Downtown Drumheller is proposing changes to a small part of Centre Street they hope will yield big results in revitalizing the core.
The committee of the Chamber of Commerce are in talks with the town over an idea to widen the sidewalks on both sides of Centre Street from the alley south of Bits and Pieces to 3rd Avenue. Within this area they are proposing to create a plaza style space. It would contain seating, and would also have a permanent bandstand in front of S&S News. The bandstand will reflect the image of a tipple and future development will include a life sized statue of a miner ready for work.
The proposal is called Miners Square, and Mike Todor of Downtown Drumheller says the committee has the support of the Chamber of Commerce.
“As our downtown core is the result of the creation of shops built here 70-100 years ago, the space should be a tribute to the miners who lived and worked here, thus facilitating the need for this retail development,” states the proposal.
Todor says the proposal has the goal of increasing foot traffic and building on reinventing downtown Drumheller as a tourist destination.
“We hope to attract one -quarter of the visitors to the Royal Tyrrell Museum,” said Todor. “This year that would have been 100,000.”
The new space would allow the downtown core to host special events, as well as allow entertainment. They are also looking at possibly bringing a farmer’s market to the core with this development.
The walking and seating area is proposed to be cobbled/ paved with interlocking bricks.
“This development will create a situation where spontaneous entertainment may occur (buskers) and organized events will have an anchor and ease of access.”
Todor said he has been sharing the idea with local businesses and has been greeted by positive responses. The group is talking to the Town of Drumheller about the proposal. He says they have raised the idea of creating the new vibrant space in the core because currently the town is looking at a traffic study and proposing changes to downtown parking.
He sees the development as only being of benefit to the businesses in the core. The proposed change would leave the bulk of parking along Centre Street untouched and only eliminate 13 parking spots. The change however would help downtown Drumheller become more of a destination for visitors to experience the downtown core more fully, and result in an increase of visitors who will likely spend more time using the shops and services.
They hope to implement the proposed changes by next season, according to Todor.
“The net result will be a downtown core where visitors and locals will feel welcome, and a growing feeling of community. Our history will be shared by all and the significance of Drumheller and past economic value of the area will be showcased,” states the proposal.
"The vibrance and camaraderie will assist in the creation of community."