Your chance to ask Trio some questions

Trio Marine Group will be available Monday  to answer questions from the public about the proposed marina expansion at Skaha Lake Park.

The new operators of the marina propose an expanded 100-slip marina, upgrades to dock infrastructure, a restaurant (operational from May to September with possible expansion) and a waterslide park which could be operational by the spring of 2017.

Monday’s session is being held at the marina and beach area from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Subsequently, Trio management will be meeting with stakeholders including Tourism Penticton, the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, Penticton Rotary Club, the dragonboat community and several city committees.

Trio had an information booth set-up during Saturday’s downtown community market in the 200 block of Main Street.

A public information session where the public may offer input to city council is tentatively scheduled for June 29 with the time and location to be announced.


Details released for Skaha Marina plans

Andrew Bayston, operations manager of Trio Marine Group, stands in the 90-seat restaurant part of the new additions to the Skaha Marina.

Andrew Bayston, operations manager of Trio Marine Group, stands in the 90-seat restaurant part of the new additions to the Skaha Marina.

Developers who are looking to bring a massive upgrade to the Skaha Lake Marina want to assure Penticton that public amenities won’t be compromised.

“The true work of what we’re doing is enhancing this waterfront and area; taking it from an industrial point of view to full recreation,” said Andrew Bayston, operations manager of Trio Marine Group.

Last month, the company proposed to city council a substantial waterfront development – they plan to build a modern marina; replace and expand the docks, construct a new dragon boat clubhouse; relocate and enlarge the splash pad water park; and on the top of most minds – a new waterpark.

“It was well-received,” he said. “Everyone was ecstatic about the presentation we did.”

Waterslides were once synonymous with Penticton, Bayston said, as the city was home to two water slide attractions over the past 20 years.

In the second of two phases, the proposed project will include four large waterslides, attractions for small children and other amenities to cover 10,200 square metres. Bayston said the slides and features are geared to cater to the common demographics of Penticton’s residents and visitors. Depending on the success of the operation, he said there’s a possibility of adding more attractions to the water park.

To make it all fit, the nearby splash pad at Skaha Lake Park will have to be relocated to another part of the park. The time of its move and the new location are still tentative, but the waterpark will be relocated during the off season, made bigger and ready to run for the start of the following summer season.

The team has already upgraded the existing 86-slip dock. They’re planning to completely replace the docks and offer an additional  30-or-so slips, but to avoid spoiling the summer boating season, that project will commence and finish during the 2015-2016 offseason.

While the approval process is still underway, the Trio Marine Group was given permission by the city to start operating the marina at the beginning of 2015. In demonstrating their stewardship as developers, Trio has already begun renovating the existing marina space into a 90-seat restaurant in addition to repairs made to sections of the docks.

“It’s kind of like we’re putting a Band-Aid on the project before we take full charge.”

The new restaurant will be called Slips, and will be working with Burger 55 this year, creating a menu offering a taste of the popular restaurant.

“But we’ll have a lot more than just hamburgers,” he said, mentioning a variety of dishes and a liquor license.

The Slips will be easy to access by any mode of transportation – in addition to the parking lot for automobiles, there will be three first-come-first-serve boat slips, and the restaurant is situated right in front of the waterfront walkway, which offers the public free movement from one end the property to the other (except late at night when only slip holders will have access). Seating at Slips gives diners a panoramic view of the waterfront, and also offers beachgoers to order lunch through their pickup window.

But the brand new restaurant in a (soon-to-be) refurbished building will likely only spend one season in operation before Trio Marine Group tears down the old building to make room for the new. The new marina will feature an upscale casual restaurant and a retail outlet. Bayston said cater to the wants and needs of both slip holders and beachgoers.

The marina this year will is also bringing in new boats to their rental fleet this summer, which will include four jet skis, two pontoons and a runabout. By the start next season, the docks will be brand new, and grow by around 30 slips. Bayston said there’s a large enough boating demand to expand further, but the design is limited by space.

“We’re going to have a waterpark that is close to the marina, beach, and park – it’s a one-stop shop.”


Your chance to learn for about the excitement at Skaha Marina

Trio Marine Group, the new operators of the Skaha Marina, will be available for public consultation on its proposed expansion of a restaurant and water park.

Trio officials will be in attendance at the Downtown Penticton Association market on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and at the Skaha Marina area on Monday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

According to the City of Penticton’s website, officials are also holding stakeholder meetings with Tourism Penticton, the Chamber of Commerce, Penticton Rotary Club, city committees and the dragonboat community.

More information is available on the home page of the City’s website at www.penticton.ca.


Skaha Marina could have a $4-million facelift

EDITORIAL

The Skaha Marina and surrounding area could soon have a new look.

Penticton city council on Tuesday received a report from director of operations Mitch Moroziuk on future development of the marina area.

Trio, which took over management of the marina this year, has long-term plans for an 85-seat restaurant and future water park along with enhancements to the docks, lighting and gating systems at the 100-slip marina, which services local boaters and tourists.

Moroziuk said significant upgrades have already been made to the facility by the new owner.

