Ireland would be a grand country, if only we could roof it.
Well, holiday giant Center Parcs is doing exactly that in Longford – or part of it, anyway – with the unveiling of plans for a spanking new 29.5-degree ‘Subtropical Swimming Paradise’ near Ballymahon.
The 3,500m2 complex, billed as “Ireland’s largest waterpark”, will be heated year-round and crammed with slides, flumes, whirlpools, Wild River Rapids, a wave pool, tropical plants, a café, bar and fountains (see gallery of images, below).
The reveal comes as Center Parcs opens winter 2019 bookings for the €233 million campus, set to open next summer at Newcastle Wood.
Family rates start from €379 for a midweek break and €529 for weekends at the Longford Forest resort (centerparcs.ie), it says, with access to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise included in the price.
Restaurants, bike hire, spa treatments and most of the 100+ activities ranging from Laser Combat to Cupcake Decorating and Den Building, cost extra, however.
- Read Pól Ó Conghaile’s Center Parcs tips here
For now, bookings are only available from November 4, 2019.
August and September will be available to book early next year, “when construction is further progressed,” it says.
An exact summer opening date has yet to be revealed.
“We are confident that Center Parcs Longford Forest will revolutionise the short-break market for Irish families,” said Martin Dalby, Center Parcs CEO.
“Where else can you go to enjoy unlimited access to the nation’s largest waterpark and over 100 indoor and outdoor activities, all on your doorstep?
Center Parcs’ plans for Longford were first revealed in 2015. Once complete, the resort will cater for up to 2,500 guests in some 466 lodges and 30 apartments.
In addition to a massive construction phase, the car-free resort is expected to provide some 1,000 permanent jobs.
To mark the reveal of its ‘Subtropical Swimming Paradise’, Center Parcs teamed up with Lego artists Jessica and Faolán Farrell from Rathangan, Co. Kildare, to create a Lego replica of the waterpark (see video above).
The 2 x 1.5 metre Lego model, which took the duo 105 days to build using 55,667 Lego bricks, showcases all that the year-round complex will offer Irish families – including the flagship Tropical Cyclone raft ride and the Typhoon, a two-seater ride with drops, swings and speeds of up to 45km/ph.
The model took mother and son 840 hours to complete, Jessica says.
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