October 25, 2013 - 9:16 AM
PENTICTON - Penticton council is awake to the possibilities of the Fintry Queen while Kelowna's leadership was less than enthusiastic about the craft according to boat owner Andy Schwab.
"Snooze you lose Kelowna, snooze you lose West Kelowna," Schwab said in regards to being denied docking privileges in Kelowna and being given the OK for a Penticton council presentation on Nov. 4.
Schwab has been trying to find a home where the 140-foot Okanagan icon can operate from.
He has hopes of using the grassy area to the left of the Kiwanis Walking Pier as a launch point to park the craft and getting council's approval to a presentation has him "all excited."
"They are going to say yes. They got to. It will create jobs, it will create spin-off jobs," and bring thousands of people downtown he said.
"It's cool right? It also brings the past. The SS Sicamous is there and is part of the culture but it doesn't get you out on the lake."
Schwab will show council photos of the ship, details about upgrades, a mock-up of the dock area which also might include canopies to shield passengers from the sun and rain. And he has already said he would pay for dock construction and hook-ups to city water and power lines.
He said Lakeside Resort and Casino officials have given their approval in principle and "they never said no" to the idea.
"I'm not taking anything away from anybody. It will create more awareness of the lake and we will be sending business to the Casabella Princess like crazy," he said as the Princess and the Queen have different business models.
Schwab even said he wants to keep Fintry Queen ticket prices low to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
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