OT: Visiting Calgary (General City / Area Discussion)

Discussion in 'Calgary Flames' started by Taelin, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Unlimited Chequing Christian Yellow

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    @AlwaysSunnyInTampa one thing that I don't think was mentioned yet, re: Stampede, is look for an online listing of the foods that will be at the Stampede in the weeks leading up to your trip. I know some people who aren't into any of the rodeo, chuckwagon, games, shows, etc sometimes go just for the food.

    Here's what they had last year:
    https://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/attractions/food/midway-food

    If you've ever been to the State Fair of Texas, the Calgary Stampede is very much like it but on a smaller scale.
     
  2. AlwaysSunnyInTampa LOLZ! This friggin sucks dude!

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    On the similarity to a Texas State fair I've gathered that the Stampede isn't so dissimilar. I spent a week in Houston with a girl I was sweet on and by God I enjoyed every minute. I always assumed Alberta (Calgary in particular) to be alike in culture because of love of national past-time, deep roots in farming/cattle and the oil industry along with just honest to God good, simple people not so dissimilar to those I met in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. As those kinds of people (my dad included) are merely a southern extension (compared to Calgary) of the North American prairie. 5 bucks says my dad is probably finishing up ice fishing somewhere or making plans to go skiing.

    Definitely gonna check out the menu. Once again you guys are awesome
     
  3. Fig Petit Pelletier

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    I was curious about this and I'm pretty sure I don't speed ridiculously excessively... so when I went to Lake Louise recently, I watched the clock as I drove over.

    I live by Peter's drive in which is essentially almost as straight towards the national park as the back side of Sidney Crosby's stick (16th Ave = TransCanada) with just a smidgen of a bend just before Bowness. Peter's drive in to city limits, I drive unofficial official, so I'm pretty much normally Backlunding my ass out of the city. From city limits, there's some reasonable caravans of vehicles that are doing a Tkachuk over the speed limit or are pretty much on the Mony. Those were the guys I was following from time to time if I was sneaking up the numbers past Johnny Hockey. I made it to the park gates from my place in 56 minutes so around Bow Valley trail turn off in Canmore around 51 minutes (expected on Google maps 68 minutes to gates and there's all that construction for the connectors around COP right now) so it's not like I'm peelin like I'm Kylington to infinity and beyond. I also used to live by the Country Hills Superstore, so the time from there is also similar if I connect to TransCanada from Stoney.

    But if I'm younger me or I'm feeling pretty fly for a Qashqai or sneaky slick like a Buick, and if I'm Lindhomey/Dougie~ing/NasCzarnik~ing+ my way out to the mountains, I guess from where I start, I could probably make it to Canmore downtown and park in around 45 minutes or so, Banff in around 55 mins?
     
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  4. DCRedhawk21 Registered User

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    Hi all - hoping for some perspective/opinions. I'll be heading to the area in late February with a group of friends (8-10 people total) for an extended weekend of checking out Banff/Lake Louise and skiing. While there seem to be plenty of lodging options if we wanted to split up and get our own rooms, it looks like most of the lodgings still available for larger groups are in Canmore or in the surrounding area. It sounds like Canmore is nice in and of itself, but Banff is closer to the skiing, seems to have more nightlife, and seems to have some added convenience with the free shuttle to the slopes.

    With that in mind, I'd be interested in any perspectives or opinions that those who live in the area may have on where to stay (i.e. whether it'd be worth it to split up or pay extra to stay in Banff). For reference, we're all in our late or 20s or early 30s, and this is as much a reunion for folks now living in different areas as it is a ski trip :).

    Thanks in advance!
     
  5. Unlimited Chequing Christian Yellow

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    @DCRedhawk21 My opinion would be to stay wherever it's cheaper. They're only a 20 minute drive apart so it's not like you're saving a lot of time by staying in Banff.

    Also keep in mind if you're actually stopping in Banff, whether to stay or shop or whatever, you will need to pay the national park admission for each day you're going to be there. Won't need it for Canmore or Lake Louise though.

    Edit: I was thinking of Kananaskis
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  6. Dube Dube Doo The calls are coming from inside the house!

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    Lake Louise is further west than the Banff townsite and you will need a park pass to get there.

    I like it better there as well, for what it's worth mostly because it's quieter.
     
  7. Nanuuk Registered User

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    As a Calgary resident I have not over nighted in Banff or Canmore when skiing. You should know that Banff Park offers three ski hills to experience (Sunshine, Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise) with the first two around the Banff townsite and Lake Louise farther out.

