By Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Medicine Hat News
MEDICINE HAT – Anyone heading down Gershaw Drive will notice one of the newest additions to the city.
A big, red sign reading ‘YXH’ has been built roadside near the airport and it sits at the entrance of YXH Gateway.
The project has been in the works for years and will bring commercial development to the Medicine Hat Regional Airport’s front yard.
“We started airport work a few years ago with the resurfacing of the runway,” said Invest Medicine Hat’s director of land development and real estate Chris Perret. “The second phase of that was building a new hangar and some bayside commercial property.
“We’re now adding three commercial properties on the street side, one is on the market right now.
“The focus of this past year was building that entry road on Gershaw into the terminal.”
The stand-out work for those driving by is the big red sign, which is not quite finished, says Perret.
“It’s going to be illuminated and we’re going to be landscaping around it in the spring,” he said. “On the other side of the road, it’s going to say ‘Gateway’ to show people this is the YXH Gateway.
“We’re hoping to have a major launch once COVID and the restrictions are gone. We’re hoping to do that in the spring.”
Perret says there is a lot to be excited about with YXH Gateway.
“Ultimately the market decides what goes here, but I think there’s a lot of potential here,” he said. “This is going to be the first place people see when they fly into the city and that means it’ll see a lot of traffic once things move back to normal.
“The airport was busier than ever before COVID-19 hit – WestJet moving in here helped the airport out a lot.
“I definitely think we’ll see a coffee shop here and a convenience store, but it will be up to investors in the end.”
Perret says it was important for the sign to catch peoples’ eyes.
“This is how we’re rebranding the airport,” he said. “A big, red illuminated sign is bound to get peoples’ attention.”