Abbotsford’s Valley Wake Park will soon be no more. The City of Abbotsford has chosen not to renew its contract with park operators and it will be dismantled in the coming weeks. (Facebook photo)

Abbotsford’s Valley Wake Park will soon be no more. The City of Abbotsford has chosen not to renew its contract with park operators and it will be dismantled in the coming weeks. (Facebook photo)

Abbotsford’s Valley Wake Park set to be dismantled

Attraction at Albert Dyck Park must be removed by March 1 after contract not renewed

In a matter of months, Abbotsford’s Valley Wake Park will be no more.

The attraction, located at Albert Dyck Park, is set to be dismantled soon after the park’s license was not renewed by the City of Abbotsford.

Valley Wake Park officially opened in June 2013 and originally secured a five-year lease of the site from the city. Since the expiry of that lease, there has been a month-to-month agreement in place.

RELATED: Abbotsford’s new wakeboard park open to public on Saturday

The park features a pair of cable systems powered by electricity that drives users on their wakeboard, wakeskate, waterski or kneeboard over a variety of kickers, boxers and rails on the lake.

James Balzer, one of the owners of Valley Wake Park, said his facility is extremely unique and there is nothing similar to it in the Pacific Northwest. He noted the closest similar park is located in California and there are others in Ontario and Quebec.

Balzer said a breakdown in communication led to the city deciding to move on. He also said that he doesn’t think it’s fair that the city is forcing him to dismantle the park in the middle of the winter.

“I feel it’s super unreasonable to have us out of the park in the middle of January where we have to go swimming and take it down,” he said. “Now I have to go out of pocket and bring in infrastructure to get everything and pay for divers to help and everything. If I’m allowed to remove all the stuff in the spring when it’s not three degrees out I can do it myself.”

Alex Mitchell with the City of Abbotsford confirmed to The News that Valley Wake Park will no longer be a part of what is offered at Albert Dyck Park. She said the agreement with Balzer and his group ended in 2017. Mitchell stated that Abbotsford is looking at other ways to use the space.

“With increased public demand for outdoor recreation space due to Abbotsford’s growing population, combined with the impacts of COVID-19, the City is considering options for how the park, which has the City’s only swimmable lake, can be utilized for wider community enjoyment,” she said.

Valley Wake Park hosts the annual Wakeboard Nationals every summer and hosted competition at the B.C. Summer Games in the past. He noted that cable wakeboarding was set to debut at the B.C. Summer Games this year and be hosted by Valley Wake Park, but that was delayed due to the pandemic. Balzer said removing the park will be a big loss to the community.

RELATED: Local wakeboarders come out on top at Valley Wake Park Classic

RELATED: TOWED WATERSPORTS: Duncan boys claim bronze and silver in jump event

“The majority of people that ride on the cable park are not Abbotsford residents,” he said. “They’re coming from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland to come out and spend their money in Abbotsford.”

He said that Valley Wake Park is also helping to build the future of the sport, as other lakes such as Cultus are far too busy to handle the sport.

Balzer said another factor is that for many years his group and the people he employs have almost become caretakers of the lake. When groups act hostile or rowdy, Valley Wake Park employees are there to prevent any sort of escalation. He fears that without his group there Albert Dyck Park could become a less-than-pleasant place for users.

“It can be a really rough crowd when we’re not there to regulate the beach,” he said. “It can become pretty hostile and we’ve called the cops often just to do a walk through to calm everything down. There’s no oversight at the park, they don’t have a lifeguard on duty and it can be dangerous. We created a professional presence at the lake and took care of it.”

He said ideally he would like one last summer to let the public know this is the last chance to experience Valley Wake Park, but that doesn’t appear likely to happen as he has been told he has a deadline of March 1 to completely move out.

He added that he will be looking for a new home for the park and he believes other communities will be interested in what the park has to offer.

RELATED: Wake Nationals landing in Abbotsford

abbotsford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Katie Smith and Richard Coombs are teh couple behind Agassiz Delivered, a new delivery company that has taken off during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Agassiz Delivered/Facebook)
Local couple keeps Agassiz delivered

What started out as takeout delivery has turned into a pandemic business boom

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Agassiz long term care homes receive first COVID-19 shot

Fraser Health says all 151 care homes in the region will have had vaccination clinics by Jan. 15

Two people were in a vehicle that rolled over on Highway No. 1 near Lickman Road. They are now out of the vehicle. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vehicle rolls over on Highway 1 near Lickman Road in Chilliwack

Two people in SUV at time of collision in westbound lanes

Both eastbound lanes are completely west of exit 135 on Highway 1. (Google maps)
UPDATE: Traffic now getting through following car collision on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

Incident happened shortly just west of exit 135 for Agassiz/Harrison Hot Springs

The route of the pink parade. The Record has blackened out the name of the teen. Facebook photo.
Pink-vehicle parade to be held Sunday in support of transgender teen assaulted in Mission

Teen and family to watch parade drive single file along waterfront at 3 p.m., Jan. 17

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

The Delta Hospice Society operates the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care (pictured) and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner. (The Canadian Press photo)
Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door

Health authority will serve DHS 30 days’ notice when service agreement expires Feb. 25

Most Read