Friday, March 1, 2024

Innovative Leisure adds Europe’s tallest Sky Trail high ropes course to Westfield, Merry Hill shopping centre (UK)

Interactive family attractions specialist Innovative Leisure announces the installation of “Europe’s tallest Sky Trail” high ropes course in Paragon Entertainment’s Quest, at Westfield, Merry Hill in the West Midlands.

The four pole, custom-built Sky Trail Explorer course is the latest of many completed by the company during 2012 and has been expertly designed to fit into a very specific space – an atrium at the venue which it now completely fills as it stretches up to a height of 17m. and spreads across 8sq.m. Indeed, a special crane, used on the recently opened Shard building in London, was brought in to assist with the installation, due to the unique nature of the site.

Designed in just six weeks and manufactured in eight, the new attraction is operated under the Quest Family Entertainment and Adventure banner, a relatively new visitor attraction brand which is part of the UK-based Paragon Entertainment Group of companies. Quest also operates a variety of other family orientated attractions in the UK and overseas.

The new high ropes course stretches up over four levels, providing users with the chance to experience a total of 39 challenging elements which increase in difficulty the higher they go – and include the heart-pounding walk the plank feature over a sheer drop! Connected via full body harnesses to Innovative Leisure’s ‘silent puck’ continuous belay system, the attraction offers an exciting, ‘dangerous yet safe’ experience with the height of the top level providing a significant challenge to even the most adventurous.

The attraction is suitable for both children and adults, with a minimum height restriction of 1m for youngsters accompanied by adults or 1.3m if unaccompanied. Maximum capacity is 40 users at any one time.

Commenting on the new course at Quest, Paragon Entertainment’s Tim Rusby said: “The high ropes course provided by Innovative Leisure is a fantastic centrepiece for our first Quest Family Entertainment Centre. Our guests’ response has been amazing. They simply love it. The response from passers-by has been a very simple and unequivocal…WOW!

“Innovative Leisure and the manufacturing team at RCI headquarters have been a joy to work with and incredibly patient as we had to work through many custom designs before arriving at a solution that met the physical, operational and commercial demands of our own development brief. Phil and his team rose to a remarkable technical challenge in fitting a four level system into a high footfall atrium inside a shopping mall.

“Most importantly, safety has been at the fore in all the processes. We had to work closely with mall owners Westfield, local authorities, building control, fire officers and NAFLIC inspectors to deliver best in class design, build, training and operation. Innovative Leisure were exemplary in this, holding our hand at every stage and ensuring we had a final product and guest experience that was second-to-none.”

At Innovative Leisure, MD Phil Pickersgill said: “We are absolutely delighted with the installation of the high ropes course at Merry Hill. It fits into the allocated space exactly and looks fantastic from all angles. It will provide patrons with a genuinely thrilling experience, especially when they are on the top level looking down, and gives the venue a major attraction that I’m sure will become a real talking point among visitors.”

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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