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Kelowna water sports store in limbo following fire | iNFOnews


Fire tore through the Blue Heights complex in February, 2022.

(ROB MUNRO / iNFOnews.ca)



April 15, 2022 – 6:00 AM







A Kelowna water sport company is still waiting for insurance money after a fire destroyed its business earlier this year.


Owner Chad Edwards of Innerspace Watersports, Inc., said the insurance money has yet to come through after a fire destroyed their store location in Kelowna in February. Kelowna’s Blue Heights Business Complex was reduced to rubble after a fire broke out at the complex Feb. 15. The cause is undetermined but wasn’t deemed to be suspicious, said fire chief Travis Whiting. 


Edwards said he had trouble with the insurance since the cause was never found.


READ MORE: Mostly rubble left following huge fire at Kelowna business complex


At this time, Edwards said he’s still waiting on the insurance money to decide whether he can open another store location in the community.


That store was opened in Kelowna for 13 years prior because customers said they were tired of travelling to Vernon for equipment. It was used mostly as a showroom so it held a variety of different equipment, he said.


“It’s all these things that just keeps punching you while you’re down so it just gets worse and worse,” he said.


The biggest challenge has been finding another suitable location for the sports equipment. He has looked at another complex across the street, but would be paying more than double for rent at $9,000 and would have to invest another $70,000 to outfit the building.


Kelowna staff members have been re-assigned to the Vernon location along with Kelowna’s product as it was ordered a year in advance.


This year, however, they also won’t be providing paddleboard and kayak rentals on Kalamalka Beach since a bylaw officer told them in August they didn’t have the right to be there. For the last 25 years, the business has operated at the beach without issues, Edwards said.


To this day, they still haven’t received an official letter or contacted Edwards to explain the reason why they aren’t allowed to operate on the beach. He said he had a seasonal business licence that was approved by the district.


“I want an apology from the district, it’s the public that would like it because it’s a service we provided,” he said. “I was more frustrated with how they’re handling the process.”


As supply chains return to normal while the pandemic eases, the business has more products than they expected.


“Our Kelowna store that helped burn through product is no longer there and now the suppliers are actually delivering product after we’ve struggled for two years so we’re going ‘is this going to sink us now that we have more product coming in? Or is this going to be a normal (time) where we can meet the demand?” Edwards said.


Edwards said they don’t make any money from the beach location and used it to advertise the business and the sport. The Vernon store is having its 40th anniversary this year.


The District of Coldstream could not be reached for comment by Thursday’s deadline.



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