October 13 2010 by Bryson Forbes
The most populated of the three Canadian Prairie Provinces, Alberta has become a poster child success story with its per capita GDP at an astounding 61%, the highest in country and higher than the national average. (CDN $74,865 according to recent Stats Can data).
The majority of the wealth can be traced to oil and natural gas. These assets continue to attract people and the population has risen steadily to almost four million residents. Alberta is often compared to Texas; they are almost identical in land mass and share a can-do, wild-west culture, though Texas has six times more people.
Although rich with industry (so much so that residents pay no provincial sales tax), Alberta has maintained its status as one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada. Four major national parks--- Banff, Dinosaur, Elk Island and Wood Buffalo---keep natural beauty intact. For the third consecutive year, according to a study conducted by the Baxter Travel Group, Banff National Park was selected as the favourite domestic attraction of travel agents across Canada. Lake Louise is another scenic marvel, an emerald-coloured glacial lake located very close to Banff.
Amazingly, Alberta is also a great place for a party. Arguably the best Canadian event each year is the July Calgary Stampede, known as "the greatest outdoor show of earth." Every year more than one million people attend the stampede, and the city of Calgary shuts down to all activities except this authentic cowboy party.
Alberta also has four professional sports teams, most notably the Oilers who have won six Stanley Cups and had Wayne Gretzky's on board. Other fun things to check out in Alberta include the West Edmonton Mall, The Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum and Alberta Badlands.
In 1988, Alberta received international recognition for hosting the Olympic Games. Prior to this time, only in Montreal (Summer 1976) had Canada ever hosted the Olympics; Calgary was the first time for the winter games.
With a booming economy, a beautiful landscape and lots of fun to be had, Alberta is truly the total package. If Alberta is on your must see list, a great way to plan to see as much as possible to start at Best Western Alberta. With 36 locations in Alberta, if you have the time you can do it all!