Downtown Drumheller is filling up again and that's a good thing!
In the last two months a total of four businesses have opened along 3rd Avenue and elsewhere in the downtown.
"Co-op closing made the (Greentree) mall less attractive for some of the tenants, so we did see some migration downtown recently," noted commercial realtor Bob Sheddy. "It was good timing because at the time we had more vacancies than we'd like to see in downtown."
"It was 18 months ago that we had the downtown completely full; unfortunately with the big downturn, some of the people couldn't survive and closed up their businesses," he recalled. "We had seven or eight spots that were empty and then a couple of businesses opened, some of them moved over from the Co-op Mall and then we've seen a progression of professionals going into the downtown core as well."
The latest professional to set up shop on 3rd Avenue is the Drumheller Chiropratic Centre and Dr. Ivan Chan, who will be moving in just east of the old Sportsroom building.
While some people think the ideal downtown core would look like Banff or Jasper, with all kinds of shops to attract tourists, Sheddy believes the influx of professional services could help everyone in the long run.
"The fact that a business can start in the downtown core that is retail and does cater to the tourists, for the ten months that the tourists aren't here they're going to have a lot of traffic because of all the other services that are provided around them," he explained.
Sheddy counts only three vacant, rentable stores left in the downtown Drumheller core and he expects that number to shrink even further.