Public hearing on waterslide, marina expansion, Monday at City Hall

A public hearing on a proposed water park and marina expansion for Skaha Park will be the main item of interest at a special meeting of Penticton City Council scheduled for Monday at City Hall beginning at 6 p.m.

At issue is a 29-year lease for a large section of Skaha Lake Park. Last year, the City awarded a management contract of the public marina to Trio Marine Group. In addition to operating the marina, they are proposing additional boat slips, a pair of waterslides and mini golf and a full-operation restaurant.

Harvey Quamme, a retired scientist, is among the project’s detractors. In less than 10 days he’s collected 67 signatures on a written petition plus an additional 150 on the webite (,

“We went to an information session sponsored by Trio and we suddenly realized how much land it would take up in this beautiful park,” Quamme said. “My wife and I are concerned about a lack of information. Doing rough calculations, it’s about 25 per cent. It’s by far the best and most beautiful park in the city and they’re wanting to put in waterslides.”

Admittedly not an expert on waterslides, he’s reviewed the proposed numbers many times and describes the concept as “fuzzy” and fears the city could be entering into “a pig in a poke.”

Former mayor Dorothy Tinning is also opposed.

“I am the first to admit that young children and teens love using water slides two or three months of the year, but a proposal such as this needs to be built on private land, not land that is for the enjoyment of all citizens,” she wrote in a letter to the editor. “There is a cost for families to use a commercial enterprise, that they currently enjoy in an area that is free.”

Following the public input session on Monday, council could green light the initial stages of the project. A nearly 150-page staff report is now available on the City’s website.

Thus far the concept appears to be receiving a warm reception from city councillors.

Coun. Helena Konanz previously said that when a privately-owned waterpark closed in the mid-2000s, Penticton began to see a drop in tourists because there were fewer family-oriented activities.

Resident Crystal Olson, who administers a Facebook page on positive changes for Penticton, praises the idea.

“With Barefoot Beach blooming, I think this is so amazing for this end of town,” Olson wrote.

Fellow group member Robyn Hebert echoed, “Now we have waterslides again. This is terrific!”

Two additional items are also on Monday’s agenda.

Council will give the first three readings of its fees and charges amendment bylaw which will include an amendment to the electrical service payment plan.

Council will also discuss the naming of a new street in a subdivision at 2750 Cedar Road.

To view the entire agenda package visit (follow the links: City Hall; Mayor and Council; Council meetings; 2015 Council Meeting Agendas; June 29.)

Pay attention to Skaha proposal

Dear Editor:

Wake up Penticton!

Further to the letter written by Harvey Quamme (Herald, June 23), I could not agree more. The proposal for the water park/mini golf/ expanded marina should not be allowed to proceed.

Please go to the website and sign the petition against this proposal. At present, there are fewer than 100 names on the petition and the goal is 1,000-plus by Monday night’s meeting.

I urge all citizens who use this beautiful green space to sign the petition.

Chris MacKay



Will the waterslides be council’s legacy?

Dear Editor:

I am against the commercial development of parks and green spaces. Taxpayers use those areas all year.

Mini golf and waterslides will sit empty for months with no revenue coming in. An inflatable waterslide can be put away for the winter — no revenue necessary. Mini golf can be put anywhere. Parking is a question. Will more green space go later for parking? The boathouse needs to be upgraded — not moved to an inconvenient location.

Taxpayers paid for city parks and green space. We all need free parks to play in. City Hall is giving them away with little chance of having the money to replace them.

Big question. If this development fails financially does City Hall have enough gravel to cover a waterslide? Will that be this council’s legacy?

Lynn Crassweller



Marina cause water pollution

Dear Editor:

There are so many questions and issues raised by the Skaha Marina proposal that I hardly know where to start. So much of the proposal has nothing to do with building and operating a marina.

It seems to me to allow a private developer to build a “for profit” operation on city-owned (public) park land is inherently a very bad idea. I refer here to their proposed waterslide.   The park already has a free water attraction for kids built by Rotary. I wonder how interested Rotary will be in the future to contribute to Penticton if they know their project might disappear to allow a developer access to public land.

