‘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.