Grande Prairie: Cashing In on a Retail Boom

With a record $4.4 billion in retail spending, there’s no doubt about Grande Prairie’s role as a major retail hub for the more than 285,000 residents living in Alberta’s northwest region.

“Grande Prairie has seen immense retail growth with the development of new areas like Trader Ridge and Westgate,” confirms Mayor Bill Given.
“We appreciate the challenges and risks that come with visionary, large-scale [retail] development,” adds Given, hinting at the still-new Ford Dealership and Canadian Tire store spanning the outskirts of Grande Prairie’s west-end – both the largest of their ilk in Canada.

Prairie Hub. Photo courtesy of Beauchamp Photography.

Grande Prairie by the Numbers

• Incorporated as a City: January 1, 1958
• Current Mayor: Bill Given
• Population (2018): 69,088
• Population change: 2011-2016: 13.5%
• Land Area: 133 sq. km
• Median Age: 31.9
• Median Household Income: $118,026
• New Development and Construction: $7.3 billion

Sources: Statistics Canada, 
City of Grande Prairie, Alberta Municipal Affairs

Given the city’s continued economic success and sustained population growth, the province has come to recognize Grande Prairie as a strategic regional asset (with its large and growing trade area) by expanding their investments to include additions to the community’s existing educational and health-care infrastructure.

First on the roster is a $760 million regional hospital project. In addition to a state-of-the-art cancer care centre, the hospital will add an extra 4,000 square metres for nursing and medical career programs at Grande Prairie Regional College, helping to provide greater educational opportunities for graduating students locally.

“[The hospital] will support the region and allow northern patients to receive specialized and complex care closer to home,” says Rebecca Leigh, senior economic development officer for Grande Prairie.

The new $760 million regional hospital will serve the more than 285,000 residents of what has become a major retail centre in the region. Photo courtesy of William Vaverk.