Another issue concerns the proponent’s plans for a beer and wine outlet: it is illegal to operate a watercraft under the influence of alcohol and it is also illegal to consume alcohol in a public place (i.e. the beach) and furthermore there is already an outlet less than one km away on Skaha Lake Road. It strikes me as totally inappropriate. Would we allow car rental companies to open wine and beer outlets as part of their operations? (Full disclosure: I drink wine and other alcoholic beverages!)

As to the marina proposal itself, a number of issues arise concerning the large increase in the number of boats to be berthed.  It is widely accepted that marinas are a significant source of pollution, including but not limited to, the gasoline used by the boats.  Skaha Lake is not owned by Penticton – it is a significant resource for a much broader community. Kaleden, Heritage Hills, and Skaha Estates get their domestic and agricultural water from the lake and I suspect that much of Okanagan Falls’ water is also lake water as their community wells are generally pretty shallow.

Recently the local First Nations have been having considerable success bringing sockeye salmon back to the Okanagan River and Skaha Lake. It seems to me that an increase in water pollution associated with a marina should be looked at very, very thoughtfully.  Water pollution associated with marinas should not be dismissed lightly.  At the very least, the proponents should be required to adhere to the guidelines published by Environment Canada and several U.S. agencies that are meant to prevent pollution, not mitigate it.

Just a few of the questions that need to be asked:

  • Will there be a pump-out station for those boats that have waste systems?
  • Will there be a separate fuel station for personal watercraft (much of what I’ve read says PWC’s require a separate area)?
  • Will there be maintenance
  • allowed at the marina and if so, will there be a waste disposal system for used oil, marine cleaning fluids, etc.?
  • Will there be a limitation on the types of boats allowed on Skaha Lake or will we end up with the large noisy boats that often roar up and down Okanagan Lake? I refer to “cigarette boats”, not ordinary skiing boats. Skaha Lake is after all a pretty small lake and its shores are fairly densely populated compared to much of Okanagan Lake.

I suggest that Pentictonites and their council should really rethink this matter.

Robert Handfield




‘Well-funded’ group behind Skaha Marina plan opens doors to public

Not every neighbour is sold on the idea of waterslides as part of a proposed redevelopment of Skaha Lake Marina, according to the company’s pitch man.

Trio Marine Group operations manager Andrew Bayston is leading public consultation on the proposed overhaul that would include water slides, a two-storey restaurant, additional boat slips and more parking.

Some neighbours, he said Monday at a public open house, “are worried looking at the drawings and seeing a giant (water slides) tower, and they’re asking about the viability of the project.”

In response, he reminds people “they’re just conceptual drawings. Whether there’s an actual tower in the water park, I can’t say at this point, because they haven’t designed it,” Bayston said.

“Three years from now, there may be something new in water slides that we can open here.”

But so far, he said, response to the project, which still needs final approval from city council, has been “very positive.”

“There are always concerns. People ask a lot of the same questions, but we want to hear their input. Good or bad, we want to know,” Bayston said.

Besides doing some minor site improvements this spring, the company is also set to open a restaurant in the former Yamaha shop later this month. The eatery, called Slips, will be operated by Burger 55 owner Chris Boehm.

Major changes are expected to begin next year with reconstruction of the building to add a second storey for an expanded restaurant and space for up to 40 more boats in the marina.

Construction of the slides and relocation of existing amenities and parking lots is then expected to begin in earnest in 2017.

“Any of the public amenities that are available now are 100 per cent free and will always remain open to the public,” Bayston noted.

The projected cost of the redevelopment is pegged at $4.5 million, and the operations manager said Trio Marine Group is good for it.

“It’s all secured,” said Bayston, adding the project “has been well thought out over many years.”

He said the company owners – Rob Campbell, a lighting company executive; Tom Hedquist, owner of dock-builder Trademark Industries; and Tom Dyas, owner of TD Benefit Solutions – are “well-funded.”

Bayston has several more meetings planned with local business and recreation groups, before a special council meeting June 29, when residents will be invited to share their opinions on the proposal.

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.

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

Skaha Marina could have a $4-million facelift


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

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: (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.