2 seperate "Theme Park" style attractions for Dundalk and Drogheda

Home Forums Ireland 2 seperate "Theme Park" style attractions for Dundalk and Drogheda

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    • #709029

      And the local rivalry takes it to the next level……….


      Dundalk is being lined up for one of the biggest entertainment, leisure and tourism projects this country has seen, and one which will rival the best in the world.

      It will be based on an American concept, stretch to two million square feet, and will involve a real snow centre, capable of accommodating skiing, an entertainment complex, an auditorium large enough to stage major concerts, a resort hotel and an outlet shopping mall with specialist shopping.

      The location for this exciting development is the Newry Road site which was earmarked for the Ballymac Retail Centre and which is not now going ahead.

      The developers of that project, Coverfield Developments Ltd. and IGN Real Estate Developments Ltd. announced last week that they had withdrawn from its plans to develop the Ballymac Outlet Centre citing “planning delays” as hampering the project.

      The company added that they were “in advanced negotiations” to sell the 13 hectacre site.

      It is understood that Finnabair Estates Ltd, the developers of Dundalk Retail Park on the inner-relief road, have agreed to purchase the site for a sum reported to be in the region of €16.5m.

      In addition they are at an advanced stage in negotiations for the purchase of an additional 24 acres located close to the site on which the Ballymac Retail Park was planned. Part of the land is on the opposite side of the road running from the Dundalk Stadium.

      Finnabair Estates Ltd. are refusing to comment on their purchase until negotiations are complete, but it is understood that they have held preliminary talks with State agencies such as Bord Failte to outline their plans and to comply with the Bord’s view that “Dundalk really needs a big destination attraction”.

      The concept being looked at is an American design which is highly successful and involves combining entertainment, leisure, and retail on the one site. Currently one such facility is being provided in Glasgow close to a new IKEA store which will be 500,000 sq. feet in size and a much larger one is being built in Madrid extending to 4 million square feet.

      The Dundalk facility would, it is envisaged, extend to 2 million square feet.

      The new proposal would soften the blow for the town at the loss of the Ballymac Retail Outlet Centre which had promised to deliver 1,000 jobs and had the potential to attract 2 million visitors a year to the town.

      IGN one of the biggest investment companies in the world were funding the €60m. project but they withdrew because they were “embarrassed” by the legal and planning wrangling that stretched to two and a half years from April 2004 when the original planning permission was granted by Dundalk Town Council to September, 2006 when the High Court set the date on which the developers could enter the site to start work.

      The delays also allowed a similar Retail Factory Outlet in Banbridge to secure the vital edge in getting the work started and attracting clients. The Banbridge Outlet is well under way and expected to open next year.

      It is understood however that IGN “won’t be leaving Dundalk in the lurch” and may become involved in the new project which will see a shopping mall with some specialist shopping, but not “town centre shopping”.

      An announcement on the entire project is expected before Christmas when negotiations are completed for the purchase of all the land required.


      A HUGE fantasy themed water park and entertainment centre is set to bring a massive boost to Drogheda’s tourism industry.

      The Atlantis theme park, built by the promoters of Bettystown Funtasia, will bring over quarter of a million visitors a year to the town, and will be Ireland’s biggest.

      Theme park designers from Europe, Canada and the United States are transforming the former Bissell factory on the Donore Road industrial estate into Atlantis.

      Taking its inspiration from the legends of Atlantis, the ancient Egyptians and the gardens of Babylon, the entertainment centre is due to open in May 2007.

      It will house Europe’s second largest children’s play area, an aerial adventure assault course, indoor rock climbing, themed restaurants and a 14 lane bowling alley along with the multi storey water park.

      ‘There will be nothing like it in Europe,’ said Managing Director Bernard McCormick.

      Bernard and his wife Tara are the directors of Bettystown’s Funtasia.

      Two years in the planning they say their latest venture ‘will be something spectacular.’

      Work on the 200,000 sq foot building has been under way since last September.

      The promoters say the location on the Donore road giving them easy access to the M1 motorway, ‘is ideal.’

      They intend marketing the business to attract visitors from a 150 mile radius of Drogheda from Belfast to Wicklow.

      Inspired by Disney, Las Vegas and the world’s leading theme parks, the striking imaginative decor alone planned for the new entertainment centre, will make it a landmark tourist attraction all over Ireland and abroad.

      Plans include an ancient Egyptian-themed bowling alley, a secret room of the Sphinx foyer and a multi-level Atlantis water park incorporating the story of Plato, the sea god Neptune and the pillars of Hercules among its themes.

      The restaurant takes its inspiration from the dragon legends of the Indian Rana empire of 15,000 BC. Time travel and virtual reality are the futuristic visions planned for the upper levels of the entertainment centre.

      The promoters say while Funtasia has been built into a national brand they are ‘conscious of not conflicting with our original business,’

      ‘We are not building another Funtasia. What we are offering will be more sports orientated particularly the aerial assault course, diving facilities, and rock climbing walls.

      Atlantis will be visually spectacular. It will be a tourist attraction that offers corporate and family entertainment in a unique setting,’ said Mr McCormick.

    • #786019
    • #786020

      Yes Vega city was a stretch alright, they’d barely get that to take off on the continent, let alone here. Why not Reykjavik?

      At least the Dundalk proposal is on a much more viable scale. I don’t know about the water park (Drogheda), but Ireland is in desperate need of a decent sized indoor venue seen as the Point is a terrible venue (especially compared to Odyssey). Dundalk is ideally situated between Belfast and Dublin and would be a great site for a small indoor stadium sized venue.

      When you go abroad, you realize how crap our facilities are for such a “developed” nation that is supposed to have such high standards. American high schools have better facilities than FAI teams for goodness sake!

    • #786021

      “Coverfield Developments Ltd”

      At least they’re honest about it.

    • #786022

      @annagassan wrote:

      When you go abroad, you realize how crap our facilities are for such a “developed” nation that is supposed to have such high standards. American high schools have better facilities than FAI teams for goodness sake!

      Spot on there….Dundalk’s Oriel Park is a pretty desolate ‘stadium’, yet is probably one of the better ones in the country.

    • #786023

      Well at least they are working on the Drogheda one – the Dundalk plan has been bandied about for a few years now, that said the new Drogheda United Stadium is moving site as well which makes me wonder if it’ll ever be seen.

      I thought that Dundalk already had a theme park in the shape of Cinderella’s castle? Oh hold on that’s the Marshes shopping centre:)

    • #786024

      These two centres of the north east in Ireland just amaze me with the amount of development ongoing. Between these two mega-projects and everything else, these places are going to be bigger than Limerick and Galway in another couple of years.

    • #786025

      Im still surprised Ireland hasnt got a medium sized theme park, say a smaller version of Alton Towers.

      (Noone mention Perks in Youghal, thats a glorified funfair 😀 )

    • #786026

      smaller then planned atlantis theme funtasia water park has opened apparently




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