Skaha Park: it’s time to start over

Dear Editor:

I, along with some 700 concerned residents, attended the public meeting to hear the latest updates on Skaha Park and the Trio agreement on Nov. 23.

Trio’s lawyer stated: “One thing that needs to be clear is that the only commercial development that is provided in the agreements before you… is the marina. That’s it!”

He went on to further say that “the City was clear that they were not going to give Trio anything guaranteed. All Trio could get is the Marina, that is all.”

OK, that seems quite simple and clear. However just 30 minutes later Trio was asked to explain the beach area that was in a little red lined box. The question put forward — what control do they have over the beach?

Trio’s lawyer answered and I quote word for word from the audio tape of the meeting: “Section C is merely basically it is freezing out competitors from Trio. Trio doesn’t want to spend this money revitalizing the Marina making it a first-class operation and then have the City allow massage set ups, bocce ball, anything else commercial on that beach that is going to take customers away from Trio.

“Trio has just asked the City that in these first few years, let us build customers at the Marina that we have built for the City and so it is not control of the beach it is just saying we do not want anyone commercial on the beach because we do not want a competitor there, so that is not control per say that is merely saying we want to have an opportunity to recoup the investment.”

Really – massage, bocce ball? Is this competition to a marina? What is the definition of control? Trio says they do not have control yet they are telling the City there can be no other businesses. I believe this is a real concern, do they really have the business skills and financial resources to even get through the construction phase, let alone operating the Marina?

The trouble is there have been so many changes and they keep coming. How can a business plan with so many problems hope to survive? The answer: it probably can’t.

It’s time to start over and while we are at it look at what we have. Sure the marina could use upgrading. If the previous tenants had been given a 29-year lease we would still have a viable marina today, with operators that have passion and care for Skaha Lake, the park and both residents and visitors to Penticton.

Arlene Sloan

Penticton