One of Okotoks’ newest hangout spots is branching out.
The Point launched in early 2022 with the subtitle "a place for teens."
For a long time, Okotokians had expressed the desire for an entertainment/recreation space for teens outside of existing spots like the rec centre.
Sara and Gavin Rae were happy to rise to the occasion, and it was well received.
"The feedback, especially from the parents, knowing they have a space where they feel safe and comfortable dropping their kids off, they have that independence but they also have that safety factor, has been great. From councilors to parents, to teachers, everyone's thrilled, especially when they come into the space and see it," says Sara.
Though it was primarily intended as a space for teens, she says adults have taken a liking to the place, perhaps more than the younger crowd.
"We've had adult parties here, we've had a lot of 40-year-old surprise parties and 60-year-old celebrations. It can be a sports bar, in a sense. They come, they bring their food, they can get a liquor license, and turn it into their own private sports bar, party place, night club, whatever they want to do with it."
Though teens were enjoying the space, Sara and Gavin saw potential beyond just one demographic.
Sara says the space, while still hosting drop-in times for teens, is growing into a community hub.
"It's a place for the community to come and connect. We lost that connection over the last couple years and to build that again is what's really important."
Accordingly, The Point's tagline has changed to "community, create, connection."
As for exactly what the space will be morphing into, the Rae's say it's up to the community and how they want to use it.
They've already seen success hosting seniors days on Friday mornings, and the venue hosted a business development event from the owners of Two Birds furniture, Clint and Robyn Pigeon.
Change can be scary, but seeing new groups and community members already discovering the space has been reassuring.
“When you start to see bookings coming in and people walking through the space and just the comments you receive, it’s like “okay, it’s worth it. It’s going to be alright,” says Gavin.
He says they’re pretty excited to welcome anyone and anything.
“If it’s a family Thanksgiving party you want to do something with, a Christmas party, we’ve got a booking on Boxing Day already for a huge family that’s coming in. You can cater it externally, get a liquor license, you can have birthday parties, your sports team, your hockey team, an ice breaker, a get-together, whatever it may be. You can do it all here.”