The iconic boat along Highway 97 at Commonwealth Road was destroyed in a fire April 1, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Lake Country Calendar)

The iconic boat along Highway 97 at Commonwealth Road was destroyed in a fire April 1, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Lake Country Calendar)

Loss of iconic Highway 97 boat tragic: resort president

Holiday Park boat ‘reignited my connection to my dad’

An iconic landmark is no more after an early-morning fire Thursday.

The boat, a sign for Holiday Park RV and Condo Resort, on Highway 97 and Commonwealth Road was fully engulfed in flames when Lake Country fire crews arrived first after the 1:30 a.m. report on April 1.

Kelowna Fire Department platoon captain Shayne Kiehlbauch said there were no hydrants in the area, so water had to be shuttled to the scene with water tenders.

“The boat collapsed during the fire, so an excavator was brought in to help with extinguishing the fire,” Kiehlbauch said.

“At this time, we do not have a cause for the fire and it is under investigation.”

The Lake Country Fire Department was first on scene to the iconic boat on Highway 97 and Commonwealth Road. The boat is a sign for Holiday Park RV and Condo Resort. (District of Lake Country - Contributed)

The Lake Country Fire Department was first on scene to the iconic boat on Highway 97 and Commonwealth Road. The boat is a sign for Holiday Park RV and Condo Resort. (District of Lake Country - Contributed)

President Dan Sigal said told Black Press he was made aware of the fire around an hour later and he had hoped it was a bad April Fool’s joke. But, by the time he arrived, the boat was pretty much destroyed.

The boat has been used as part of the resort’s marketing strategy since the 1980s and before that, it worked as a tugboat hauling logs across the Okanagan Lake.

“My father started the resort and was the one that put the boat there,” Sigal said of his father, Saul, who died in 1993.

“It’s pretty tragic,” he said. “It reignited my connection to my dad.”

Sigal said his voicemail and inbox have been flooded with condolences.

“It’s almost like a loss of a person to some people it seems,” Sigal said. “It was quite a landmark for the community.”

Now, Sigal said police and the fire department are still investigating then cleanup of the charred remains alongside Highway 97 will begin, which will “likely cost a small fortune.”

“I don’t think there will be another boat,” he said.

After the fire at the office in September, which the resort team had just finished cleaning up, Sigal said he hopes these fires aren’t targeted.

“They are kicks to the gut,” he said.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Lake Country fire deemed suspicious

The Labour Day fire (Sept. 7, 2020) broke out around 4:45 a.m. and significantly damaged two businesses — the Italian Kitchen and Country Store. Kelowna Fire Department deemed the fire suspicious.

Even though the boat, which was used as the sales office, is gone, Holiday Park RV and Condo Resort remain optimistic.

“As devastating as it is,” Sigal said. “We’re surviving.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Iconic boat on Highway 97 goes up in flames

READ MORE: VIDEO: Rare white ‘spirit moose’ spotted in Cariboo


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

The Vernon Curling Club has been selected to host the 2022 B.C. Mixed Doubles championships Feb. 9-13, and will also the 2022 B.C. Winter Games curling competitions Feb. 24-27. (Morning Star - file photo)
Local club will host B.C. Mixed Doubles and B.C. Winter Games curling in February 2022

The Vernon Curling Club is among the host sites for Curl B.C.’s… Continue reading

The Regional District of North Okanagan prepared to fine individuals $100 if caught verbally abusing landfill staff amid COVID-19. (RDNO Website)
Limit North Okanagan landfill visits to essential trips: RDNO

Regional district reminds patrons to be respectful of staff amid high-traffic pandemic times

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter team was asked to be on standby to rescue a missing hiker in Naramata. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)
Lost hiker rescued in Okanagan Mountain Park

COSAR, PENSAR, and VSAR worked together to rescue a hiker in Okanagan Mountain Park

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Increased COVID-19 activity brings vaccine clinic to Enderby

Registration opens Tuesday, April 20 for May clinic for anyone over the age of 18

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
‘Do not occupy’ order lifted, residents of West Kelowna apartment allowed to return home

The building was evacuated early Sunday morning due to a strange smell

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

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

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

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

courts
Penticton man guilty of assaulting young boys

Bryan Lamb was found guilty of two counts of assault

Abandoned Rail Brewing Company, located at 1220 Davenport Ave. on the KVR trail, has applied to the City of Penticton for a manufacturing facility and lounge endorsement. The city will review the application in their April 20, 2021 council meeting. (City of Penticton photo)
A new brewery could be coming to the KVR trail in the South Okanagan

The patio would seat up to 113 just 10 feet from the trail

Most Read