by Canadian Geographic Magazine. Wicked Water Sports has everything you need to make the most of a day at this beautiful lake and beach.
Ray Cowell, owner and operator of Wicked Watersport Rentals, provides some of his thoughts on Alberta’s tourism industry and the path forward from the pandemic.
How did your business evolve during the pandemic? What changes or new aspects to your business will you take with you moving forward?
Being a seasonal business in Northern Alberta, we have a very limited season that is also affected by weather, forest fires and more. During the pandemic, we partnered with a popular local business who had just expanded building a new brewery overlooking the lake, Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling. They supplied sanitizer to sanitize our equipment and provided hand sanitizer for our employees and customers. We networked with local businesses to cross-market and advertise to expand business potential and advertised throughout the province to increase tourism.
We know that Albertans will play a key role in the initial economic recovery of our local tourism industry, as health restrictions lift. What would you say to encourage Albertans to continue exploring their own backyard, even when it’s possible to travel elsewhere again?
Our slogan during and after COVID restrictions has been #EscapetheIndoors. To encourage Albertans to continue to explore their backyard, I tell them that there are unmatched breathtaking areas of Alberta to explore, hidden restaurants, lodgings, experiences and adventures everywhere waiting to be discovered.
We know that health and safety is top of mind for everyone right now. How is your business preparing to give visitors peace of mind as restrictions lift?
Our marketing and advertising material has a “We’re COVID Safe” emblem on it, assuring our customers that their safety is a top priority. Wearing face masks, sanitizing and social distancing have all become common practice as well. Being an outdoor company also gives our customers peace of mind.
What is the most valuable part of Alberta’s tourism industry?
The most valuable part of Alberta’s tourism industry would most definitely be outdoor experiences such as hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, boating and more. From the mountains to the many beaches including Kinosoo Beach, one of the top 25 beaches in Canada, people want to experience the outdoors and enjoy summer with friends and family in diverse ways.
What are your hopes for the future of Alberta’s tourism industry? How will your business play a role in that?
I am hopeful about the future. We were fortunate to have seen an increase in sales. Networking and partnerships are important to level the field and help businesses that aren’t as marketing savvy. Communication from various sources such as the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Alberta Health Services (AHS), Travel Alberta and more have increased necessary communication and clarity on policies, mandates and grant funding that has and will continue to help businesses.
What do you wish the rest of the world knew about tourism in Alberta?