Center Parcs, the company that plans to open a €300 million resort in Ballymahon, specialises in rural holidays, although it’s a long way from the traditional rural Irish holiday.
Locating large resorts in forests, the firm combines luxury accommodation in treehouses, bars, restaurants, spas and swimming pools with adventure activities such as archery, cycling, quad bike safaris and segways trips.
Focussing on family holidays, Center Parcs specialise in offering a wide variety of activities to appeal to all ages groups including pursuits such as pottery painting, woodland adventures, painting, badminton and much, much more.
The proposed development in Ballymahon will be the biggest tourist attraction in Ireland and is expected to entice both national and international tourists to the area.
Center Parcs was founded in 1968 in the Netherlands and runs five centres in the UK in Suffolk, Wiltshire, Cumbria, Bedfordshire and the first to be built in England in 1987, Sherwood Forest. The Center Parcs resorts in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany are under different ownership than the UK resorts.
Incidentally, it has been reported in the UK that the company that owns Center Parcs, Blackstone, has put the UK resorts on the market. The company is believed to be worth £2.5bn and there is speculation that two of China’s most prominent billionaires are set to do battle for the resorts company.