The West Belfast outdoor adventure park has experienced record visitor numbers in July and August, alongside the launch of its new world-class attractions.
Colin Glen has enjoyed its most successful summer ever this year, with record visitor numbers in July and August, alongside the launch of two world-class attractions at the new Mountain Entrance, including Ireland’s first alpine coaster – the Black Bull Run.
The West Belfast community trust has seen over 110,000 visitors using Colin Glen’s Forest and Leisure facilities over the summer break, 20% of which came from the Republic of Ireland, with the July heatwave and opening of the Black Bull Run and a new 250m Forest Flyover zipline contributing to an increased footfall across the 200-acre park.
The world-class attractions were in high demand over the school holidays, seeing almost 45,000 Black Bull Runs and 9,500 ziplines completed at the new Mountain Entrance since opening in early July.
Colin Glen’s state-of-the-art leisure facilities on Black’s Road also saw more people taking advantage of the outdoor facilities, with almost 800 football games played on the outdoor and 3G pitches in two months and over 390,000 golf balls hit at the TopTracer driving range.
Colin Glen’s Chief Executive Officer, Colin O’Neill comments:
It’s fantastic to see Colin Glen Trust thriving. Having welcomed Ireland’s first alpine coaster, the Black Bull Run, and a 250m Forest Flyover zipline earlier this summer as part of our upcoming redevelopment plans, we’ve seen lots of new visitors coming to the forest park to experience a new giant adventure at the heart of the Belfast Hills.
The busy summer period also saw Colin Glen welcome 150 community groups to the park, as part of the Trust’s ongoing community engagement efforts. Colin O’Neill continues,
Colin Glen has proven to be a vital, safe resource for the local community throughout the pandemic, and with increased visitors and bookings for our world-class attractions, we have been able to ensure the conservation of this unique and cherished forest park. We’ve also been able to create 30 new jobs across the park this summer and support our local economy as the whole tourism sector gets back on its feet.
Following on from the initial success of the Black Bull Run and Forest Flyover, and as part of Colin Glen’s wider redevelopment plans to create a new global tourism hub in Belfast, the park is also preparing for the opening of Ireland’s longest zipline, River Rapid in the coming months, along with the redevelopment of existing leisure facilities. The continued expansion of the park will also bolster new recruitment drives and local employment opportunities for the winter season ahead.
The new attractions are part of a multi-million-pound investment project, supported by Belfast City Council’s Belfast Investment Fund, DAERA’s Rural Tourism, DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme and the Department for Communities.
Chief Executive of Visit Belfast, Gerry Lennon commented,
Belfast’s regeneration and revitalisation in recent years has been attributable to our increasingly innovative and dynamic tourism experiences.
In developing these world-class and ‘Ireland’s first’ visitor experiences, Colin Glen epitomises the resilience and creativity Belfast’s tourism and hospitality sectors are renowned for and importantly positions Belfast competitively as we work to rebuild tourism to the pre-pandemic levels of success.
Investment in new attractions, as well as developing exciting new additions to the city’s well established attractions, is a key contributor to tourism recovery – Colin Glen’s vision to become Ireland’s leading Adventure Park will help us reach new visitors and markets and will actively encourage repeat day and overnight visits time and time again. After such a hard year for the tourism sector, it’s great to see record numbers at Colin Glen taking advantage of the wide range of activities on offer and enjoying a great outdoor city adventure. This development is an excellent example of where tourism success can contribute not just economically but societally and environmentally – so well done to all the team at Colin Glen.