Although extremely well-intentioned, a waterslide park belongs somewhere other than land presently occupied by Skaha Lake Park.
The park is a jewel of Penticton — if not the entire Okanagan — with a beautiful beach, multiple sports and adequate parking.
Placing a major commercial venture there, other than the marina, is far too risky. Too many things could go wrong.
As realtor and former city councillor Gary Denton correctly stated, imagine the outcry of citizens in Vancouver had their councils caved in to the many developers who, for decades, have tried to break into Stanley Park.
Nobody opposed to the proposal hates the idea of waterslides returning to Penticton. They simply love Skaha Park and don’t want 25 per cent of the space going to a large, noisy, three-month-a-year operation. Many of the seniors who are being unfairly labelled as “crotchety old people fearful of change” are grandparents.
To state there’s little for children and teens to do in Penticton is trite.
Tourists by the tens of thousands come from Alberta, the Lower Mainland and Washington come to Penticton to enjoy our beaches.
From the many festivals (most which are free) to school activities to clubs, there are many things for young people to do in Penticton compared to other cities of similar size. Our geography and climate allows for year-round recreation.
Thanks to the efforts of Rotarians as well as locals and businesses who donated both time and money, the splash park is a great attraction.
According to former three-term mayor Jake Kimberley, many previous councils bought up land so that people from all walks of life could enjoy the park for generations to come.
From a business standpoint, something that hasn’t been stated yet is whether Skaha Lake Park actually raises the price of real estate in the southern part of town. Potential home buyers love that they’re within walking distance of such a great park.
Credit the present council for trying something new. Their heart is in the right place but the location is not.
We’d suggest the Penticton Indian Reserve. The band is seeking major tenants now that the Green Ave. bridge is near completion. With Coyote Cruises
already a major water attraction, placing a waterpark near the new bridge, perhaps relocating the unload area for tubers right beside a waterslide, would be awesome.
If not, there’s dozens of other vacant lots available. We’re certain those property owners would be willing to negotiate.
James Miller is managing editor of The Herald.