Coyote Cruises seeking long-term park lease to attract new investment

FILE PHOTO - Channel tubing operator Coyote Cruises is looking for a long-term lease on city parkland on Riverside Drive in an attempt to attract new investment in order to enhance and grow the tourism facility.

PENTICTON - A request to tie up Penticton city parkland for two decades has Penticton city council asking a few questions.

K’ul Group director of projects and partnerships Mike Campol appeared before council yesterday, Jan. 8, to discuss plans by the K’ul Group (formerly the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation) to build a world class tourist attraction at Coyote Cruises on Riverside Drive.

The business, which offers tubes and rafts for rental to travel down the Penticton River Channel, is looking to attract new partners in a joint venture to “build an authentic tourism offering, rich in culture and environment.”

Campol was seeking a 20-year lease on the Riverside Drive property in order to attract new investors to the project. Coyote Cruises currently has a five-year license to use agreement with the city.

Campol said investment was needed in order to improve existing infrastructure, build “discoveries” in the channel, and provide an immersive tourist experience, in addition to creating more employment opportunities for Indigenous youth.

The proposal is also looking at creating food and beverage amenities as well as a souvenir shop. Campol said they are looking at a possible first year investment of $100,000.

Several members of the new city council weren’t familiar with the new park master plan instituted by the last council following the controversy and protests around the proposed development of water slides in Skaha Park.

Mayor John Vassilaki asked whether the city could allow a 20-year lease in the park, with development services manager Anthony Haddad answering under the right conditions the city could offer a lease for up to 30 years.

Haddad said the application process would involve the new park dedication bylaw and parks protection and use policy, eventually requiring elector approval for a longer lease.

Council decided to refer the proposal back to staff in order to acquire further details about the request from the development corporation.


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