Cultus Lake, Vernon waterslides owner waiting to see if they can open - InfoNews

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Cultus Lake, Vernon waterslides owner waiting to see if they can open

May 02, 2020 - 7:00 AM

The new owners are still going ahead with behind the scenes maintenance and general upgrading at the newly named North Okanagan waterslide park, Splashdown Vernon.

What's still unknown is when and if the popular family attraction will open.

"We're in a holding pattern as to whether we will open or not," Splashdown Vernon owner Chris Steunenberg told "It's kind of a wait and see situation."

The Cultus Lake Waterpark owner, who purchased the Vernon waterpark in 2019, said because his businesses obviously involve public gatherings, it was difficult to know what the future holds. Steunenberg said the waterpark would ordinarily open from June to September, with business ramping up on the Canada Day weekend in July. Steunenberg is hoping the pandemic situation will improve and restrictions will be loosened to allow the water park to open in July.

"I'm just hopeful that the authorities will put together a little bit of a blueprint, a little bit of a plan so that businesses like ours we can predict what is going to happen," Steunenberg said. "We're got dozen and dozens of employees that are looking for us for their summer work and it would be good to give them an answer rather than a blank stare."

Steunenberg said the initial plans for the Vernon waterslides are still going ahead, with crews currently on the ground doing much needed mechanical maintenance, as well as new landscaping and a general spruce up of the decades-old waterslide park that opened in 1983.

"We had planned all along to come in and upgrade the appearance of the business and that's what we're doing right now," he said.

Steunenberg said the second phase of bigger plans to extend the park we're still in the works.

"They are in the same position as they were previously, we haven't pulled the trigger on any of the big plans," he said.

Steunenberg didn't want to speculate on what would happen if his businesses had to forgo this year's season.

"It's a pretty bleak situation, we've got career employees here, we've got year-round people who run our business... just like any other business you have to bankroll that, and that's going to prove to be very difficult," he said. "We can all hope that things can improve and improve rapidly, that's all we can do right now."

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