Penticton residents rally to reverse waterslide plan

The city’s deal with Trio Marine Group to have water slides built on public parkland isn’t sitting well with everybody.

Cliff Martin stands with his daughter

Cliff Martin stands with his daughter

The city’s deal with Trio Marine Group to have water slides built on public parkland isn’t sitting well with everybody.

“It took a lot of work to acquire all this park space. It’s a slap in the face to just go lease it out,” said resident Cliff Martin, who’s inviting residents that share his concern to attend a rally outside of city hall before the next regular meeting on July 20.

“We’ll see what happens on Monday (July 20),” Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said. “And I just encourage the community to try and get themselves informed and not just go on the rumour mill; the coffee table talk, because it gets distorted.”

Jakubeit said frequently asked questions pertaining to the project are being addressed by the city through

“The development is a park enhancement,” Jakubeit said. “It’s not like we’re putting a commercial dry cleaner or an apartment building. It is to complement the park and create it as a destination.”

Resident Hannah Hyland said she is not necessarily against the waterslides, just Trio’s plan to build them on public park space for the benefit of a few and not the general populace. She is encouraging people to show up wearing green to the rally on Monday and to sign a petition with over 600 signatures at

The City of Penticton and Trio Marine Group both argue the project will bring about reciprocal benefits.

“We want to express that our project is about providing the people of Penticton and the guests of the city with an avenue to have fun and enjoy themselves,” reads a Trio press release. “The existing green space will be integrated into the design of the waterpark and preserved wherever possible. Furthermore, a portion of all profits brought in by the waterpark will go into funding green space in other areas of Penticton.”

Trio is also addressing concerns and common questions through their website

Regardless of the finer details, the resident at the head of Monday’s rally, Martin, wants to see the city hold a referendum before giving Trio the go-ahead.

“This is some of the most expensive real estate in Penticton and they just want to give it up so easy without public approval,” Martin said.

He added he’s expecting a strong turnout to the rally at city hall.

“We’re going to collect signatures to call for a binding referendum that the council cease and desist on all projects on public parks. They’re not their parks to develop without our permission. So we’ll see if this is a respectful mayor and council or not.”

Jakubeit didn’t completely rule out the possibility of holding a referendum, but said it would cost around $30,000.

“They’re very expensive, so that’s why you have a council to make some of these difficult decisions … if a referendum was held for every decision, development would come to a standstill.”

Roger Hulstein, Trio’s marketing co-ordinator, said he thinks most people in Penticton are in favour of the project, but he doesn’t think a referendum would be a good choice by council because of its high cost to the taxpayer.

Jakubeit said it could send a negative gesture towards other potential investors.

“If a developer wants to move forward and the minute there’s unrest in the community we automatically stop and change, that sends a signal to developers.”

He compared the project to LocoLanding, which he said is also a park enhancement for the city. Backlash is common in Penticton amid major changes, Jakubeit said, though the results often appease the critics. He said despite the negative feedback, he’s received a lot of positive support throughout the community.

To ensure compliance to the plan and adequate financing, the agreement with the city requires Trio to develop the site incrementally. Before Trio can begin construction on the water park, they agreed upon conditions to meet. One is the construction of a new splash pad which has to be built and operational before the existing pad is decommissioned – one detail which city staff and Trio have both said was misconceived.

“The Trio group is wanting to be a good corporate citizen in trying to look at (Skaha Lake Park’s) footprint in how they can redesign and create more of a park atmosphere,” Jakubeit said. “How that’s going to unfold I’m not sure.”


Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read