If approved, the first stage of redevelopment will involve the restaurant and docks, with future work including a water park with four slides, a children’s slide and a play pool.

The children’s splash pad and dragon boat storage shed will be relocated and a washroom and change room reconstructed at the time of the water park construction. In total, the proposed project will cost $4.33 million.

Moroziuk outlined a detailed profit-sharing formula between the city and marina operators and said there are provisions within the agreement protecting the city from any loss. Among those will be a required detailed financial plan from the operators as well as a letter of credit.

Council unanimously gave its initial support to the project.

Trio will make presentations and set up information kiosks until June 19 with a public meeting on June 29 where citizens may offer input. Details of the plan are posted on the city’s website at www.penticton.ca.

Trio officials told council they’ve held initial meetings with dragon boat groups and have been well-received.

“This is one of the most exciting decisions we’ve made since getting elected, especially with the waterslides,” said Coun. Tarik Sayeed.

Coun. Helena Konanz said she’s pleased to have a water park returning to Penticton after a 10-year absence.

“I’ve heard many times that the city changed when the waterslides moved out. I know there will be a lot of excited kids when they pick up the paper tomorrow and see that they’re coming back,” she said.

Acting CAO Charles Loewen praised Moroziuk for his efforts, stating he’s put considerable effort into the project while working on it daily.


Skaha Marina, BMX track on tonight’s Council agenda

 

Penticton City Council will discuss a development agreement for Skaha Marina at tonight’s (Tuesday, May 19) public meeting.

The Skaha Marina area development is one of numerous items on the long agenda.

Skaha Marina is under new management and a 100-page report on plans for the site are posted on the city’s website. Among the items considered is operation of a water park.

If the initial motion is approved tonight, Trio, the new operators of the marina, will present details on the proposed development at various venues beginning Tuesday. The public will be invited to a special meeting of council, tentatively scheduled for June 29, where they may offer input.

Also on tonight’s agenda is the latest step that would permit a BMX track to relocate to property at Munson Mountain.

Council may instruct staff to submit a new application to the Agricultural Land Commission that would allow operation of the track on non-farm use. Also proposed is a mountain bike skills park and other cycling uses for a portion of the properties at 630 and 650 Munson Mountain Road.

Should council vote for this, the next stage in the process will be a public hearing.

Other highlights of tonight’s meeting include:

• Pickleball court development. Council will be asked to develop four courts on a portion of 2965 South Main Street with possible future development of up to four courts elsewhere. Related to the motion, council is being asked to approve a $10,000 grant that would fund part of the court development.

• 2015 Mid-Year Electrical Rate increases. Staff is recommending that the City of Penticton electric rates be revised to reflect a 2.20 per cent FortisBC increase effective July 1. It’s recommended that the increase be applied at the wholesale power purchase level of 1.83 per cent for the lowest impact to the customer.

• A development variance permit for 3957 Lakeside Road will be discussed. The owner is asking for a permit to decrease the minimum required front yard 6.0 meters to 5.5 meters and to reduce the minimum rear yard from 6.0 meters to 1.0 meters in order to construct a second storey on an existing home.

• A special delegation — one of six — will be presented by auditor Jonathan McGraw of BDO Canada LLP on financial statements.

Other delegations and presentations will deal with Shriner Ceremonial Days, Cycling for Diversity Week, Bike to Work Week, Peach City Radio, Penticton transit operations and future plans, and the Penticton and Area Cycling Association, dealing with a license to use the Munson Mountain site.

Tonight’s meeting at Penticton City Hall begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

To view the agenda and corresponding information visit: www.penticton.ca (follow the links: Mayor and Council; Council Meeting Agendas; May 19 regular agenda).


Moorage fees will nearly double this summer at Skaha Marina

54e7d1e2b5813.imageMoorage fees are set to nearly double this summer at the publicly owned Skaha Marina, which is now under new management.

The cost to dock Kevin Noonan’s six-metre boat would rise from $550 to $1,000, prompting him to reconsider tying up there.

“I like being in the marina. It’s something I want to do, but they didn’t have to go up that much. Not for a 20-foot slip,” said Noonan, who has had moorage there for five years.

In a letter to slip holders, Trio Marine Group said the fee hike will fund future improvements at the site, although Noonan would have preferred a more gradual increase.

“And once they change it and put in all these beautiful docks, are they going to raise it again?” he added.

“It makes me wonder if we should have given the old owners a better deal and signed them up for 10 years.”

City council granted Trio a one-year lease on the property in September and at the same time ended its relationship with long-time former operator Penticton Yamaha and Marine.

Trio spokesman Rob Campbell said his group, which is working out a long-term lease with the city, will next year replace all existing docks with aluminum-framed versions topped with composite decking and build a restaurant in the shop that used to house Penticton Yamaha.

“There are a number things we’re doing here to make this thing a top-quality, top-class marina. It’s not just going to be some place to dump your boat,” he said.

Campbell added that the fee increase for the 70 seasonal slips was also brought in to more closely match what other marinas in the Okanagan charge for moorage.

