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Water Park Deal Dead as Developer Pulls Out

May 14, 2012 10:25 AM | News

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The plan to develop a water park adjacent to The Forks in downtown Winnipeg is dead in the water.

Alberta-based Canalta Hotels pulled out of the deal Monday in a letter to city council expressing disappointment with their decision to delay approval of the deal in late April.

Canalta CEO Cam Christianson wrote, “After careful consideration of Winnipeg City Council’s decision of April 25, 2012 and reading the negative coverage of our preliminary proposal (based only on speculation), we have concluded that City Council is not interested in moving forward with a water park, hotel and parking structure at this time.”

The letter goes on to say, “We thank you for considering Canalta but we feel it is best to withdraw our proposal at this time.”

The plan would have seen a 50,000-square-foot water park and 250-room destination hotel on land currently occupied by a surface parking lot. As part of the deal, the City of Winnipeg would have provided the developer with a $7 million subsidy.

Canalta would have paid the city $6 million for the piece of land and provided $700,000 in annual vouchers for low income families to attend the water park.

Opponents of the deal raised concerns that The Forks was not an ideal location given the increased traffic flow soon to arise from the future Canadian Museum for Human Rights being built across the street.

Deputy Mayor Justin Swandel said the city’s $7M in earmarked funding will likely go to fix crumbling community centres, but is dependent on a vote by council.

Updated at 11:54 a.m.