Holiday park makes a big splash with surfing simulator

Major investment in all-weather extreme sports hub will boost North Devon tourism, according to destination experts.

A WOOLACOMBE holiday park has completed a half-a-million-pound investment in a state-of-the-art sports complex.

The attraction at the Golden Coast Holiday Village will provide a major boost for the local tourism economy, according to North Devon+, the destination management organisation for North Devon and Exmoor.

The park now boasts a permanent Wavesurfer, an all-weather surfing simulator which creates an artificial wave for surfers and bodyboarders, whether beginner or expert.

A simulator rented last year proved so popular that the park has installed its own, complete with sliding glass roof and the water heated to 28 degrees.

The action-packed ‘EX34 Hub’ also features a high ropes course, bungee run, and climbing and abseiling wall among a number of extreme sports activities, as well as crazy golf and activities for younger children.

The complex took four months to complete, has created 15 seasonal and full-time jobs, and is already attracting locals as well as holiday makers, according to owners Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks.

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General manager Aidan Glover said: “The new complex offers families who want to get active together the perfect opportunity to try something different and challenge each other.”

Laura Holt, spokesperson for North Devon+ said that after price, the range of things to do was the main deciding factor when people look for a holiday destination.

She said: “Having an attraction that combines lifestyle sports with weatherproof facilities makes for a more compelling destination for holidaymakers, which in turn boosts the local economy.”

And with tourism levels across Devon estimated to have fallen by 20 per cent this year due to the wet start to the summer season, the boost couldn’t come at a better time, explained Laura.

“The North Devon tourism industry has been hit by a double dip recession, the threat of rising fuel prices and a drop in European holiday makers as a result of the Eurozone crisis. Add to this worst weather we’ve experienced for years, and 2012 is a proving to be tough for many businesses.

“The Golden Coast Holiday Village Sports Complex is a fantastic addition to the North Devon stable of all weather attractions.”

Residents with an ‘EX’ postal code can apply for a season pass to use the new facilities, offering a 20 per cent discount off activities at the complex. For information, telephone 01271 872000.

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