• Saturday , 28 January 2023

Peachy People: ZipZone Adventure Park owner Kevin Bennett

Kevin Bennett likes to get high – on adrenaline, that is. Two years into his retirement at the age of 43, the inveterate traveller and thrill-seeker found himself looking for a new entrepreneurial opportunity. He tried zip lining while on holiday in Mexico and discovered his next business venture. In 2011 Bennett opened ZipZone Adventure Park, which offers his fellow fun seekers a chance to zip across the highest lines in North America. Read on to find out what makes Peachland’s resident adrenaline junkie tick.

Why did you choose to live in this town?

I’d been living in Calgary for four years and gotten fed up with the big city. I wanted to live somewhere beautiful, where I could raise my kids and live well. I spent six weeks driving around B.C. with the philosophy that I would find a place I wanted to live and figure out how to make a living when I got there. Peachland was, and is, the perfect community for me.

What has been your crowning achievement?

I don’t know that I have had a crowning achievement just yet. I hope that is still to come.

What would make Peachland a nicer community?

Peachland needs to develop and to become a more vibrant community. It has the potential to become the “False Creek” of the Okanagan; a desirable, vibrant area with employment, retail, entertainment and public spaces.

Do you have a goal in life?

To be happy.

If you had one super power what would it be?

I’d be able to breathe underwater. I love to dive and have spent many happy hours diving wrecks and caves all over the world.

If you won the $50 million max lottery what would you do with the money?

I’d go travelling. There is nothing better than throwing on a rucksack and wandering aimlessly through far-off places, sleeping on beaches and eating from roadside stalls. That would help me decide what to do with the money.

If you were the mayor of Peachland, what would you do?

I would stop the gifting of $5M worth of lakefront property for low income seniors housing. Instead I’d sell the land to a developer, use part of the money to build seniors’ housing elsewhere in Peachland, and use the remaining funds to develop facilities for youth and community projects.

If you were a fly, which wall in town would you like to inhabit? 

None! Yuck, the thought of eavesdropping is creepy!

If you could fast forward the District of Peachland 50 years what can you visualize?

Peachland has the potential to be a vibrant waterfront community with shops, cafés and public spaces. I’d make the downtown core more people-oriented, like a piazza.

What do you do in your spare time?

I travel. In recent years I’ve been to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Bali, the Philippines and Mexico. I indulge my passion for diving wherever I can.

What community issues need the most attention?

The redevelopment of the downtown core and encouraging businesses to locate here so that more families can live and work in Peachland.

What would your ideal job be? 

It’s the one I have now: entrepreneur.

Who inspires you the most?

No one in particular. I get inspired by many things. Travel, in particular, is very inspirational for me.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My lakefront home in Bridge Lake. It costs an arm and a leg, but I love it. It is quiet, very peaceful and stunningly beautiful. I get to watch otters playing on my dock; that’s hard to beat. I also have my workshop there and spend many happy hours building furniture and tinkering.

When and where were you happiest? 

I think the happiest time of my life so far was living in Logan Lake, B.C., about 15 years ago. It’s a beautiful community near Merritt. My daughters were young, I had a great job, lots of free time and went camping most weekends. It was a good time for my family.  But the best is yet to come.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to play a musical instrument. Sadly, I have the musical talent of a dead animal.

What is your favourite music?

I like everything from ABBA to ZZ Top. A lot of my playlist is female vocalists, like Sarah McLaughlin, Adele, and Susan Aglukark. My favourite bands are Pink Floyd and Slade.

What is your favourite book?

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson. They are a set of three Tolkienesque trilogies set in a mystical world.

What is your favourite meal?

I love all kinds of food. Sushi and pho are my “go-to” fast foods, but it’s pretty hard to beat an Indian curry when I want something more substantial.

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