This article first appeared in print the October/November issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
Since this story was published, the Revelstoke Adventure Park received key zoning and official community plan amendments that enable the developers to proceed with their plans for a large adventure park in the Greeley area, just east of Revelstoke. Currently, they are targeting a 2021 opening date. However, the proponent will be required to complete several more regulatory steps. Here is the original story from the October/November issue.
It appears competition is heating up for adventure parks in the region. Proposed adventure parks just outside Revelstoke and in Golden and Spallumcheen could soon provide some healthy competition for the already existing SkyTrek Adventure Park located at the Enchanted Forest just west of Revelstoke and the recently opened Aerial Adventure Park at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Here’s a look at what each adventure park has in the works:
Adventure Park, Golden
The proponents/developers: Ray Soomal, Solstice Land Company.
The location: The proposed park is located above Hospital Creek Falls, on Golden Upper Donald Road. This is just outside the Town of Golden’s municipal boundary.
How big is the proposed park? 100 acres.
What the park will include: Plans for the park include two sightseeing suspension bridges measuring 110 and 200 metres long, a bungee jump and bungee swing. In addition the park will include nature trails with interactive signs. Platforms will connect the bridges and provide views of Hospital Creek Falls. Rock climbing, ziplines, and a cliff walk are being considered for future development.
Proposed opening date: Spring 2020
Wood Mountain Adventure Park, Spallumcheen
*The town of Spallumcheen is located between Vernon and Enderby, just outside the City of Armstrong:
The proponents/developers: Woodbridge Dynamics Inc., Jack and Patti Wood.
The location: Wood Mountain Adventure Park will be built on the Woods’ private property west of Highway 97A on Powerhouse Road, near Eagle Rock Road.
How big is the proposed park? 250 acres.
What the park will include: Plans are to build the park in two phases. Phase 1 includes an alpine coaster ride, challenge courses and a children’s plan area. Phase 2 includes hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, a zipline and tree climb.
Proposed opening date: Unknown. As recently as September 4, 2019 the proponents still need to meet a number of requirements set out by the Spallumcheen Town Council. These include providing council with a more detailed site map, and the completion of a hydro-geological assessment to determine any possible impacts on nearby residential water supply, among other requirements.
Revelstoke Adventure Park
The proponents/developers: Black Tie Properties.
The location: Greeley Farm, Columbia-Shuswap District Area B.
How big is the proposed park? A March 21, 2019 report to the CSRD board shows 104.48 ha of private land and 257.3 ha of Crown tenure.
What the park will include: Plans for the park have changed significantly over the years. The latest plans include developing in phases with the first phase including an RV park and six adventure activities, although what these are haven’t been specified. Future development plans include a hotel, bungee jumping, zip lines, and downhill mountain bike trails.
Proposed opening date: Unknown. Proposed opening dates have come and gone over the years. Currently the proponents are hopeful for a soft opening in fall 2020.
So what does this mean for the region’s adventure parks? A state of the industry survey released in January 2019 by Adventure Park Insider, a U.S.-based trade magazine geared towards aerial park operators, showed a lack of visitation growth during the 2017–2018 season. The report indicates “this lack of growth is likely due, in part, to the increasing number of zip tours and aerial parks, as this growth spreads visitors across a larger number of operations.” Other concerns expressed by park operators included issues with finding qualified staff, regulatory changes, and a drop in consumer spending. Despite this, the report also notes park operators remain optimistic, with many making plans for continued growth within the industry.