“We feel that even now we’re still on the cheaper side,” he said.

There are no other marinas on Skaha Lake. The closest is the Penticton Marina on Okanagan Lake, which is closed for the season and doesn’t have a price list available online. But at Pentowna Marina in Peachland, a six-metre boat like Noonan’s would cost $2,200 a season.

Trio will also offer other paid services, such as dry land storage and boat launching for customers, but Campbell noted people who use the public ramp won’t be charged.

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he was unaware of the planned increase and looks forward to a meeting with Trio to hear more about the rationale for it.

“If they can show that it’s going to improving, enhancing, expanding and making the marina more safe, then I think there’s probably a greater appetite to support it,” he said.

Campbell wouldn’t comment on speculation about Trio’s plans for the marina area, including the possibility of a water park, but said he expects more information will be made public following the next city council meeting March 2.


Marina lease holders will announce plans early-2015

Trio Marine, the new lease holders for the Skaha Marina, are trying to get in touch with current slip holders as they prepare to take over.

“We’re trying to get everything organized and go at the end of the year,” said Rob Campbell, spokesman for Trio, adding that their lease takes effect Jan. 1. “We will be in there right away to start cleaning up.”

One of the main goals, though, is to prepare a list of current slip holders who want to continue.

“We don’t know who they are. We are not getting much assistance in that regard,” said Campbell.

“It is making it a little bit difficult for us. We don’t want to have any bad feelings with the current people that have been in there for years, we are just trying to find them,” he said. “If they have been in there for a number of years, we want them to have the first opportunity to retain their slip.”

Trio does hope to expand the number of slips available, but that won’t happen in the 2015 season.

Trio is planning a major redevelopment of the marina site, but Campbell still isn’t willing to say what shape that will take.

“Early in the new year, when a couple of things are settled, then we will be going out for complete public announcements with all the information pertaining to what is going to happen down there,” he said, adding that Trio’s silence on plans is at the request of the City of Penticton.

“We had to sign an agreement with the city and they just want to make sure that when this process rolls out it is done the right way with the least amount of backlash,” said Campbell.

There will be some changes in 2015, possibly including a small restaurant with a lakeside patio, which will be placed in front and beside the existing retail building.

“That is the tentative plan,” said Campbell. “We’re still working through that with the city right now.”

Campbell also said boaters can expect some safety upgrades to the existing docks as well as some aesthetic upgrades to the building and grounds. Other changes to the operation will be minimal. The Marina will continue to operate and provide slip rentals, fuel sales, boat rentals, water sport recreational rentals and sales with additional retail space.

“We are working with another group to provide things like all of the lake or water sport retail, that would be things like stand-up paddleboards and kayaks and beach clothing, any of that kind of stuff,” he said. “There will also be, as part of the fuel sales, things related to boats: fenders and lifejackets, oil and batteries, that type of basic stuff.”


Questions remain about future of Skaha Lake Marina

Mark Attrill of Penticton Yamaha and Marine Ltd. at dockside of the business he has operated on Skaha Lake.

Mark Attrill of Penticton Yamaha and Marine Ltd. at dockside of the business he has operated on Skaha Lake.

Penticton City Council’s promised announcement about the future of the Skaha Lake marina area Tuesday still leaves many questions unanswered.

During an in camera meeting Tuesday afternoon, council approved Trio Marine Group as the new leaseholders of the area, replacing Penticton Yamaha and Marine, owned by Mark and Matt Attrill.

The nearby splash park will not be affected, and the boat launch and marina will continue operating, but answers about the future development of the area will have to wait until negotiations with Trio are complete, according to Mayor Garry Litke.

“We are just doing our due diligence at the moment,” he said. “There is not much more that we can say.”

The new $33,000 lease is only for a one-year term, starting Jan. 1, 2015. Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations, describes it as an interim lease.

“The terms and conditions … are the same as have been in place with the previous operator. Over the one-year period, Trio intends to address the following: boat storage, boat rental, slip rental, fuelling, lake sports related retail,” said Moroziuk, listing similar services to what Penticton Yamaha and Marine currently provides.

Moroziuk said Trio may also be looking at other improvements to improve the experience for those using the marina, but refused to elaborate on rumours of significant developments, which include a waterslide, restaurant and possible commercial developments in the Skaha Lake Park area.

“This process is still in negotiation. That has not concluded, so we are not in a position to do that right now,” said Moroziuk.

The city has been negotiating with Trio Marine since Nov. 2013 after receiving four responses to their May 2013 expression of interest request. The Attrills’ proposal, said Moroziuk, failed to make the cut and two companies were asked to submit proposals, but Trio Marine was the only proponent to follow through.

Mark Attrill said losing the lease didn’t come as a surprise, but council’s announcement of a one-year interim replacement did. He expected to hear about a longer lease and a larger project.

“I have been told it was a 30-year term,” he said, noting that the original EOI request specified special consideration may be given to intensive redevelopment of the site as a restaurant/hotel complex.

“It was for a long term, they were looking for someone to come in and put in big dollars,” said Atrill. “How could anyone invest what we have for one year?”