Water-park idea floated again for Kamloops
An unknown Kamloops developer is once again eyeing the Tournament Capital as the site for a “destination water park.”
A 11-hectare, privately developed park, with wave pool and lazy river, is one of several concepts being pitched to the public for the Tournament Capital Ranchlands (TCR) south of the Rayleigh Slo-Pitch Park.
The city has 80 hectares of undeveloped land at the ranch, once a national defence site, and is looking to the public for ideas on what to do with it.
Community planning supervisor Maren Luciani said the city has some ideas already — as well as farmland commitments to the Agricultural Land Commission made when it developed the ball fields in 2007.
The city’s plan so far is to commit just under 30 hectares of the TCR to agricultural production, though Luciani said what that means is “fairly open-ended.”
“We could potentially rent to a private farmer and they could do what they wish with the land,” she said.
“We could have a farm-business incubator program — which was another action item of the agriculture area program — to support new farmers.”
Waterfront portions of the ranch would be developed into picnic areas with trails, and another 14.5 hectares could become the new home of the Kamloops Exhibition Association (KXA).
The KXA has been looking for a new home since 2011, when a financial dispute with its then-landlord the Tk’emlups Indian Band (TIB) led to it losing its convention space.
Luciani said the group hopes to build an equine and exhibition site, but the exact concept will be shaped by public feedback.
The city will also have to work with the TIB, who own two parcels of land at the site.
Nick DeCicco, project supervisor and parks capital planner, said he hopes to see the ranch become a destination for tourists and locals.
“It’s a quick few minutes out of town and then you go to this place that has lots to offer,” he said.
“That’s our goal, just to have it as a destination point.”
While the city would have to build trails and do some work at the site, DeCicco said much of what’s under consideration could be funded by private groups.
“We have the land — and there’s a lot of value on that much property,” he said.
“That’s something we can negotiate with the proponents. We can say we’ve got a chunk of property here but you need to facilitate the other part of that, the building and all those components.”
Luciani said the city hopes to present a plan to city council this fall, which will then go to the Agricultural Land Commission for approval.
A decision from that body could take anywhere from three to eight months.