NIAGARA FALLS – The Niagara Parks Commission is moving ahead with plans to build a zip-line attraction.
On Thursday, the Commssion issued a request for qualifications aimed at identifying proponents interested in developing an “environmentally friendly” zip-line attraction within the Parks.
“Zip lines are being successfully operated throughout Canada and can be found in parks, historic and environmentally sensitive areas around the world,” NPC Chairwoman Janice Thomson said in a statement.
“Our hope is to create a new zip-line attraction that will not only inform and educate our guests, but also provide a breathtaking experience for our guests when in Niagara Parks.”
NPC officials decided to proceed with the zip-line concept based on the environmental feasibility study it has conducted, as well as on the comments received from members of the public, including those from its public information centres conducted last September.
Officials say comments received from the public will be incorporated into a future request-for-proposals document, which will be sent to qualified bidders. Visual and environmental impacts, as well as the experience of the proponent will be key considerations in the selection of a preferred bidder.
Thompson Point and Dufferin Islands have been identified as preferred locations but the Commission is open to considering other sites, should they be suggested by the proponents or the Commission’s own environmental consultants.
“Before anything is built, the public will have an opportunity to review the proponent’s plans for each site and then provide feedback,” added Thomson.
“The Commission will consider all options and examine how they can be taken into account before any final plans are approved. We will ensure that this project enhances the visitor experience and does nothing to detract from the natural setting, environment and mandate with which we are entrusted,” Thomson said.
The Commission hopes to have a preferred proponent by early summer 2013, with a demonstration project in operation by fall 2013.
The Commission is also investigating the possibility of establishing the zip line as an accessible year-round attraction, officials say.