Just in time for the long weekend, an inflatable waterpark on Osoyoos Lake is ready to help people stay cool this summer.
Osoyoos is the newest location for an Okanagan Wibit waterpark, opening on June 21 at Gyro Beach.
Owner Randy Gallagher intended to open the park in 2016, but was delayed until receiving the necessary rezoning and provincial licensing.
In 2017 Osoyoos town council approved necessary foreshore and lake rezoning, but was waiting for the province to approve a foreshore lease. On April 15 council voted to acquire a 30-year licence from the province, allowing Okanagan Wibit to open the waterpark on the lake.
“We’re super excited about it,” Gallagher said. “We have tried for many years to get a park down here and we finally, with the help of mayor and council and the waterfront advisory committee and all those people, we finally made it work.”
Brooke Planedin is taking on the role of the waterpark’s general manager. She’s spent the last three years as assistant manager of the Penticton waterpark on Okanagan Lake.
She’ll be joined by a handful of other staff. Depending on how many people are using the park at a given time, there will be up to three lifeguards working. Another will operate intake and someone will fit each child with a lifejacket.
“I think it’s going to be a good experience,” she said. “And it’s the best summer job I’ve every had.”
Gallagher also operates three other parks in Kelowna, Peachland and Penticton, and is the former owner of Osoyoos Watersports.
He predicts that the waterpark will be well visited.
“We know how vibrant tourism is down here, and we think it’s going to be a great attraction for tourism in Osoyoos,” he said.
“It’s very active, lots of exercise. Parents love dropping their kids off, and they sleep very well at night.”
The park is set to open at noon June 21. With the exception of Canada Day, it’ll be open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fees are $28 for the day, and $18 for just the evening.