High St. Re-opening Bash

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Robert Thomas

It may have been a bit of a cooler Fall day but none of it dampened spirits as the former “Worst Road in Saskatchewan” officially re-opened and became one of the “Best Roads in the Province.”

This past Saturday, at noon, the ribbon was cut as High Street West officially re-opened to a major party atmosphere replacing the once doom and gloom an extended construction project had upon the street.

“I don’t believe timing was an issue, it was more for awareness for the affected businesses and show that Moose Jaw was behind and thinking of them, you can never have enough promotion,” said Rob Clark Executive Director of the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce.

 The ribbon cutting ceremony on to unveil the new High St. W

The ribbon cutting ceremony on to unveil the new High St. W

Regarding the controversy surrounding the High Street construction and it’s being named as “Worst Road in Saskatchewan” in a Canadian Automobile Association online poll Clark said those days are over and there is a different message now.

“A road with a hard smooth surface paving the way from “Worst to First” with a very resilient group of business people looking forward,” Clark said.

Christine Niemczyk, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for CAA Saskatchewan said the group is happy with the final result and High Street West is now repaired.

“It’s absolutely all good,” Niemczyk said, adding it was good to see the City “back on track on having safe streets for all road users.”

The event was a festive affair with the Uncoolas providing the musical entertainment presented by Purposed Financial. There was also a free BBQ provided by the City of Moose Jaw and entertainment for the kids.

 The Uncoolas provided musical entertainment

The Uncoolas provided musical entertainment

Despite it being High Street, many local businesses from other areas of the city contributed and pitched in to make the event a success, as well as ones on High Street West itself.

Clark listed out the groups who deserved recognition they included:

• To all the 54 Businesses who have been affected by the High Street Construction

• Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce for organizing the Event and the Board of Directors and staff who are here today

• Tim Hortons for the Coffee supplied

• Realty Executive MJ for the use of the parking lot

• Golden West Radio for promotions and providing Live on Location

• Holly-Would Rentals & Event Design – for the tables and chairs

• Minuteman Press for signage

• City of Moose Jaw for providing the BBQ

• Pascoe’s Welding for the helium tank

• Party With Bears for providing face painting

• Moose Jaw Warriors for supplying the mini hockey rink and of course Morty!

• Last but not least the members of the Uncoolas and Purposed Financial Corp. for providing the great live entertainment!

Clark said the best way to help out the businesses on High Street and those just off of High Street affected by the road construction due to Phase Two is take a look at what they have to offer.

“Make a day out of it, stop by and visit each business and you may be surprised all what is available, its worth the trip !”

As part of the return to High Street the Chamber shot a series of videos featuring individual businesses and these may be viewed on the Chamber's Facebook page.

Additionally the Chamber is turning this effort into a silver lining with plans to feature other businesses and community events on their Facebook page.

“Yes, the plan is to promote events, grand openings anything progressive as much branding as possible with our limited resources,” Clark said.

Another positive is that lessons have been learnt from what happened on High Street West and efforts are being made to prevent it from happening again.

“We have been in discussion with City and will continue to correspond to prepare and plan a strategy for more initial awareness and convey and share to the businesses to be affected, I also believe the City has learned a lot from the High St issue and will not be wanting to see this happen again and will be planning for much better results as per their most recent Phase 3 accomplishments.”

Clark wanted to leave with a positive note despite the controversy and severe difficulties many businesses faced.

“It was absolutely awesome to have the support of so many within our community to make a success of the Grand Re-opening of High St, but not surprising!

Can’t say “Thank You” enough to all gave their time and energy in volunteering and contributing to the event and knocking it out of the park.”

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