Penhold multiplex attracting residents

Proponents of the Penhold Regional Multiplex expected the $23-million recreation and cultural complex to increase local amenities for town residents.

Proponents of the Penhold Regional Multiplex expected the $23-million recreation and cultural complex to increase local amenities for town residents.

They may not have anticipated that it would boost Penhold’s population.

This could prove to be the case, as the nearly 100,000-square-foot building — which includes a library, hockey rink, running track, gymnasium, dance studio, fitness centre and cafe — draws users to the 2,100-person community.

“With the Multiplex, people are coming,” said Penhold development officer Trish Willis. “They like the facility and they use the facility.

“Whether they’re going to relocate here or not, we’re hoping.”

Kevin Schropfer, a Realtor with Re/Max Real Estate Central Alberta, thinks the town’s appeal jumped with the opening of the Multiplex last summer.

“That Multiplex changed the landscape in Penhold quite a bit,” he said, explaining that house shoppers now associate the town with broader amenities.

Schropfer is among a group of Realtors who are working together to pitch Penhold properties.

They’ve organized a Passport to Prizes promotion, through which people who stop at open houses in the town can collect initials on a special passport and be eligible for prizes.

The promotion was launched on Feb 13, with 14 Realtors taking part. It’s being repeated on Sunday, this time with 10 homes — all open for viewing from 1 to 5 p.m.

In addition to Re/Max Real Estate Central Alberta, other firms participating are Century 21 Advantage, Coldwell Banker OnTrack Realty, Royal Carpet Realty and Royal LePage Network. Six, $100 prizes are available, said Schropfer.

By working together, the Realtors can better entice people to brave the cold and travel out to Penhold, he said.

“This gives them a good impetus to come out and have a look.”

Schropfer also thinks it’s important to demonstrate to the public that Realtors do work together, and to raise awareness that Penhold is a good alternative to Red Deer and other Central Alberta communities.

In the past, lower prices were the main incentive for home buyers to consider the community, he said, but now the Multiplex has become a big selling feature.

“Penhold is kind of unique right now.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com