Tents are going up in parking lots around Calgary as the city shifts into high gear for the Stampede.
While people prepare to partake in 10 days of partying, their wallets could get a break this year.
READ MORE: How to do Calgary Stampede 2016 on a budget
On June 3, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission eliminated the 8 p.m. limit on happy hours. Bars and restaurants throughout the province can now offer drink specials from open until close–and that has many establishments looking at ways to bring in the crowds.
“We’ve got some plans. We’re going to be launching a ‘Happy Mondays’ here at National, you know, open to close,” said Jon Molyneux with the Concord Group, which operates several bars and restaurants. “It gives us the opportunity to potentially offer our guests some value later into the evening.”
But not everyone is sold on cheaper booze being available later.
“Right now, is it kind of scary? Yes. Because as the drinks get cheaper we tend to drink more, ” Tracy Franklin with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said.
Not all bars are on board with extending their drink specials. St. James Corner is going to keep its happy hour right where it is.
“We are an older, more professional crowd,” the pub’s assistant manager, Chase Baldacchino, explained. “Extending our happy hour would feel like we’re getting a different crowd, people who want to be more rowdy and get more obnoxious.”
Calgary police will be enhancing check stops during Stampede but Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey said they’re not overly concerned about the change.
“Alcohol is available to people 24/7 anyway. We have seen a decline in impaired driving collisions. We have seen a decline in the amount of impaired driving arrests.”
The main message, cheap booze or not, is make a safe driving plan and stick to it.