Portage la Prairie, MB –
The City of Possibilities boasts the presence of a second Liquor Commission outlet as evidence of its superiority to other cities in Southern Manitoba.
Despite the fact both Steinbach and Winkler are experiencing population growth higher than Portage, locals have maintained their city is still better and more fun.
“We beat Winkler and Steinbach all the time in hockey,” Portager Drew Mandel said. “We have a lake, Island Park and a really nice rink so Portage is way better. And we know how to party.
When both Winkler and Steinbach built fancy new Liquor Commissions years ago, many Portagers felt slighted by their predominately Mennonite rivals.
“How did Winkler and Steinbach get new LC’s before us?” Portager Eugene Wilson shared. “A town that used to be dry has a nicer booze store than us. How does that work?”
Portage has pride in its drinking reputation and the fact there are bookend LCs in town solidifies it.
“We always knew we could out drink Winkler and Steinbach. That was never in doubt. Mennonites will only drink when there are no other Mennonites around,” Portager Billy Friessen said. “Now we can point to our two locations as indisputable proof we party harder.”
“The only other cities in Manitoba to give us a run at liquor consumption would be Dauphin, Swan River and perhaps Selkirk,” Wilson added. “But they don’t have two locations so I guess we are better drinkers.”
Portage is looking at marketing itself as a party town in hopes of increasing its appeal as a place to live and invest.
“We know how to party better than anyone,” Friessen offered. “We should embrace that and advertise it more. And maybe businesses and people will want to move here.”
“Winkler is known for its work ethic but that is boring. Younger generations would like the party message much better,” Wilson said. “We could really build on this.”
An informal survey of Portagers confirm most feel that drinking more increases their positive feelings for the city.
With an east and west end location, the Liquor Commission stores join retail icons like 7-11 and Tim Hortons and could assist in defining west and east Portage. Click here to read the story on how Portage la Prairie is divided here.
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