As our highway turns 65 the Chamber of Commerce has looked ahead for a way to celebrate Valleyview, its history and our connection as a community to the travellers that helped define us. A large part of what makes Valleyview the Portal to the Peace is our position at the crossroad of Highway 43 and 49. It seems only fitting to tell our story beyond the borders of our town and immediate region.
We are working on our strengths and the Town of Valleyview has added their support to the initiative. This is an important step and we can't be more happy. Together we can work towards making Valleyview a destination in ways that we simply cannot do alone as a business community.
"There is no better time than 2020 for the Chamber to share our story, celebrate our history and boost the Town of Valleyview’s image and reputation." - Town of Valleview Letter of Support
In the immediate term, as part of a multi-pronged project, the Chamber has aimed to increase the awareness of what our town has to offer. Improving our image with marketing materials and information is a cost effective and world-event-resistant way to boost business and our economy. We have little control over global events: pandemics, oil prices, and stock markets to name a few however, we can improve on what we have. We can celebrate 65 years as being the connection to the Peace Country and we can tell the stories of our residents. That is something to be proud of. In telling that story we will boost our economy and elevate the image of our community. the Chamber and business community is excited to have the Town's support in this.
GASOLINE ALLEY DEFINED
A gasoline alley is a rest area that celebrates its connection to the motoring history that created it. Our gasoline alley has been around since Valleyview was a village. Originally stretching roughly from the Texaco (former South Peace Communications) in the west to the Hilltop Esso in the south. It now stretches a little further, from the Western Valley in the west to Dairy Queen and Captain Pizza in the south and spurs up Highway 49 to the UFA Cardlock.
Connecting The Name
Crocus Hill Gasoline Alley gets it's namesake from the nearby Crocus Hill, and that some of the earlier businesses were named "hilltop" such as the Hilltop Esso. Today no hilltop businesses remain but the Crocus Hill Stampede and Rodeo continues as a defining attraction in our community. Every summer it draws approximately 2,000 people from the immediate region and beyond. Celebrating the history, acknowledging the geography and giving a nod to a name both locals and visitors recognize is part of the appeal.
What the future may hold
Destination marketing is about increasing awareness, with the aim to raising the number of visitors and improving a location's image. Our goal is to serve the Edmonton to Peace Country Corridor much like Red Deer serves the Calgary to Edmonton Corridor. Helping our travel and service industry boost their visitor numbers will grow our town. Putting Valleyview on the map as a stop to look forward to is the first step. This won't be complete in 2020 but we will get going.
What Connecting With The Town Means
When the dust settles from the first half of this year, we look forward to engaging with town administration and Council to work on more that just marketing. The Town's Development Guidelines offer a glimpse into what Crocus Hill Gasoline Alley will look like in the future physically. Key design elements include provisions for "maintain[ing] older unique business signs that feature a “retro” look" this was taken into account for Crocus Hill Gasoline Alley's emblem. Addressing the other elements will improve the first impressions of our home town.
Another way we can work with the town is by throwing our support behind any efforts they pursue to engage with Alberta Transportation. For bigger projects like approaches/ turnoffs and smaller ones like improving way finding/ signage (an Economic Development Strategy goal) or adding pole banners.
Realizing the grander vision will take time and we look forward to working with the town to make it happen.