Floating fun: Penticton's river channel again open for lazy summer days - InfoNews

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Floating fun: Penticton's river channel again open for lazy summer days

The Penticton channel is filling up with people looking to cool off from the heat.
June 27, 2020 - 1:56 PM

For Okanaganites, nothing quite says summer than a refreshing float down Penticton's river channel.

The man-made waterway,  also known as the Okanagan River Channel,  was first created in the 1950s to control flooding and water flow from the Okanagan Lake to Skaha Lake.

The seven-kilometre river float has since changed into a beloved community staple that draws people from across the valley for an up-to three hour river float.  Coyote Cruises, which offers shuttle and innertubes, said that today, June 27, the float only takes an hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish.

In a recent interview, Coyote Cruises operator Mike Campol said COVID-19 was expected to offer some challenges but they were up for it. Recently a long list of COVID-19 Procedures for health and safety were posted on its website and included insights into how social distancing will be maintained. Among the things listed, the shuttle bus will only be 2/3 full. Personal inflation services will not be provided and staff will not be helping guests in and out of the channel.

  • All staff will be wearing masks, gloves and when required face shields
  • Plexiglas separation installed at all customer contact points
  • Covid-19 safety signage installed at entry and both exit points
  • New online booking software allowing for guests to book in advance
  • Drybags (5L) and waterproof iphone/key bags will be available for purchase as lockers will not be available
  • Guest lines will adhere to social distancing
  • Following all health protocols based on public health guidelines
  • Transportation
  • Buses will fill at 2/3 capacity and some seats will be removed to allow for appropriate distancing
  • The bus driver will not be on the bus when guests are entering
  • Equipment is sanitized after each use
  • Bus seats are sanitized after each use
  • All guests boarding will use hand sanitizer
  • Additional buses in service to account for less capacity
  • There will be no garbage disposal provided on the bus (garbage cans are available before entering and at exit)
  • No payments will be allowed at mid/end to board shuttle. Wristbands must be purchased at the start (215 Riverside Drive)
  • Tubes
  • Each tube will be sanitized before use (our cleanliness policy in 2019)
  • Customers will exit channel and return tubes to the designated area
  • Staff will not be helping guests out of the water to adhere to social distancing
  • They will not be offering personal inflation services

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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