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Putting some fun back in the economy

The amusement and recreation sector bounced back in 2022

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 22 November 2023 1 min read

The amusement and recreation sector was one of many industries hit hard by pandemic-related disruptions. It’s been a difficult journey back, but the good news is that the sector’s sales have—at least overall—fully recovered.

After falling by 16% between 2019 and 2021 to $1.4 billion, the operating revenue of Alberta’s amusement and recreation sector* grew by 27% in 2022 to $1.8 billion. As a result, annual revenue was 7% higher in 2022 than before the pandemic.

Within the industry, however, the effect of the pandemic varied with the revenue of some sub-sectors still not fully recovered as of last year.

With annual revenue down by 37% in 2021 compared to 2019, amusement parks and arcades were hit the hardest, but have since recovered all the ground they lost with last year’s revenue 18% above its pre-pandemic level.

Fitness and rec centres, meanwhile, saw their revenue fall by 26% and were still 10% behind their pre-COVID level last year.


It’s a similar story for ski hills with revenue down by 23% between 2019 and 2021 and still 4% shy in 2022 of where things stood before COVID.

Golf courses, conversely, managed to grow their revenue during the pandemic with the 2022 total coming in 30% higher than in 2019.

Nationally, the amusement and recreation sector’s revenue fell by 19% between 2019 and 2021, but has since climbed to 10% above its pre-pandemic level.

*The amusement and recreation sector refers to the North American Industry Classification System codes 7131 and 7139. It includes amusement and theme parks, family fund centres, arcades, golf courses, ski hills, fitness and rec centres, bowling alleys, paintball and laser tag facilities, etc.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Carolyn Rogers was appointed Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada in 2021.

Today’s trivia question: How tall is the world’s tallest roller coaster?

Amusement and recreation sector revenue in Alberta rose by 27% in 2022 after two difficult years

Amusement and recreation sector revenue in Alberta rose by 27% in 2022 after two difficult years


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