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The Noralta Lodge Experience - Hosting Athletes, and Building Better Lifestyles

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Months have passed, memories were made and the staff at Noralta Lodge Ltd. let the legacy live on. After hosting over 2,500 athletes and 300 technical officials for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, the energy sector’s leading accommodation facilities are continuing to maintain its home-feel reputation to their guests - past and present.

“The experience has genuinely left its mark on our company,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Corey Smith, on hosting accommodations to the Games’ guests this summer. “We feel much more included with the Wood Buffalo community having been a part of it and we will certainly treasure the connections we’ve made through this experience.”

And while the Games’ experience has left a mark on Smith and the staff at Noralta Lodge Ltd., he shares his hopes that guests have a mutual feeling, and are left with a lasting impression on the lodges, and the entire Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo community.

“We hope the experience left the athletes, officials, and visitors with a new perspective of what the community of Wood Buffalo is like, and hope they’ve gained a better perspective of what camp life, and the world of oil and gas can be like,” he said. “To me, that would be our greatest legacy.”

Guests from the Games expressed their gratitude and service at Noralta stating: “The food and accommodations at Noralta Lodge were remarkable,” in a letter from coaches Edgar Garza and Zakaria Mahmoudi of Team Alberta Canoe and Kayak to the Western Canada Summer Games Committee.

Athletes on Team Alberta continued to share their remarks; Calgary resident Robin Kendall of Canoe-Kayak Men’s C2 said, “I thought the food was awesome.” Fellow team mate Casey Schell of Edmonton echoed, “The food was so good.”

For almost two decades, serving “good food” and guests enjoying a “delicious cuisine” is the message Noralta has been promoting and delivering through the meals prepared by their Red Seal Chefs. During the Games’, chefs and staff were busy preparing specialized diets for thousands of athletes to maintain their healthy lifestyles and body’s nutrition.

Customized meal prep is something Noralta’s certified chefs have come accustom to, long before athletes made their way into the accommodations, as they understand their guests need the nutritional balance to match up with their demanding working hours.

Moving ahead into the winter months, Smith explains how he and the Noralta staff are dedicated to maintaining health and wellness to their guests’ lifestyles inside the nine lodge facilities.

“(We) maintained our wellness offering, in terms of, promoting healthy eating and activities while remaining indoors,” he said.

Each lodge features a modern fitness facility to make it convenient for individuals to stay active; from elliptical machines to treadmills, and even the option to exercise with indoor cycling. Their fitness centres maximize strength training at all levels.

With the past effects of the economy, Smith explains how balancing guests’ physical health is as equally important to their mental health.

“Despite these times, we won’t stray from our fundamentals. We cannot let our guests feel the brunt of the economy,” he said. “They are working as hard as ever, so we are focused on finding efficiencies internally, while maintaining our high-service levels.” 

A large part to keeping guests well-minded is to keep the overall cost of the lodge-stay down. Smith shares how new improvements to the lodges will be made with their guests in mind, when they are financially ready to do so.

“We continue to push to improve our services, while keeping the costs down for our clients,” he said. “It’s a balance we are working with our clients to have at all times.”

In the meantime, Noralta is focusing on expanding their recreation program to bring out guests together, as a community. And, there are hopes to further engage with residents in the Wood Buffalo region by bringing more community activities, including live entertainment from local musicians, to the lodges for their guests.

As growth and reinvestment in their current facilities are the cornerstones of their company’s strategy, they promise to continue to stay committed to expanding for their clients to make the highest-quality facilities available. 


Learn more about the Noralta Lodge experience online at


Dawn Booth is a local journalist and business owner of the communication service, Media Booth. Residing in Fort McMurray since 2007, Booth has been actively working in the Wood Buffalo region as a media and marketing expert. From her arrival to the city, until November 2010, she worked as the Special Features Editor at the Fort McMurray Today. In April 2011, she co-launched snapd Wood Buffalo and managed the publication for three years, until June 2014. In March 2014, she created Media Booth and is currently working with a wide-variety of clients in the business and nonprofit sectors throughout Alberta. Her passion for volunteering in the community has given her two civic awards from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She has also received the title for the Fort McMurray Connect's Top 40 Under 40 and is one of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta's 2014-2015 Women of Inspiration. A happy wife and loving mother to two young boys and a baby girl, Booth can be found easily at