Red Deer County was once again a central focus of crucial development across the region in 2020.
One big project that came through right near the end of the year was the Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market. The market opened on Nov. 21 and features 40 businesses selling goods.
Visitors to the 25,000-square-foot market at 558 Laura Ave., are able to buy locally grown fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, baked goods and freshly roasted coffee, among other items. It is one of Alberta’s first purpose-built indoor farmers’ markets and 80 per cent of the products sold are baked or grown in Alberta.
“This is another way for local producers to share their products with those who live and work here,” said Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood on opening weekend.
“I hope this market becomes a fixture in Gasoline Alley for many, many years.”
The north end of the building features The Market Kitchen, a space for small restaurants, private functions and Red Deer County’s newest brewery and taproom, Craft Beer Commonwealth.
Just down the road outside Penhold, another area of growth in the region is on display. The Junction 42 rest area, which opened in 2018, surpassed 100,000 visitors in October.
On Jan. 27, 2020, Burger King and Petro Canada opened at the rest area. Tim Hortons also opened a location later in the spring. The area includes a large parking lot for transport trucks and has high-speed wifi for visitors.
Wood was pleased with the success of the rest area, which is located on a 291-acre site that is expected to be further developed.
“We heard a lot of feedback from the commercial vehicle sector. They have a need for a commercial area along the QE2 Highway, and Red Deer County partnered with Alberta Transportation to respond to this need,” he said at the time.
“I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this development.”