Innovative Leisure celebrates opening of Bear Grylls Adventure
UK adventure attractions specialist Innovative Leisure has announced the completion and opening of the tallest free-roam high ropes course in Europe.
The new course, which is five storeys high, is one of four headline attractions at the new Merlin Entertainments Bear Grylls Adventure at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Other key elements at the venue include Climbing, iFly indoor skydiving and Dive, with each experience being joined by other activities in the Basecamp area, including an escape room, archery, survival maze and assault course.
For the high ropes course, Grylls wanted to repeat key aspects of the Royal Marine Commando Tarzan course at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, to create a structure that not only challenges visitors physically but also mentally, the higher they go. Featuring 36 different challenges, the course takes participants to over 20m above the ground at the highest level, with the various elements included becoming increasingly difficult the higher they go.
Among the key features of the course are a Rolling Log on the top level which is particularly challenging, the Swinging Beam that moves all over as you step on it and others seen for the first time in Europe, such as Squid Steps. The high ropes course area is accessed via a heli-zip wire from The Bear Grylls Adventure Chinook helicopter.
Situated at the front of the attraction buildings, the ropes course acts as an active billboard to draw potential guests in.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of this high ropes course at such a prestigious location.” said Innovative Leisure managing director Phil Pickersgill. “It’s been a privilege to work with the Merlin Entertainments team over the past 2 years on a world’s first IP attraction. The course has a lot of progressive challenges designed into it, for all levels of ability, and also has plenty of repeat play potential. On peak days it will provide a vital ‘capacity engine’ for the ops team and certainly earn its keep. I’ve enjoyed seeing the many positive mentions already posted on TripAdvisor.”
For Merlin Entertainments, Mike Vallis, divisional director new brands, said: “Our portfolio is quite family heavy,” he says. “And with the growth in adventure, it’s a route we were keen to go down.
“Bear had some fantastic ideas,” Vallis continued, “and he understands the health and safety bit. He wants people to be challenged and not put in a dangerous position. The high ropes is a classic example. People are scared of heights and it’s a physical challenge, so it ticks two of the boxes, but it’s 100% safe.”