City OKs lease agreement for wakeboarding park along I-70

The Imondi family of Fruita – from left to right, Faith, 2, Victor, Shyann, 10, and Kodi – plan to bring a wakeboarding park to a 30-acre Fruita lake near construction of the Kokopelli section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail.

Strap in, hold on, here we go!

The Fruita City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a lease arrangement for a Fruita couple to operate a cable wakeboarding park on a city-owned lake near Interstate 70.

Kodi and Victor Imondi expect to open Imondi Wake Zone by next spring, the state’s first-ever cable wakeboarding park at a 30-acre lake near Fruita’s Greenway Industrial Park off 16 Road.

“It allows people to enjoy water sports without the need for a boat,” Victor Imondi told councilors at the meeting.

A cable system can pull up to seven wakeboarders in a counterclockwise circuit on the lake, offering the opportunity to jump over obstacles and ride rails. Another option gives beginner wakeboarders a chance to try out the sport on a shorter course that cuts across another portion of the lake. A 7-acre section of the lake on the western side will be open to the public for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.

“This is really going to bridge the gap in the summer, in those 100-degree days,” Kodi Imondi said. “It gives people another reason to come to Fruita.”

Well before the couple met five years ago, the wakeboard enthusiasts individually had been devising business plans to open a cable wakeboarding park. The couple, who met on a wakeboarding website, currently travel to states like Texas and Florida to wakeboard on cable parks. The closest cable wakeboarding parks are in Kansas City, Kansas, and Sacramento, California, they said.

The Imondis have been eyeing the lake as a site for their business for years, and the partnership with Fruita helped make their business plan work. Mesa Grand, the company that owns the Greenway Industrial Park, deeded the lake to Fruita last year with the intention that Fruita use it for recreation purposes.

Fruita City Manager Mike Bennett said on Tuesday night that Fruita currently doesn’t have funds to develop the lake as a park. The partnership with the Imondis allows public use of the lake and may act as a way to attract more tenants to the industrial park.

“It fits right in with the outdoor activities we cherish in our community,” Bennett said.

The Imondis were approved to operate with a 15-year lease with three, 5-year options to renew. Their rent at the lake will be $1 in the first year, between 2018 and 2019. Rent will be $5,000 in 2020 and increase by 3 percent a year after that.

The Imondis also have secured a lease on a parcel to the north, inside the industrial park. They plan to build a pro shop for supplies and rentals. It also will include restrooms for customers and also for the public using the new section of the Kokopelli section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail. The trail is under construction on the south side of the lake.

The Imondis estimate they’ll sink nearly $1 million into the project, and it’s estimated to provide 15 jobs.

Future plans for the lake may include adding inflatable water park features, a sand volleyball facility and a stage for live music, the couple said.

“The possibilities are amazing,” Fruita Mayor Lori Buck said after voting to extend the lease. “This is really going to change the face of that business park.”


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