Group opposes alcohol at Skaha Lake Park; say booze and beach don’t mix

A group is opposed to seeing the possibility of a licensed restaurant on the east side of Skaha Lake Park. They will be holding a protest on Sunday afternoon. Zoom Earth

A group opposed to allowing alcohol being sold at a Penticton lakefront park says it will be holding a protest walk on Sunday afternoon, weather permitting.

Hannah Hyland of Penticton says the protest walk will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m., at the east concession at Skaha Lake Park.

The protest has been called the Walk for Skaha.

The walk, says Hyland, is to let public officials know that while upgrading the park is a good idea, potentially adding a licensed restaurant isn’t. They’re also opposed to seeing any long-term lease.

In a report regarding upgrades to the east side of the popular park, the City of Penticton noted an option for a licensed restaurant as part of a renewal or replacement of the marina building.

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“The addition of a restaurant would increase the year-round vibrancy, surveillance and public safety of the area and transform the facility into an attractive destination for residents throughout the entire year and visitors during the tourist season,” said part of the report.

Further, the report also said “the option of allowing for a licensed restaurant as part of the marina was supported by participants with 75 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing with the option.

“Participants who support the idea believe it will be a much-needed, year-round amenity in the east end of the park. Those that are opposed are concerned about commercialization of the parkland and making alcohol available near motorized boats.”

The report can be viewed here.

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Hyland and fellow Penticton resident William Duff told Global News it’s the potential restaurant’s licensing aspect, which would allow alcohol to be sold, that’s the issue.

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Hyland added the city didn’t go far enough in discussing its plans with the public, stating not enough people were consulted, especially seniors.

“In this regard, we don’t just have seniors here that are objecting to this,” said Hyland. “We have many young families that are saying absolutely no — they don’t want to see alcohol here.

“We have enough problems as it is, and they don’t want their children beside (alcohol); they bring their children to the park for a health experience.”

Hyland added, “water and alcohol aren’t a good combination.”

Duff, a retired firefighter and aquatics rescue specialist, agreed with Hyland that the two are a bad mix.

“They really don’t [mix],” said Duff.

He also said the city “wants to keep pushing commercial; they want to commercialize the park.”

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