The recent rise in business openings and re-opening is a sign Prince Albert and its surrounding market area is strong, Mayor Greg Dionne says.
Over the past week, there have been grand openings or re-openings at the Co-Op food store, Princess Auto, Lawton Partners and the UPS Store. Meanwhile, renovations are ongoing at the old STC building where businesses will move in, a fitness business has opened in the basement of Plaza 88, Signature 22 has announced it is closing and moving to the Rock Trout Café location downtown (Rock Trout closed last month), the Seniors Advocacy Centre is buying property and moving to a new location, and council had four development permits on the agenda on September 10. Two of those permits were for renovations to existing projects, while one was for internal renovations and zoning for the proposed seniors home at the old Rivier School, and the other for the new retail cannabis store along Second Avenue West, across from Hillside fitness in the building of a former pizza shop.
“When you get quality stores, like a Princess Auto, that tells you that not only is our city strong, but our market area,” Dionne said.
“They opened because we have such a big trading area. People are starting to realize that one of P.A’s visions is coming true, that the city is the service centre for central and northern Saskatchewan. “
That’s enforced by the number of people who showed up to the Princess Auto grand opening, Dionne said. Many came in from out of town.
However, Dionne said, it isn’t all positive.
“It’s a little bit of a negative. There’s not a lot of construction going on, so you can build a lot cheaper than you could a year ago. People are (building) now to take advantage of the low pricing and the availability.”
Dionne is pleased to see all the grand openings the city had this week, including ones where businesses are growing. He pointed the Lawton Partners event, and the newer, younger employees brought on to keep the firm running.
“Succession planning is helping us with growth as well,” Dionne said.
“It’s very positive.”