06/20/2016 14:14 EDT | Updated 06/21/2017 01:12 EDT

Calgary Stampede parties still expected despite downturn in oilpatch

CALGARY — Party planners say they are still expecting solid business during the Calgary Stampede despite a downturn in the energy industry.

Oil and gas companies tend to put on less elaborate celebrations when profits are down, but Event Group owner David Howard says Calgary's so-called “second economy” is filling the party void.

Howard says his company saw a big decline in clients in 2015.

But he says business is up 30 per cent this year due to high tech, human resources and transportation companies.

Darren Kershaw owns Special Events Rentals and says companies are tending to book at the last minute because they first want to see their bottom lines.

But he anticipates business will be at — or above — last year’s levels.