Miss Mermaid is hauled east on Hwy 11 from Sylvan Lake to a place south of Red Deer for repairs recently. Along the way the journey was interrupted when a wheel bearing on the trailer failed.

Miss Mermaid will set sail on Gull Lake waters next summer

The Mermaid will churn the waters again next summer — only this time on Gull Lake.

  • Sep. 18, 2014 9:00 a.m.

Lana Michelin

Red Deer Advocate

The Mermaid will churn the waters again next summer — only this time on Gull Lake.

The large, paddlewheel-style boat that’s been part of Sylvan Lake’s history for the past 30 years is being transported to Gull Lake by its new owner.

Red Deer resident Mark Linton said he saw the familiar red-and-white vessel sitting in dry dock for sale and something about it tweaked his nostalgic interest.

“It’s been around as long as I can remember,” said Linton, who remembers the 14-foot-wide-by-48-feet-long boat being a fixture of Sylvan Lake since his youth in the early 1980s. “That’s why I decided to buy the boat, I wanted to preserve it,” said Linton, who paid $60,000 for it.

“I’m also a real Disney fan,” he added, referring to the Mark Twain paddle-wheel steamship that’s a feature attraction at Disneyland.

Linton’s wife convinced him to take his first Disney holiday while he was recovering from cancer treatments. Even though his cancer has been in remission for the past six years, he and his family have been back to the feel-good theme park multiple times since.

The owner of the DJ company On the Mark sees a kind of crossover appeal in running a dinner/dance boat on Gull Lake as well. “This will give me something to do seven days a week,” during summer months, said Linton, who’s already planning theme trips such as ice cream sundaes and pirate cruises.

He intends to renovate the boat’s interior this fall to wood panelling from its current carpeted pink and sea-foam green “’80s look.”

The new venture is a family affair, said Linton, who added his 10- and 13-year-old sons will be involved as hors d’oeuvres servers on the gas-powered vessel, and his wife will make a few appearances.

Linton will also train a few more people to captain the large boat with its open second-storey deck.

While the family has a summer place on Gull Lake, Linton saw no choice but to move the The Mermaid up to Parkland Beach on the north side of the lake. With changes made to the Sylvan Lake marina, there’s no easy-access docking for a boat as large as The Mermaid, he said, noting Sylvan Lake’s other tourist boat, The Zoo Cruise, is also for sale for the same reason.

Linton plans to see how much interest there is in cruises and wedding receptions on the vessel before investing in a second boat. But he believes tourism in the Gull Lake “was four times busier this summer from last year,” and will only get busier.

So far, a Facebook/mermaidcruises page he started has been getting a lot of hits.

Linton said there’s nothing like seeing a large red-and-white paddlewheeler on the lake to draw public interest — the boat really becomes its own floating billboard.

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Holiday light displays of Sylvan Lake

Readers of the Sylvan Lake News submitted photos of their holiday light displays

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTO: NexSource Power Inc. donates to Sylvan Lake Food Bank

NexSource Power Inc. donated $1,536 to the Food Bank

Sylvan Lake’s residential tax to increase 2.74 per cent in 2019

The Town presented the proposed 2019 Budget at an open house on Dec. 11 at Good Earth Coffeehouse

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read