New Husky Site Basks in Banff’s Beauty
By Angela Altass
HUSKY’S EXPERIENCED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE TEAM PUT THEIR SKILLS TO WORK TO CREATE A UNIQUE, STANDOUT SITE IN THE ICONIC RESORT TOWN OF BANFF, ALBERTA.
“When we developed Banff, we decided to stand for a few very important features,” says Joel Skulsky, Husky’s director of retail. “We wanted great washrooms, not just the best gas station washrooms, but the best washrooms in Banff. We wanted to offer a fantastic hot beverage and food service program, and we wanted to appeal to residents and visitors alike with a store that has unique amenities like bike repair stations. And, there is nothing like warming up next to our fireplace after cross-country skiing along the trails that run right to our door.”
Located within Banff National Park, the development project faced some interesting challenges, but the Husky team was up to the task.
“Building in a national park, it took more time than usual to get the appropriate development permits in place,” says Skulsky. “But once everything was approved to move forward, with a great project team and great contractors we broke ground May 2019 and were able to open relatively quickly in February 2020. Throughout the process, the Town of Banff and the people at Parks Canada were all very cooperative. There were no challenges in the project that the team couldn’t overcome.”
The project has some interesting design elements.
“Of course, the Banff location needed to have that Rocky Mountain theme to fit with Banff’s spectacular surroundings,” says Skulsky. “I think we achieved our design goal in both the interior and exterior of the site. There’s a fireplace inside the seating area that really gives it that mountain chalet feeling. We made sure that if people wanted to linger or rest, there were charging stations, comfortable seating, free water filling stations and all the amenities needed to help customers feel comfortable.”
Husky has owned the property at 601 Banff Avenue for decades and Skulsky says they wanted to do something unique that not only represented Husky but also the beauty of Banff.
“You can’t compete with Banff’s beauty, but in our own way, we felt it was important to complement the surroundings and welcome people with something that would make both Banff residents and Husky proud,” says Skulsky.
“From the murals on the walls inside, which we commissioned a local artist to create, to the bike repair station outside, there is no other Husky station like this one,” Skulsky says. “We also partnered with a great local vendor, Evelyn’s, to supply our coffee program. We worked closely with Evelyn’s to ensure we captured the spirit of their brand offering inside a Husky store.”
Skulsky says he feels very proud of what has been accomplished at the Banff location.
“Through the collaborative efforts of the contractors, suppliers, and Husky’s people, we have come up with a tremendous site in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” says Skulsky. “Our retailer, Rajni Chowdhary, was a big part of the development of the Banff site and is a valuable member of our network. Rajni is doing a terrific job representing the values of Husky to the community of Banff. She started as a store manager in Calgary and it was always a dream of hers to run her own site. That dream became a reality at Banff and we are proud to have her as part of our organization.”
Husky has received positive feedback from customers and Banff locals about how well the development fits into the community.
“We are honoured to have kept to the heritage of the community,” says Skulsky. “As one of the first businesses you see as you enter Banff, we wanted to build something that communicated to visitors that they have arrived at a very special place,” says Skulsky. “I think we achieved that goal.”