iN PHOTOS: Gondola project in North Okanagan takes big step forward | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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iN PHOTOS: Gondola project in North Okanagan takes big step forward

An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ridge North America

The Okanagan Gondola project reveals a new rendering for its project as it received its final approval from the Regional District of North Okanagan. It is now advancing to the next phase of the project with hopes of being open in 2025.

During the April 17 regional district meeting, the project received the final stamp of approval, bringing the development one step closer to fruition. On the horizon: obtaining permits and breaking ground on construction.

The next step for the company behind the project is to get a building permit so it will be working on designs and drawings, according to Ridge North America vice-president Rav Soomal.

An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ridge North America

"All of our engineers and consultants will be engaged to work towards the building permit after which we'll dive right into construction which is the fun part," Soomal says.

"Our goal is to be shovels in the ground sometime this year and the process should last about 14 to 18 months. We want to be open in some capacity in 2025. We'd love to see visitors come to take their first gondola ride during next year."

Soomal says nothing in particular was needed to obtain the regional district's final approval, rather a list of things they've been working towards for the last two years.

While, typically, developers can struggle with the lengthy process approval takes, Soomal says, in this case, the board was on top of it and is grateful for their dedication to the project.

"I want to think the councillors and board members on the RDNO that were just so great to work with and they were extremely supportive the entire community has been extremely supportive. It was a very thoughtful process during which council was very fair and thoughtful," he says.

An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ridge North America

"It was a very extensive list of items we need for the development that we worked towards during the last two years, and it's been a great process overall, council and staff have been tremendous to work with and efficient. Typically in development, the process is what slows you down, but the staff's attention on the file helped us progress in a very timely manner."

The Okanagan Gondola will be built next to Vernon's Predator Ridge Resort.

Upon arrival at the mid-station area, visitors will also have access to a plaza area which will be host to farmers' markets, there will be treehouses, entertainment areas for kids and a treetop challenge. A nature loop will also offer a 1.2 km trail through the forest offering more lake views.

Soomal is particularly excited to see the community, friends and family gather and enjoy the space this project is creating.

An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
An artist's rendering of the the Okanagan Gondola project near Predator Ridge in Vernon.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ridge North America

"Watching people come to these projects and experience nature, looking at views, laughing and smiling with their families, enjoying a glass of wine; these are just really fun places to spend time and, just watching people enjoy themselves is probably the most rewarding thing and I'm looking very much forward to it on this project."

To find out more about the project and its details, visit the Okanagan Gondola website here


To contact a reporter for this story, email Gabrielle Adams or call (438) 830-1211 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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