    Lake Louise has very long runs. If you don't mind more time in a chair lift this hill could be for you. You can drive up and park in one of their lots, pick up your tickets and head straight the the first chair lift. Its been years since I've been there, but there is a reason it has often hosted World Cup events.

    Sunshine (don't let the name fool you) is also very good. Many lifts, many runs (usually shorter than Louise). You park and either walk to the ticket queue (they will also pick you up) and buy your ticket. From there it is a 20 minutes gondola ride to the top. Sunshine has a great Chalet with hotel rooms up there that you can ski to after a long day. The Chalet also has a restaurant and bar. Might be to expensive for your group (everything has to be hauled up the mountain), but it certainly would be (in my view) a bucket list experience.

    Norquay is the less busy of the three hills (closest to Canmore) and offers difficult runs (not too many beginner runs). It is the oldest of the three has well as I recall.

    Outside of Banff Park

    For a different ski experience you could also check out Nakiska ski-hill in Kananaskis. The Calgary 1988 Olympics hosted the Downhill events at this sight. They offer accommodation close by, but the hill can be very wind swept (and icy) so keep your edges sharp if you go there.

    I really don't ski anymore, but the ski-hills I enjoyed the most were the less congested ones. Of course if you're there for mid-week skiing and its not spring break they shouldn't be congested.

    So the long and the short of it accommodation in the area will be fairly expensive. But it is a competitive market so you may be able to find deals.
     
  8. DCRedhawk21 Registered User

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    Thanks all!
     
  9. Unlimited Chequing Christian Yellow

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    I haven't been to Lake Louise yet, but what I've heard is between the two Lake Louise is better if you have the right snow, but Sunshine is more consistent so you have a better idea of what to expect.

    @DCRedhawk21, if you're looking to save a few bucks, you can always search kijiji.ca or the Facebook marketplace for people who rent out their annual park passes so you don't have to get a multi-day park pass admission.
     
  10. Nanuuk Registered User

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  11. Rangechucky The puck was in

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    Personally, I like staying in Canmore because it's easier to find accommodation, it's cheaper and not much further from the hills as Banff. While Banff has a better night life, if you enjoy a good dive bar/club, Canmore's Rose n' Crown & The Drake is all you need.

    That said, I've stayed in Banff many times so I know what it's about. If you haven't been and want a great experience, you'll still have a ton of fun in Banff and it is definitely the more scenic town of the two and gives you more options for night life.

    For ski hills, I prefer Sunshine because it's closer to Banff/Canmore than Lake Louise. After a day on the hill, the last thing I want to do is drive for an hour+.
     
  12. Fig Petit Pelletier

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    I highly recommend Canmore over Banff for accommodations for large group. Banff is slightly better for smaller intimate stays IMO. Assuming there's multiple vehicles with 8-10 people showing up, it's so much easier to drive out to Canmore separately and carpool in a minivan or two to Banff/skiing. That way you don't need to pay park admission for every vehicle. Canmore is very close to Banff as mentioned, so it's very easy to drive back and forth between the two for soaking in the hot springs, food and nightlight. Canmore isn't a slouch itself for certain amenities though. There are taxi options between the two towns if you all want to drink and responsibly get back, but I don't know the rates and I'm assuming it's a little pricey. I believe there's a bus option, but not sure of the rates and whether it's convenient.

    From what I understand Sunshine is a popular hill and a somewhat easy hill. It's also the closest hill to Calgary which adds to the popularity. It's great if you get there first thing, but if you plan on staying the full day, it may ice up faster than other hills due to the popularity.

    Louise doesn't ice up as quickly as far as I know maybe because it's bigger and further from Calgary and it's a beautiful hill.

    I believe Norquay is a bit further out so it'll be even less busy which means much more fresh powder.

    Depending how much you guys want to experience, Canmore to Kicking Horse BC is just slightly over 2 hours and from what I understand, it's an amazing mountain that completely blows the 3 out of the water. It might not be an interesting option if a few harder core individuals of the group want to make the extra trek out and spend the day out there and drive back for the evening.
    Kicking Horse Mountain Resort - Champagne Powder Capital of Canada™

    I know you guys are all in for hitting the hills, but if somehow there's intrigue, snowshoeing is worth a shot as well as there's some really beautiful areas to explore in the Canmore/Kananaskis area and the Banff/national park area. Definitely consider renting gear in Calgary if it's of interest rather than out there. Places like MEC and U of C has decent gear for rent at reasonable rates.
     
