A local entrepreneur has big plans for a manmade cable water sports park opposite the entrance to the Callaghan Valley.
Claudio Iatan presented his plans to council at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting where he found an interested audience, curious about his business plans.
"I see a lot of people in Whistler enjoying wake skiing," explained Iatan to council.
Rather than riding behind a boat, Iatan envisions a water "cable park" on the 16 acre site, designed in the shape of a 450-metre racetrack. Seven carriers would hang from cables attached to spinning towers to drag guests in circles on wakeboards and water skis. There are videos on YouTube that show how they're being used for training and competitions.
A beginner's lake will be a part of the model and for the experts there would be tricks placed on the water like at a terrain park.
This may be a new concept in North America, said Iatan (there are just two parks in Canada at the moment) but cable parks have been in Germany for decades. There are about 200 around the world."There's actually a lot more on the drawing board," said Iatan.He plans to operate from May to September, building a business case that sees more than 13,000 visits per year with potential to grow.
That market could expand even further in the coming years; Iatan said the International Olympic Committee will vote in October on the new venue for the 2020 summer Olympics. At that time the IOC will announce a new sport, and cable wakeboarding is one of half a dozen shortlisted. When asked what he would do with the facility in the winter, Iantan said there are opportunities there for a snowpark, particularly as Whistler Blackcomb closes around 4 p.m.
The land, which is zoned for a residential estate lot, would need a rezoning approved by council to allow the facility. It is not clear if Iatan owns the land at this time.— Alison Taylor