Sunday 21 July 2019

Ready to go: Leo gets grand tour as work at Center Parcs complete

Making a splash: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) with David Murray, a member of the sports team at Center Parcs in Longford. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Making a splash: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) with David Murray, a member of the sports team at Center Parcs in Longford. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Center Parcs has been dubbed "Butlins for the middle classes".

And a trip to the Longford retreat will certainly set you back.

A four-night stay at a luxury four-bedroom Exclusive Lodge with your own private sauna and hot tub next month comes in at around €3,499.

It is possible to opt for more cost-effective options - you can spend four nights in a two-bedroom lodge in the resort for €299. Providing you book your trip mid-week, and out of season.

Preview

Yesterday, the completion of the landmark €233m forest resort was announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who was on hand for the first behind-the-scenes preview.

The site is lush and green, with a manmade beach, zip-lining wires criss-crossing the skyline, and the Subtropical Swimming Paradise complete with wave machines, and twisting water slides.

At full capacity, the Longford Forest resort can hold an impressive 2,500 holidaymakers. It has over 100 activities on offer, from aqua jetting and archery to mermaid swimming classes, and wizard workshops.

The new resort will provide a €223m annual boost to Ireland's economy; adding an estimated €1bn to GDP in the coming 20 years.

Ireland is known for its compensation culture but the CEO of Center Parcs, Martin Dalby, said he is not worried about this affecting the Longford site.

"It's not a big concern, premiums are higher in Ireland than the UK, but within our business plan budget it is manageable," he said.

Modelled

"But obviously, once we open, it will be interesting to see how that pans out. But it is not a major concern at this stage."

Mr Dalby said that this will be the only Center Parcs site in Ireland.

"This is it. If you look at where we built it, we have modelled on the population of the country," he said.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News