  13. Nanuuk Registered User

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    MEC equals Mountain Equipment Coop
     
  14. Rangechucky The puck was in

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    Nakiska is actually the closest hill to Calgary, being roughly halfway between Calgary and Banff (even Norquay would be the next hill you drive to). If their plan is to stay in Canmore/Banff, Sunshine & Norquay would be closest.
     
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  15. DCRedhawk21 Registered User

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    Thanks again for the insight all. We were originally thinking of just getting a shuttle from the airport to Banff and then using the shuttle from Banff to hit the different resorts, but sounds like it may be worth it to rent some cars for the flexibility and in the event we want to make our way over to BC for a day.
     
  16. Fig Petit Pelletier

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    If you're skiing and whatnot and assuming you're all going to the same place, it's usually easier to have at least one minivan that you can elect to seat only 3-4 and haul all/most of the equipment. It's just so much easier and nicer to fold down back row seats and possibly a single middle seat and throw in things like snowboards, skis and poles relatively haphazardly rather than play tetris with gear after a day at the hills. Away from the hills it's also nice to have a smaller car/SUV to send small parties out on things like beer/food runs or on separate optional mini excursions etc. Many Calgarians deploy a similar method when they go out to the hills.

    I think for the price of renting two minivans, you can essentially also elect to rent one minivan and comfortably seat everyone else in two sedans (depending whether you're sitting 8 or 10 people, that's a pretty big difference in comfort). You'll pay extra fuel for the extra vehicle to drive out to Canmore, but the flexibility could be worth it. Fuel wise, it shouldn't be bad. Usually a strict round trip between Calgary and Banff is around 1/3rd to less than 1/2 a tank and I doubt you'd blow through a ton of additional gas driving back and forth between Banff and Canmore. With Gas around $0.90 to 1.10 CAD per litre, it's probably going to cost around $60-70 bucks to fill a tank. That's not bad if it's over a weekend and split among several individuals.

    Golden BC and Banff round trip is about 10-15% more driving than Calgary/Banff round trip though. So Calgary/Golden round trip in theory only is probably going to be around a full tank of gas. However, Gas in BC is like 15-25% more expensive, so definitely consider filling up on the Alberta side before driving over to BC.
     
  17. super6646 Registered User

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    Paying the toll to get into Banff.... pffft pansies :P
     
  18. Bondurant Registered User

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    Mulling a trip to Calgary...Alberta...Canada for the final Battle of the '19-'20 regular season. Scanning tickets on the secondary market. Best value I've found is Press Level. The biggest knock I've seen online is that the scoreboard is blocked for most rows in these sections. Let's face it, I would not be going to see a scoreboard but is there anything else to know about press level that may be a deterrent? Any sections at Saddledome to avoid in general?
     
  19. ScrewNHLOfficiating #FreeBennett #CurseofTheSpulll

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    My suggestion regarding the nosebleeds is to make sure there isn't a camera obstructing your view. And of course it's really far from the action so you can barely make out who is who.
     
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  20. Unlimited Chequing Christian Yellow

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    Honestly, I have no problems with the press level seats, especially if you can get ones down the centre ice line. I'd actually prefer them over a lot of other seats like in the corners or behind the net, but that goes for any stadium.

    And yeah, you don't see the jumbotron, but they do have screens and score boards up there.
     
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  21. Dube Dube Doo The calls are coming from inside the house!

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    First three rows of press level are without a doubt best bang for your buck when it comes to Flames tickets.
     
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  22. Bondurant Registered User

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    Thanks for the tip. Booked for Press Level 18 Row 1.
     
  23. Fig Petit Pelletier

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    Sorry for the late reply. I'm not always sure about the two edges of the PL rows, but at Row 1, it should be decent. Depending on how many people show up, I guess you can try to slip into a more centred PL seat after the 1st or 2nd period if you don't like the seats?

    Usually press level 3-7, 12-16 up to the 7-8th row are very good value and slightly better to watching the game on TV or at a pub. The atmosphere is generally excellent vs sitting at home for sure though. If you can squeeze closer to centre ice and move up a few rows for PL (ie: row 4-8), I'd highly recommend that over sitting in the corner, but someone may disagree with me.

    PL 18 R1 would be better than those middle columns row 10 for instance though, and i'm sure with that seat, you can stand in the walk way on occasion for a good view of the game.
     
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