Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Gimme $500-- I'll give you a Corporate Tour of the Tar Sands

Vacationers spending $500 on one-day oilsands tour
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | 8:31 PM NT
CBC News

Forget fall leaf tours or autumn days on a cottage dock — vacationers are signing up for a September trip to frolic in Alberta's oilsands.

Classic Canadian Tours will fly passengers from Calgary to Fort McMurray to get a first-hand glimpse of what is driving the province's economy.

Brenda Trockstad, a spokeswoman for the Calgary travel company, said customers will tour the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, visit Suncor's site "to get a close up view of what it takes to extract oil from the tar sands," and see a park reclaimed from past developments.

Geologists aren't the only people plunking down more than $500 for the one-day trip, she said. They've taken bookings from professors, retirees, farmers, and even investors who want to see what energy companies are doing.

"We kind of thought of it as being for a man, the equivalent of a woman going to a spa," she said. "I must say that more than half of our people coming on this tour so far are women."

Marius Vos, a retired engineer who lives on Vancouver Island, has booked his ticket. He recalls a university professor speaking decades ago about the northern oilsands and he's just curious to see what's happening there.

"I would like to see what equipment they have up there and how they work it," he said. "They're spending billions of dollars up there, several different companies. It's mind-boggling, I'm quite sure, but I can't imagine it from here so I'd like to see it first hand."

Trockstad says based on the interested calls from customers, the company will be offering more one-day trips in the future.

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