Look Around Nipawin
|FTLComm - Nipawin - April 16, 1999|
|This QuickTime VR panorama of the main
street and main intersection in down town Nipawin was made around 3:15 Thursday afternoon.
As you look around the scene you will see that the moving traffic appears to disappear
in places as this is because a panorama like this one is created from a sequence
of images knitted together and things move around as the images are being created.
Nipawin has for many years been the most thriving of the three commercial communities in this area. Though Melfort maintains its solid base, Tisdale has experienced considerable growth with the development of the inland terminals but Nipawin has had a minor downturn in business activity. Though it is hard to identify what has caused this there are a number of changes that seemed to have occured about the same time. The Met department store closed and this large general merchant created a bit of a hole in the economic marketplace. At the same time the locally owned and operated Bootrills food store which was affiliated with WestFair foods closed when Extra-Foods bought the vacant Met store and created a large food outlet. Since last summer Nipawin merchants have discovered that fewer customers from Cumberland House, Red Earth and Shoal Lake are stopping in Nipawin. The allure of WallMart is considered by many as the main reason not to stop.
I talked to one man from Red Earth who told me that when he wife wants to go shopping she means that they drive into Prince Albert. It is a forty-five minute drive into Nipawin and another hour and half to Prince Albert but families are doing just that. I suspect that a general merchant like the Met was filling the need for clothing and those things people like to shop around for and with it closed its stop for a snack then push on to Prince Albert. Nipawin merchants have been aware of this problem and have gone out to the reserves and talked to the people about their shopping but the boom market of Nipawin is more of a rattle.