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Cold Lake is a city in northeastern Alberta, Canada, named after the lake it is situated near.
The city’s economy is inextricably linked to military spending at CFB Cold Lake. The region also supports oil and gas exploration and production. The Athabasca Oil Sands project in Fort McMurray is having a growing influence in the region as well.
Every year Cold Lake hosts military forces from around the world for Exercise Maple Flag, a training exercise where pilots and support staff of NATO allies can take advantage of the Air Weapons Range and relatively open rural air space. Running from 4 to 6 weeks and starting in May of each year, commercial accommodations in the entire region are left with little to no vacancy. This annual exercise contributes a substantial amount of capital into these industries and other hospitality-related businesses.
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