Johnny Desroches works at Spinnakers’ Landing on Monday to freshen up the tourist attraction’s coat of paint. Federal and Provincial money has been announced to help perform some needed maintenance on the aging structure. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE — Standing a head above the rest of the crowd from atop his Segway, Greg Weeks had a commanding view Monday as Spinnakers’ Landing got a shot in the financial arm.
Politicians of every level and stripe gathered at the P.E.I. Mussel Shack to announce more than $180,000 in funding aimed at sprucing up the 24-year-old tourist attraction.
The money, much of which has already been spent, has contributed to repositioning one of the previously unused structures at the Landing (it now houses the Mussel Shack), and will be used this fall to re-roof most of the buildings, perform general maintenance and install a couple of water fountains in the lagoon.
Weeks has been operating his company, P.E.I. Segway Tours, out of Spinnakers’ Landing for four years now.
This year has been good so far, he remarked, a lot of people are talking about 2014 and seem to spending a bit of time around the Summerside area.
He welcomed the funding announcement as being good for the general community.
“We’re really happy with any improvements or progress that we can make,” said Weeks.
“We think that anything that contributes to urban population density is going to be good for the economy here.”
The money itself is coming from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency ($124,750) and the Island Community Fund ($62,375).
Arnold Croken, president of the Summerside Port Corporation, which owns Spinnakers’ Landing, said Monday that much of the work announced Monday had previously been scheduled to start in the spring and be done for the tourist season, but for various reasons has been pushed back to the tail end of the summer.
“We’re happy with where we are for the season,” said Croken.
“All in all … the tenants of Spinnakers’ … we think the additions we’re making will help their bottom line … and create a little bit more of a pleasant area to sit around, chat and enjoy what we’ve got here,” he said.
Developer Mark Wilson, president of Summerside Capital Inc. (which is under contract from the port to manage Spinnakers’ Landing) also owns the Mussel Shack business. He said he’s heard good things from tenants so far this year, despite some recent bad weather.
Wilson is also the proponent of a condo development adjacent to the landing property and The Gables of P.E.I. Resort in Stanley Bridge. He’s invested heavily in the area because he sees a great potential here.
“Nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen, but I just see a lot of growth happening down here on the waterfront.”