Loco Landing adds ogopogo to its mini golf layout

From sea to mini golf

There’s a new feature at Loco Landing.

And even though the adventure park in Penticton is not open due to the COVID-19 crisis, you can still see this well-known creature just inside the front gates.

Then again, is it that elusive ogopogo, or is it a submarine?

Maybe a bit of both.

“I love him. We’ve been looking at him for years. Dan and his team have been so amazing,” said Diana Stirling of Loco Landing after the newest attraction had been craned into place Friday morning. “We’ve been renovating our mini golf course over the last four years, all around the mining theme and the underwater golf mine that existed here in Penticton that I don’t think too many people know about. It is, in itself, a pretty cool story.”

Ah, the story. There is always a good story at an adventure park based on historical places.

“The ogopogo has been a mystery for 100 years, and we have finally solved it,” said Dan Sawatzky of Chilliwack’s Imagination Corporation, who fills us in. “The story we’re telling makes perfect sense. There was gold found in the region many years ago. The streams all feed into the lake. So, where's the gold? It’s at the bottom of the lake! Our one track mining company, which is the history of Loco Landing, invented this submarine. The owner didn’t want anyone else to know he was looking for the gold, but sometimes he was spotted on the lake. As the story goes, they were doing renovations this year at Loco Landing, and they rediscovered the famed ogopogo. 

“We would like to claim that million dollars I’ve heard is around, because we have now proven the existence of the ogopogo and solved that hundred-year mystery.”

The ogopogo was built over the winter. It’s made out of steel and concrete, and took Sawatzky, creator of Giggle Ridge at Cultus Lake, south of Chilliwack, hundreds of hours to finish. It was hand sculpted and hand painted.

“We wanted to introduce the ogopogo and use Loco Landing’s imagination, and this is our take on the ogopogo. This is our latest feature to complete the mini golf renovations,” added Stirling. “We ultimately want to bring a smile to the people of Penticton for years to come. He’s fun, he’s so beautiful, and he’s definitely going to be an attraction in itself.”

Of course, the underlying issue is, when will people get to see the new ogopogo close up, and not by peering through those closed front gates?

“It’s been a very hard time for our family. We own four tourism-based seasonal businesses and there’s been a lot of tears in the realization that we might not open this year. However, we are eternally optimistic. We will work our hardest to at least get mini golf open in a safe way for the community. We hope we can get the entire park open, but we’re also realistic and we're taking it one day at a time,” said Stirling. “We deliver fun for the community and we’ll do whatever we can to do that in a safe way. But it’s a very tough time for tourism operators and for everyone in the community.”

Loco Landing believes it creates an environment for families which will be very important when things get back to normal. 

“We’re in the business of fun, and now more than ever, our community needs fun, a place where families can come and smile and forget about everything else going on and what we’ve been through,” added Stirling. “We hope that when people walk through the gates and see ogopogo, they will smile and it will really brighten their day.”

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