Historic Lake Country sailboat landmark demolished following fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions


Kelowna News

Historic Lake Country sailboat landmark demolished following fire

The Holiday Park Resort's sailboat, located beside Highway 97 near Lake Country, had a history in the Okanagan that stretches back almost more than 80 years.
April 25, 2021 - 8:00 AM

Holiday Park Resort's blue and white sailboat served as an Okanagan landmark for years before it burned to the ground earlier this month with still no word on what caused the blaze.

In the early morning hours of April 1, ambulance paramedics spotted the burning boat along Highway 97 between Kelowna and Lake Country. They pulled over and firefighters from both Lake Country and Kelowna battled the blaze but the boat was destroyed.

Dan Signal, president of the resort, said 90% of the boat’s remains have been removed and as the resort does not own the property on the corner, it’s unlikely any more signage will be going up in its place.

Kelowna fire chief Travis Whiting said there is currently no update on the investigation into the fire’s cause. RCMP is also investigating, but could not be immediately reached for comment.

READ MORE: 'I kept wishing it was a joke': Lake Country sailboat landmark goes up in flames

The sailboat was formerly the Orchard City II, a tugboat built in 1940 to haul logs for the Kelowna Sawmill before it was decommissioned due to rot in the hull in 1945.

It was then privately purchased and later sank following a storm on Okanagan Lake where it remained a popular spot for divers, Okanagan Heritage Museum executive director Linda Digby said.

In 1979, it came back to the surface when Kelowna entrepreneur Leo Budnick decided to use it as a restaurant.

Those plans fell through and the boat sat on the shore in Okanagan Centre in Lake Country where local artists used it as a backdrop for their inspiration instead.

Eventually, the boat was sold to Saul Sigal and Jody LaFontaine who founded the Holiday Park Resort in 1983 and was used as part of the resort’s marketing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.

News from © iNFOnews, 2021

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile