A tubing park is currently being established in Rosscarbery, which would make it the first to be opened nationwide.
Geoff Wycherley the owner of the popular family activity centre Smugglers Cove is hoping to have the tubing park open in May pending restrictions. Mr Wycherley said the concept is very simple and family-friendly.
“There is no water, so there is no need for wet gear. That is the beauty of it, you can do it in your everyday clothes.
"You sit in a round tube with a hard bottom on it. It is run on tracks. It has an artificial surface material. It is all about creating the least amount of friction which ensures the faster it goes. People will also be able to jump into a ski bag which is due to arrive from the Netherlands,” he said.
Mr Wycherley is confident the tubing park will appeal to people of all ages and there is a market in Cork for it.
“It will be the first in Ireland. There are a good few in Europe where they are very popular. I have personally seen them in Italy.
"We have certain tubes that can take two people. People can link up in tubes which can have a train effect. Families will in particular love this concept. In general it is very safe and good fun.
“We are hoping to open in May or June depending on restrictions. We are nearly there. Once construction starts back there will be a few weeks work before we go live depending on restrictions. An Italian company is supplying all the material and doing the fit-out of it. We did all the groundwork ourselves and we still have to build a bridge. It is all about people having fun. Everything we do in Smugglers Cove is about giving everybody a good day out for good value,” he added.
The tubing park is the latest addition to Smugglers Cove which already possesses an 18-hole-adventure golf course, a maze and a golf range. The Cork entrepreneur is thrilled with the success of his enterprising venture to date.
“Back in 2012 I opened an adventure golf course which has proved hugely successful. We also do the corn maze and the timber maze. They have worked very well. The tubing park will add hugely to the range of activities. It fits in perfectly with our customer profile. We also have a cafe. There is plenty of choice for everyone to enjoy. The activities, in general, can last for up to five hours for people or families.”
Staycations are expected to be hugely popular once again this summer. Mr Wycherley said Rosscarbery is the perfect location for people to relax and enjoy.
“Rosscarbery is a beautiful place. An upshoot of Covid last year was the number of staycations. Rosscarbery and West Cork is an ideal location for holidaymakers.
"Rosscarbery has everything. We have great facilities and we are also near Cork city for day-trippers. There are also plenty of holiday homes and accommodation outlets. Hopefully, we will have a busy summer.”