China Creek Marina has 88 slips and more than 2300 lineal feet of side tie moorage. KARLY BLATS PHOTO

PROGRESS 2017: China Creek campground focuses on recreational growth

Port Authority has issued a request for proposal to attract entrepreneurs.

China Creek Marina and Campground continues on the theme of adding more family-friendly activities and recreational opportunities to its Alberni Inlet facility.

The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) has issued a request for proposal to attract entrepreneurs who could rent out hiking or water sport equipment.

“[China Creek] is a great location for kayaking and canoeing, kiteboarding, wind surfing, stand-up paddle boarding as well as hiking,” said Dave McCormick, director of public relations and business development at PAPA. “It’s right at the doorstep at the head of the Alberni Inlet Trail, so I’m actively seeking an entrepreneur that either wants to start or expand a business in water sport equipment rentals or guiding, whether it’s on the water or the land.”

McCormick said there has already been some interest from potential proponents who have called to inquire about China Creek.

“We’ve really been focused on taking advantage of the natural surroundings of China Creek,” McCormick said. “It’s a spectacular setting, it’s so close to town but it feels a world away so it’s a great setting for families to rest, relax, recharge and reconnect, so we’re building on that.”

Other new additions to the marina and campground is Cruizers Cafe run by Kevin and Shannon Slade, offering home fresh food made to order, and other beautification efforts around the site.

“This year we’ve really focused a lot of attention on the grounds specifically, and trying to enhance the appearance of the grounds and work with the natural elements that we have there,” said Cecilia Addy, manager of marina services.

Addy said recently the entrance to the Alberni Inlet Trail was upgraded with stairs, as opposed to a mud trail that was more difficult to navigate, and a picnic table has also been added to the area.

Along with the new additions, recreation programming will be continuing at the campground starting July 1.

“Every Saturday we’re doing our Saturday night movie night under the stars,” Addy said “We’re also going to continue to add other recreational programming such as crafts and scenic tours for the kids to be able to learn about flora and fauna.”

Girl on a Board Kite School is also back for its second year at China Creek, offering kite boarding lessons in Port Alberni’s ideal wind conditions.

The marina remains a favourite place for sportfishers or pleasure boaters to launch their boats as well.

McCormick said they are focused on the guest experience, whether it be for a long stay or an overnight trip.

“[The camp ground] is really transforming itself into the gem that we’re starting to reveal, that’s not so hidden, while still maintaining its roots and respecting its fishing culture and history as well,” he said.

karly.blats@albernivalleynews.com

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