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?”