Rudyard Kipling got it right a century ago when he famously described Medicine Hat as “the town that was born lucky.” Medicine Hat punches well above its weight when it comes to sport event hosting, offering an impressive inventory of new and recently renovated sports venues one would expect to find in cities almost twice its size, according to Jace Anderson, executive director, Tourism Medicine Hat. The city boasts a large and enthusiastic volunteer base, and real bang for your buck as it applies to venue, accommodation, dining and transportation costs.
By Angela Kryhul
Websites: tourismmedicinehat.com; stayinmedicinehat.com
Accommodations: 1,741 guestrooms
Getting Here: Both WestJet and Air Canada offer daily non-stop flights between Calgary and the Medicine Hat Regional Airport
New Economy: Greenhouse growers; Aurora Cannabis; Bitcoin mining
330 Days of sunshine per year contributes to extended shoulder seasons
Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede
Much more than an annual rodeo, the complex boasts a wide selection of year-round indoor and outdoor meeting, sports and activity venues, including the Kinplex twin arena, Cypress Centre fieldhouse, auditorium and pavillion, and a 4,000-sq.-ft. banquet room located under the grandstand seating. mhstampede.com
Family Leisure Centre
A recent $37-million expansion added 120,000 sq. ft. of sports, fitness, meeting and office space, says David Young, manager of recreation. Host to the 2016 Alberta Winter Games, the complex includes an Olympic-sized ice rink, aquatic park, 200-metre indoor track, fieldhouse, and more. Situated on 57 acres, the complex also features three soccer pitches, four ball diamonds, a BMX track and the Methanex Bowl, with seating for up to 1,600 people. medicinehat.ca
Home to WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, the four-year-old centre is designed to host almost any type of event, says Tammy Sweeney, general manager. From hockey and ringette to cheerleading competitions and monster truck rallies, the arena seats up to 7,000 people and boasts 22 private and two community suites, eight loge boxes and a bar dedicated entirely to crafting Bloody Caesars. The venue is redefining how a sports and entertainment centre serves its community: resident chef Dan Smyth provides catering on-site as well as to conferences taking place at nearby hotels. canaltacentre.com
Desert Blume Golf Club
Boasting an extended golf season that can run from March until late October, this 18-hole, par-72 course hosted the 2018 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Golf National Championships and features a 16,000-sq.-ft. clubhouse—open year-round for meetings and events, says Chris Paskin, director of golf. desertblume.com
The Medicine Hat Lodge is the city’s largest hotel entertainment complex, offering 220 guestrooms and suites, as well as convention/banquet facilities, meeting rooms, restaurants, indoor twin waterslide park and an on-site casino.
Coming soon: Marriott TownePlace Suites; Best Western Inn and Suites.
- Medicine Hat College
- Medicine Hat High School
- Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
- Medalta in the Historic Clay District
Medicine Hat restaurateurs source the freshest local ingredients to create authentic Alberta dining experiences. Homegrown craft brewers include the Medicine Hat Brewing Company and Hell’s Basement Brewery.
- Heartwood Café
- Thai Orchid Room
- Madhatter Coffee Roastery
- Redwood Steakhouse
- Ralph’s Texas Bar & Steakhouse
- Skinny’s Smoke House
Look Who’s Coming
World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
Co-hosted by Medicine Hat and Swift Current, Sask. November 2–9, 2019
Total Economic Impact:$5-6 million
Teams: Canada, United States, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland
Venues: Canalta Centre, Medicine Hat; Innovation Credit Union i-plex, Swift Current