Yacht club tour

With a giant aquarium, a spiral staircase and the largest patio in the city, the new Kelowna Yacht Club is aiming to be an iconic monument along the city's waterfront.

Members of the media and the yacht club where invited for a guided tour of the 24,100 square foot facility which will house everything from a boardroom, to a public space to rent, to new office spaces for staff.

General Manager Debbie Hicks is most excited about pulling up a high-top chair alongside the members only bar and staring out at one of the most spectacular views, Okanagan Lake.

"This concept has been going on for at least eight years, maybe even more, but the idea finally percolated and it just takes a long time for a yacht club find the resources and get through a process with the city to find a building that truly captures the essence of the city."

The new facility will also include an education centre for young sailors and adults wanting to learn to sail. As well, washrooms will be provided for families of sailing students, and 24 hour facilities for members.

But, with the project totalling over $9M, something of this grandeur does not come without its challenges

"It's a uniquely designed building," says Greg Schneuker the site supervisor for the facility. "It is a little more complex, certainly the steel was a little more complex and the Swiss Pearl is a unique product to put on a building which creates some of its own problems. The architect actually has specs on very specific details for the pearl that make it very challenging."

Another challenge according to Hicks was the decision by the board of directors to spend a fair amount of funds on a vibro compaction, a ground improvement technique.

"To make sure the site was going to be solid enough to build a building of this structure," she explains.

However, Dick Duggan fully supports the project, and as one of the 1,500 members who contributed to the funding, he cannot wait to start making new memories in the new yacht club.

"This will give us the opportunity to have all the members, both the power boaters and the sail boaters, and those who are just here for social occasions to mix more easily in a great facility and it will be a prime waterfront situation."

This facility will also include a public space available to rent, and will be able to hold over 100 guests.

Recently the The Cactus Club Cafe announced they will be opening their newest restaurant on the Kelowna waterfront, in the yacht club's first floor. Opening date is set for sometime in March of 2015.

The new yacht club is expected to be complete by late June or early July.


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