The city of Monroe could have a brand new cable watersports park as early as spring of 2015.
Representatives from H3O Development presented to Monroe City Council and Mayor Geoffrey Thomas on Tuesday, August 12, providing them with an overview of the proposed Lake Tye Propullsion Cablepark, as well as an updated timeline for the park’s construction. The presentation was given by H3O Managing Partners Greg Dick and Brad Smith.
Cable wakeboarding parks are a way for wakeboarders and water skiers to enjoy their sport without having to use a boat. Riders are pulled by cables which are suspended from towers approximately 30 feet above the surface of the water. Riders begin on the starting dock, and as the rider’s rope is hooked by the system, they are pulled up and away from the dock.
“It’s an easier start than you’d have behind a watersports boat or a tow-boat,” said Dick.
Riders are then propelled around the lake in a semi-circular pattern until they either fall or arrive at the exit area. Water sports supported at the park will include wakeboarding, water skiing, knee boarding and water skating; all of which will be facilitated by a five-tower cable system. The cable system will be driven by an adjustable-speed, 37 kilowatt electric motor, and regulated by an experienced cable operator.
Dick explained that, for novice riders, it can be intimidating to arrive at a cable wakeboarding park only to find experienced riders dominating the cables. To circumvent this, the park at Lake Tye will also offer a smaller, two-tower cable system for beginners.
“Once a client comes out and says they’ve never been there before, we then take them down to the two-tower system and teach them how to ride,” explained Dick. “We want to make it a pleasant experience and not have folks leave intimidated.”
Smith stated that one of the primary goals of their business model will be to invite newcomers to come out and try the sport, particularly novice riders with little to no experience. While riders at all levels of expertise will be welcome at the park, he shared that they won’t be catering to professional riders exclusively.
“The whole idea, really, is to allow people to do a sport that they could not participate in previously,” said Smith.
The park is being planned for the south end of Lake Tye, a 42-acre manmade lake which is approximately 30 feet deep. According to Propullsion Cablepark organizers, the cable-riding area will take up approximately 30 percent of Lake Tye’s water surface and will cause no disruption to current events held at the lake such as swimming and various triathlons.
The firm’s plans include a 2,500 square foot, multipurpose pro shop facility which will feature men’s and women’s changing rooms, rental space for large events and vending machines. The pro shop will also include a retail sales area which will provide items like wakeboards, clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses.
Rental equipment will be available in the pro shop, as well; wakeboards, life vests and kayaks will be available for rental.
“The boards will get kind of beat up over time so a lot of people like to not bring their own equipment out but actually rent the equipment there,” said Smith.
The firm is planning on breaking ground this fall and has already accomplished several milestones in their process, including SEPA approval, the Army Corps of Engineers review and mitigation for the Trumpeter Swan Society. They have also acquired their conditional use permit, signed a 10-year lease option with the city of Monroe, configured the tower system and placed a deposit on the cables.
A grading permit has been issued and the designs are in place for the pro shop, as well as the additional parking area. They are currently in the midst of obtaining the actual building permits.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for late fall 2014, and Propullsion hopes to have the cables delivered by mid-winter, 2015. The building is scheduled to be completed by late winter, and the park’s soft-opening is tentatively scheduled for spring of 2015. They hope to hold the grand opening in May of 2015 over Memorial Day weekend.
The construction timeline is subject to change.
Smith and Dick also addressed a few of the concerns they have received thus far by members of the Monroe community, particularly about noise and lights. They assured council that any noise would be primarily confined to the building, the area directly surrounding the building, and the cable facility itself. The motors that actually run the cables, said Smith and Dick, are virtually silent.
They added that no external lights will be necessary because the cable park will be open during the same hours that Lake Tye Park is currently open; from dawn until dusk.
“Fortunately, during the summer, our days are a little bit longer so we are able to operate until 8 or 9 at night,” said Dick. “Obviously, there’ll be no lights.”
Smith addressed the noise concerns a little bit more, stating that folks had contacted him worried about things like loud music coming from outdoor speakers.
“There will be no speakers on the towers; there will be no lights on the towers,” said Smith. “Any sound will be confined to the building.”
The pro shop facility, which will be located directly north of the existing skate park, will be available for corporate events, private parties, church events, day camps and more.
Admission to the park will be sold in a similar fashion as lift tickets up at Stevens Pass. A two-hour pass will be sold for approximately $30, a four-hour pass for approximately $35, an all-day pass for approximately $45 and a season pass will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $450. The Propullsion team expects a great deal of crossover from not only skateboarders, but also snowboarders and ski enthusiasts.
“Those are the exact same people that are typically involved in towed water sports,” said Smith.
The Lake Tye Propullsion Cablepark will be operated as a private-public partnership between H3O and the city of Monroe. The city will receive 2 percent of the gross sales, a rental fee for the use of the property, as well as a portion of the facility’s admission tax.
Smith explained that, in addition to establishing a strong base of new cable-riding aficionados, another long-term goal of the park is to improve the overall water quality of Lake Tye by infusing it with additional oxygen.
Councilmembers Kurt Goering, Kevin Hanford and Jim Kamp all stated that they were extremely excited for the park’s grand opening and are looking forward to the relationship between the Lake Tye Propullsion Cablepark and the city of Monroe.