By Jeremy Appel
The Town of Redcliff will remain the Greenhouse Capital of the Prairies for the foreseeable future.
“Nobody was really adamant about the rebrand,” Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick said of former mayor Ernie Reimer’s project.
“Honestly, that was almost driven by a couple of individuals and they’re not here right now.
“It’s pretty close to (being) dead in the water.”
Theresa Hardiker, executive director of the Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta, said her group, along with the town and Medicine Hat College, conducted a survey to gauge public interest in, among other issues, a potential rebrand.
“What we did was find some opportunities and gaps that would be in the Town of Redcliff, and then the other part of the report did comparisons to like communities, not only in Alberta but they also expanded to the Prairie provinces,” she said.
The report recommended the town start offering greenhouse tours to expand the town’s appeal beyond purchasers of produce.
“Starting greenhouse tours would allow Redcliff to build upon a strength in the community,” the report said.
“This will attract tourists and provide a fulfilling experience within Redcliff.”
Besides a lack of public enthusiasm, Kilpatrick said the issue is what would become Redcliff’s new brand.
“We’d have to start looking at the next thing that we could say about Redcliff that would be unique and be a draw,” he said.
“The thing with greenhouses is some people said it wasn’t a big enough draw. It’s not going to bring people in off the highway.
“But there was a time when we had 75 acres and really nobody else did, so we were kind of a little greenhouse hub.”
Kilpatrick said that if Cypress County, which will soon outnumber the town in greenhouse acreage, asks Redcliff to rebrand, they would.
“We’re not going to change it in the near future unless they ask us,” he said.
Despite its abundance of greenhouses, don’t expect Redcliff to rebrand itself as the cannabis capital of the Prairies.
“That won’t happen,” said Kilpatrick. “Most of the growers here know the federal restrictions with the metal walls, security fences, all that kind of thing, you just don’t want that in town.
“Everybody that seems to be coming into the game are going large and that would be a hard thing to do here.”