A fun night is always in the cards for shoppers and downtown merchants when the City Centre celebrate Vegas Night.
On Friday, Nov. 15, businesses were open until 11 p.m., offering great deals and games of chance, rolling out the start of a busy season, with Black Friday this week, along with the Santa Parade, tree lighting and Battle of the Badges on Sunday.
Vegas Night kicked off at 10 a.m. Shop owners and staff eagerly welcomed customers and visitors throughout the day – an opportunity to showcase the variety of businesses and their employees.
At Bama Furniture, owner Jason Sawatzky says Vegas Night is a staple event for the downtown business core.
“Vegas Night in the City Centre has been a Grande Prairie tradition for many years and the Bama family is so proud to be a part of a truly unique Grande Prairie event. We see well over 1,000 visitors through our store on this night every year.”
Vegas Night and events at Revolution Place like concerts, hockey games and curling championships, along with nearby activities like Rib Fest and the Bear Creek Folk Festival bring new people to the downtown core, he says.
“They get to see what a wonderful place it is.”
At Pink Rain Hair Lounge, owner Kristina Starko MacNeil was delighted with the turnout.
“It was the best and busiest Vegas Night in 10 years. I am proud to have been a member of the downtown for the last 15 years. Our popup Bodyography Shop (cosmetics demos and tutorials and free mini makeovers) was also a sparkling success.”
Nearby, the Grant Berg Gallery was bustling with patrons checking out gift options for the art lovers on their shopping list.
“Vegas night is always one of the best nights of the year when 250-300 people come through the gallery, all in great moods and really enjoying the energy and vibrancy of City Centre,” says owner Grant Berg. “There is a different mood when you are talking with the owner of a small business as every customer and sale matters. There is a human connection and experience that you certainly don’t get online or at some US box stores.”
Emily Greenaway, new owner of the Grande Prairie Coffee Co., had her first taste of Vegas night as a Downtown entrepreneur.
“We had an incredible evening! The weather was fabulous and it was great to see the community come out and enjoy what our downtown has to offer,” she says.
“We had so much fun pouring drinks and handing out samples of some of our new Glow products. We also got to experience a very generous pay it forward, where a customer paid for a $100 gift card to pay for the next few rounds of drinks. It was amazing to watch our customers’ reactions when we told them! We closed our shop with tired feet and full hearts. As a new business owner, it was great to see Grande Prairie come out, and it especially meant the world to our family.”