Mayor Sam Katz's dream of using public funds to build a private water park may soon come to fruition in the form of a $75-million hotel, water park and parkade complex northwest of The Forks.
On Friday, council's downtown and riverbank committee will consider an offer by Drumheller, Alta., hotel chain Canalta to purchase the gravel surface lot known as Parcel Four from the city for $6 million. Working with Calgary water-park designer Waterfun Products and an undisclosed group of investors, Canalta wants to build a 250-room hotel, a 450-stall parkade and a 50,000-square-foot, stand-alone water park with a wave pool, slides and a lazy river, among other amenities.
The plan also calls for Winnipeg to provide Canalta with a $7-million grant, contingent upon the completion of a community-access agreement that would provide the city with $700,000 worth of admission credits every year for the next 25 years.
"In return for the grant, the proponent will have to abide by a public-access agreement. Kids, wherever they come from, will have access to this investment," Mayor Sam Katz said Wednesday, stating he believes there is "overwhelming support" from the public for a water park.