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Crystal Lake gives final approval to wakeboard park

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 10:07 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 9:30 a.m. CST

CRYSTAL LAKE – Starting next year, visitors at Three Oaks Recreation Area will be able to catch some waves and catch some air thanks to the Crystal Lake City Council giving final approval to a cable wakeboard park Tuesday.

Construction on the 32-acre cable wakeboard park could begin this year on the north lake of Three Oaks after developers spent more than a year finalizing plans for the park.

The park will feature three different cable wakeboard courses ranging from beginner to intermediate and advanced. The advanced course will feature six towers installed in the lake connected by a motorized cable that will pull riders along a course of jumps.

"I'm pretty happy with where we're at right now," councilman Cameron Hubbard said of the pitch from park developers. "Hopefully I'll be one of your first customers." 

Vulkan Cable Park, which is the proposed name, will be located on the southern shoreline of the north lake and feature a clubhouse, full restaurant and outdoor patio for dining and viewing, a stage for live music, sand volleyball courts, an outdoor hot tub, a fire pit and a beach area for people to watch the riders. 

Finalized plans show the new 5,000-square-foot facility would take a similar look to existing buildings at the park. An expanded parking lot also is part of the project.

The new attraction is expected to draw thousands of people during the spring and summer seasons, including for tournaments with professional riders. The city's agreement is for 10 years with two five-year options that could be triggered if the park succeeds as expected.

While all council members gave their support, mayor Aaron Shepley was disappointed the name choice of Vulkan Cable Park after fighting to remove the Vulkan name from the area.

"I don't like the name in the slightest," Shepley said. "I'm not going to support that name, period." 

Shepley reiterated he was still 100 percent supportive of the park and believed it would be a successful addition to the community. Developers will appear at the next City Council meeting to find a solution on the name.

While a cable park will add to the north lake, City Council members also approved a smaller project to create a new scuba area in the south lake. A small scuba dive point exists off the beach, but officials said it is too small and the swimmers and boaters disturb the underwater view.

The new area on the south lake would allow more divers to use the space and could help generate more park revenue. In 2013, scuba revenues increased 43 percent from 2012, making it the fastest growing revenue stream at Three Oaks.

Under the new plan, nonresidents would pay $20 for a dive while residents would pay $15.

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