Weddings will no longer be allowed at the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park in West Kelowna.
The popular wedding venue was named as one of the Okanagan’s top places to get married last year.
Weddings will no longer be allowed at Kaloya Regional Park effective immediately as part of a new Regional Parks Regulation Bylaw that was passed last month.
The reasons cited for restricting weddings at the two parks are a lack of parking, washrooms and the costs required to set up the events and clean up afterward.
“We have been getting a lot of conflicts, complaints and concerns expressed about lack of parking both at Kopje and the Gellatly Nut Farm and lack of washrooms,” said Bruce Smith, communications officer at the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
“When there are weddings held you can’t access it and lay out a blanket to enjoy the park.”
Weddings will still be allowed at Kopje Regional Park and Bertram Creek during April, May, September and October, for up to 75 guests for a four-hour period.
They will no longer be allowed during July and August so that residents and tourists can enjoy the parks in summer.
“The main purpose of parks is to encourage everyone to experience and enjoy the opportunities we have in natural environment in regional parks. We are trying to strike a balance between people wanting to enjoy the park and those that want to have special recognitions and events there,” Smith said.
Last year all four parks hosted 91 weddings in total, 37 of which were held at the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park and Kaloya Regional Park.
Smith says that there will be no revenue lost by restricting weddings at the two parks.
“They are actually not revenue generators. They cost more to manage the bookings and the operation side from getting the area ready and cleaned up,” said Smith.
Hours will be extended starting in spring. In spring and fall, regional parks will be open until 9 p.m. and in the summer months until 11 p.m.
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