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.
October 2002- The new road finally opens. Officials are on hand for a ribbon cutting.
(Photo taken as the shaping of the road begins. 100 Street looking west)
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.
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 fibreglass, and will be made using local oil industry by-products. It will be sold to local forestry companies.
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.
October 2002- West Side Plaza update. Confirmed is Bank of Montreal, Alberta Treasury Branch and TD Canada Trust will all be locating to this area. The GP Credit Union will stay downtown, but will be building a new two-storey building at the present City Hall location. City hall will be moving to Theodore Court area in the summer of 2003. The 140 room Holiday Inn, East Side Mario's (restaurant) will also be built on the West Side Plaza location. Downtown, now has a new Pizza Shop. Pizza 77 opened in October in the former Domino Pizza location at 10004A - 100 Avenue.
October 2002- Marvin Schultz of Grande Prairie won the Canadian and Alberta Hot Air Balloon Championships held in Grande Prairie. Harold Warner of Calgary place second and Grande Prairie's Dan Balisky placed third.
October 2002- New partial cloverleaf opened to traffic at the 4 Mile corner just north of the City. Grand Opening October 3 , the same day as the ribbon cutting for the new 68 Avenue bridge linking the City east to west on the south side.
Eastside Mario's is now open. Features Italian-American cuisine. It is the first business to open in the West Side Plaza. TD Canada Trust is scheduled to open in April, 2003.