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Aqua park a good addition?

City Council is unanimous in its support of an aquatic water park in Okanagan Lake in front of City Park.

The proposal was put forward Monday following an advertised activity concession opportunity.

Property Management Manager, John Saufferer, asked that council authorize a three year agreement with Kelowna Wibit to provide the water activity area adjacent to the old aquatic centre.

In fact, the water park was compared favourably to the centre which burned down in 1969.

"What I couldn't help notice right off was it is right beside the former city Aquatic Centre and to me this is a version of creating a 21st century playground where we used to have the old one," said Councillor, Luke Stack.

"I think it's a very nice modern response to the desire to get out on the water and use this part of the park. The nice thing is the City of Kelowna taxpayer won't pay for it - the people who pay for it will be the people who want to use it."

Stack added it's a very creative use of a part of our park that is underutilized.

The operator will pay the City $27,000 over the first three years of the contract. The City also holds two-one year options at a cost of $11,000 and $12,000 respectively.

Saufferer says the water park would be operational from the middle of May until the middle of September - weather permitting.

The park would feature several inflatable modules in an area about 30 metres by 40 metres.

It would have a maximum capacity of 60 individuals.

While Saufferer says there will be no age restriction the target market is those age 10 to 20.

About 70 per cent of users will fall within that demographic.

Saufferer added that, while Harrison Hot Springs has a similar feature and Penticton is looking at something as well, this would be the first Wibit operation in Western Canada.

In response to a question from Councillor Colin Basran, Saufferer said boat traffic won't be an issue.

"The area will be buoyed off and it is within the city water lot which is for recreational purposes only so there is no boat traffic in that area," said Saufferer.

Basran was enthusiastic about the project.

"I am happy to see this proposal come forward. A great family friendly place for people to go in the summer."

"With the loss of the waterslides, Flintstones and now Malibu it's nice to see we are getting an additional family friendly piece of equipment."

The water park was compared favourably to what you might see on the TV show Wipeout - calling it an aquatic obstacle course.

It is expected the cost to use the park will be approximately $25 per person per day.

The operator will be responsible for providing staff, security and cleanup services.

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