City helps drive economic development at Cold Lake Marina

Cold Lake, AB – Tourism-based business at the Cold Lake Marina will gain momentum this summer after City Council voted to increase the number of boat slips reserved for water-based commercial businesses that promote tourism on Cold Lake.

Several applications for commercial slips were received and after careful consideration, Council approved the following applications:

  • Wicked Watersport Rentals (two slips approved) – Cold Lake-based tourism company providing rentals of watersport equipment including motorized boats, kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.
  • Hamilton House Bed and Breakfast Inn (one slip approved) – Cold Lake-based tourism company offering guided fishing charters and fishing boat rentals.
  • Wealth Works Inc. (one slip approved) – Cold Lake-based tourism company offering boat tours and rentals.

The above businesses will be permitted to advertise at the marina in pedestrian traffic areas, and the commercial slips as well as their respective watercraft will be clearly marked.

“When we increase the number of tourists who visit the marina and head out on the lake with these water-based businesses, it benefits not only the tour operators themselves, but there’s a significant economic spin-off for the entire city,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “These people are staying at our hotels, eating at our restaurants and shopping locally. They’re having fun and making memories that we hope will lead to many return trips to Cold Lake in the future.”

In addition to allocating the commercial boat slips, City Council also committed funding and seed money to several marina-based projects in the 2021 capital budget.

  • Boardwalk rehabilitation ($75,000) – replacement of several deteriorating sections of wood along the pedestrian walkway on the south side of the marina. Work will be completed in summer 2021.
  • Floating dock system ($75,000) – similar to the floating dock installed at Kinosoo Beach in 2020, a second dock will be installed on the southeast side of the marina. Installation expected in summer 2021.
  • Non-motorized watercraft storage facility ($35,000) – capable of housing kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards and other similar items at the marina. Construction is currently underway and the facility will be operational for summer 2021. Information on rental applications will be made available in the coming weeks.
  • Boat launch expansion design ($50,000) – Seed money for concept development, planning and design work for an expansion of the marina boat launch. The current facility sees tremendous pressure during peak season, and this funding will be used to formulate a plan to ease capacity pressure by installing a second boat launch on the southeast side of the marina, outside the breakwater, near the proposed floating dock system.

The City is also guided by the Marina Master Plan, which proposes several concepts for the future expansion and development of the marina itself. The plan provides a blueprint for waterfront and marina development through 2035 and calls for a significant increase in boat slips to 400-600, and the ability to accommodate larger vessels. The plan also proposes the addition of outdoor event space, restaurant/commercial areas and the potential for hotel and/or high-density residential development. To view the Marina Master Plan and associated design concepts click on https://coldlake.civicweb.net/document/3539.

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Thursday, April 15, 2021