GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2002
January 2002: A $40 Million project is planned for the 4-mile corner north of Grande Prairie. The Crossroads project has interest from Schulumberger of Canada and Hotel. It will include a full service truck stop with construction to begin April 2003. The County of Grande Prairie, will also be constructing a new building in that area
January 2002: The big news for this area, was the announcement of the Resin plant announced for Sexsmith. (located 20 minutes north of Grande Prairie) The old Canola Plant, which closed a few years ago, will come alive again employing 30 people, producing 340,000 metric tonnes of resin a year. The resin is used to cement wood products, paper and fiberglass, and will be made using local oil industry by-products. It will be sold to local forestry companies.
January 2002: More commercial development for Grande Prairie. Railtown, is a 33 acre parcel of land on the east of downtown along the railway tracks on Resources Road. This area just south of the Royal Bank has been zoned for retail, wholesale, and service operations. Shops should be starting up this year.
West Side Plaza, is also a new development at the corner of 108 Street and 100 Avenue across from the college. This area is just west of KFC and east of Prairie Truck & Trailer. About 75% of the lots are spoken for with all the lots expected to be gone by the end of the summer. At one time it was rumored that Home Depot was trying to negotiate with the land owners to set up here. TD Canada Trust is said to be eventually moving to this new area. TD Canada Trust will close its Patterson Shopping Plaza location as well as the 214 Place location. One staff member said parking had always been an issue at 214 Place, The Holiday Inn, with around 140 rooms is confirmed to take up space in the West Side Plaza with construction to start soon.
The Golden Inn has been a landmark on the west side of Grande Prairie for many years as it towers above the other businesses in the area. It has changed its name and is now known as the Quality Hotel.
Grande Prairie, Alberta continues to grow in 2002 even though we keep hearing about the recession in the United States and how that is affecting Canada. Housing starts in Grande Prairie ended 2001 nearly 50 percent higher than the year before and officials predict 2002 figures to be an even busier year for development.
Another hotel will soon be built next to Super 8, on the highway bypass. The new 104 room hotel will be the AmeriSuites Hotel.
As Grande Prairie grows, more roads are needed. Construction is underway to link the south portion of the City together east and west. This major new road along 68 Avenue and will eventually link Country Club with Mission Heights subdivisions. (enlarge picture)
October 2002: The new 68 Avenue Road finally opens. Officials are on hand for a ribbon cutting.
More activity at the Gateway Power Centre is expected for 2002. It wasn't that long ago that M&M Meat Shops relocated to this area. More new stores are about to open.
Builder's Expo 2002 was held at Evergreen Park February 22-24, 2002. It is a trade show organized in partnership with the Grande Prairie Home Builders Association, GP Construction Association and the GP and District Chamber of Commerce. More than 190 exhibitors display their wares in the Largest Construction based Builders' Show in Northern Alberta.
May 2002: Ritchie Bros. Inc have bought Grande Prairie's All Peace Auction. All Peace Auction has operated in the area for over 14 years and employs 25 full-time people and 70 part-timers. Dennis Tink and the other four partners will stay on in their management positions. Ritchie Bros have more than 90 offices around the world.
May 2002: Grande Prairie recently secured the 2002 Canadian and Alberta Hot Air Balloon championships slated for October 11-14. About 20 and 25 pilots will test their flying skills to see who will be the champion. Grande Prairie has been proud to have been involved in hot air balloons for the past 24 years.
May 2002: The Canadian Hockey Association has awarded Grande Prairie the 2004 Royal Bank cup, a five-team national Junior A hockey championship tournament. The nine-day event will be made possible with the help of 500 or 600 volunteers. The final game will be broadcast live nationally on TSN. Grande Prairie is home of the Storm Hockey team.
July 2002: A new 152 unit seniors' home called The Gardens at Emerald Park begins construction this fall north of the Quality Hotel (Golden Inn). This will be the largest seniors care facility in the Peace Country. Robert Haberman and other investors are involved in this project.