Red Deer ’s location between Alberta ’s two largest cities makes it a popular location for conventions and conferences, so the city has a lot of hotels. The cheapies are at the south end of the city along “Gasoline Alley.”
Try Western Budget Motel (37468 Hwy. 2 S, 403/358-5755, www.westernbudgetmotel.com , $59–99 s, $79–99 d), on the western side of Gasoline Alley, where the rooms are the best value between Calgary  and Edmonton —they are clean, spacious, and relatively modern.
The Holiday Inn Express is south of downtown on the northbound side of the road (2803 Gaetz Ave., 403/343-2112 or 877/660-8550, www.hiexpress.com , $119–169 s or d). The rooms are spacious, modern, and well furnished. Breakfast is included in the rates, as is access to an indoor saltwater pool.
While the Western Budget Motel provides excellent value, my pick of the Red Deer accommodations insofar as room quality goes is the Comfort Inn & Suites (6846 66th St., 403/348-0025 or 866/348-0025, www.comfortinnreddeer.com , $140 s or d), just off Highway 2 at the north end of town. Opened in 2005, the spacious rooms are filled with modern conveniences, a light breakfast is included in the rates, and there’s an indoor pool with a waterslide. Another reason to stay is this motel’s eco-friendly design, which includes a roof covered in solar power panels.
Red Deer has good city camping at the treed Lions Campground, on the west side of the river (4759 Riverside Dr., 403/342-8183, May–Sept., unserviced sites $19, powered sites $29). To get there, follow Gaetz Avenue north through town and turn right after crossing the Red Deer River. The campground has showers, full hookups, and a laundry room.