A hopping mad visitor to Lake Country’s Kangaroo Creek Farm has meant a change in the business format.
As was spelled out on the farm’s Facebook page this week, admission is now $5 per person for those five years old and up or $20 for a family of five.
The donation box that once was the sole source of revenue will still be up if anyone would like to make an additional contribution. “The straw that broke the farm’s back was a woman who visited today that didn’t like the fact that we had someone on the gate ‘helping’ people with their donations,” read a post by farm owners Greg and Caroline Wightman.
“Apparently my employee failed to use the word ‘donation’ and called it a ‘fee.’”
That’s when the conversation ramped up and the woman allegedly said that Kangaroo Creek Farm should not be charging a fee because they are only there “on sufferance and owe her something because (they) are such a burden to the community.”
She claimed to be upset that visitors are parking on Main Street or getting in her way when she’s trying to shop for groceries.
The Wightmans say that they are negotiating with Lake Country to get a parking lot, that they will pay for, but that can only happen at the District of Lake Country speed. The farm will continue with its community service in the Lake Country schools, daycares, retirement homes, institutions and various clubs. In addition, the farm will be printing up “admit one family” coupons to be distributed at the local food bank’s discretion to their registered clients.
It’s a change in business model that’s of no concern to the vast majority of those who visit the attraction. The Facebook page where the incident is spelled out is filled of commentary supporting the decision, with many pointing out the fee is less than they usually donated.
Even the president of the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce offered their support.
“Twice this summer I took friends from Alberta to the farm and my guests gladly paid the $5/person suggested donation, appreciated the chilled bottle of water and enjoyed walking amongst the animals in this quaint acreage along the creek,” said Kirbey Lockhart in a letter to the Lake Country Calendar. “The burgeoning popularity of this attraction has surprised most everyone, including the owners, Greg and Caroline.”
Lockhart pointed out that if you asked most business owners if they preferred an empty parking lot to a full one, their answer would clearly be, full.