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Wakeboard park at Three Oaks gains early support

Facility proposed for North Lake

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 9:56 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 1:12 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com)
Dianne Feight of McHenry paddleboards Wednesday on North Lake in the Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake. The city is taking a look at preliminary plans for a potential wakeboard park at North Lake. It would be one of about 20 parks in the country if it is built.

CRYSTAL LAKE – A cable wakeboard park at Three Oaks Recreation Area is one step closer to reality after the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Committee reviewed initial plans Wednesday.

The proposed Vulkan Cable Park would be located along the south shore of North Lake and feature moving cable systems that send riders along multiple wakeboard courses. The facility would feature an outdoor dining area, music, food, special events and possibly a ropes course in future expansion.

The park would be one of roughly 20 in the country.

Commissioners were impressed with the conceptual plans and said it could be a boon for the economy and a great showcase of the Three Oaks Recreation Area.

“From a 50,000-foot view, I like the idea. I like it a lot,” Commissioner Jim Batastini said. “I see this as having a lot of potential for the city.”

Initial designs show a new 80-space parking lot and a main building that would function similarly to a clubhouse at a golf course and house locker rooms and rental materials. Three separate cable courses are proposed, ranging from beginner to advanced.

If a rider falls off in the middle of the course, floating walkways are nearby to return the rider to the starting dock.

If the park is successful, the hours could be extended with additional lighting to give an opportunity for night rides. The main course will also feature obstacles for stunt jumps, and all layouts are being approved by professional riders, developers said.

“It’s a great idea,” Commissioner Jim Jouron said. “I’ve always wanted something [on North Lake] to pull people in to the area.”

There were some city recommendations attached to the design, including additional fencing for security reasons and the requirement of an on-site lifeguard at all times because of the depth of the water and the high speeds at which a rider can wakeboard.

Some commissioners such as Darrel Gavle and David Goss voiced some concern, mostly about parking and safety issues that could arise with larger events, but were also behind the idea.

A potential wakeboard facility has been discussed for years and is expected to draw thousands to the area since the two closest parks are in Cincinnati and Kansas City.

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