High-flying Highland adventure firm to launch new night-time attraction
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A popular Highland outdoor adventure provider is bucking the trend and flying high despite the coronavirus pandemic.
G2 Outdoor is creating new jobs with the highly anticipated launch of its newest addition – night-time zip-wiring – and also adding a small catering operation at its course on Alvie Estate in Aviemore.
Company director Mike Gale said: "The night-time zip wiring seemed like a no-brainer. We had thought about it years back but we could not deliver it on the main big course at that time as the electricity source was too far away and we tried solar-power but it did not work.
"But the zip adventure course which opened two years ago and is a bit smaller means that we have been able to progress it. We installed lights last year as a trial to see what some of our customers thought and they were blown away by the experience.
"So we have gone full-on this year and will be launching this on October 25 after the clocks go back by an hour.
"It is zip trek meets the enchanted forest. It is stunning.
"When people come off it, they are saying 'Oh, my goodness me'.
"It is really magical. Every tree on the adventure course is lit up. The gorge below has a cascade of waterfalls and these are all lit up too."
Mr Gale said there had already been a tremendous response to their first posts on social media on the new night time adventure activity for the strath and the demand had been excellent.
"We have constantly been adding more slots to keep up with the interest," he said.
Operating hours have, of course, been extended with daytime zip-wiring from 9am to 5pm and currently bookings being taken for trips on the hour in the evenings with parties limited to a maximum of eight for Covid-19 reasons rather than the usual 12 to help to maintain social distancing.
Staff numbers have been increased from 16 to 20 to help lay on the new offering along with the recently added Snack Shack at the site.
Mr Gale said: "We will probably soon start operating day time and night time shifts so it has been awesome."
On the new catering facility, Mr Gale said: "We have so many people on site now - I think that last year we had in the region of 20,000 visitors – but we had no food and drink facilities. The emphasis is very much on snacks and hot drinks.
"We are putting the infrastructure in place as we grow as a business."
The original zip-wire course which opened in 2011 now has 14 wires and the adventure course has 17 shorter wires.
The plan is to have both courses eventually finish at a 60ft fire tower at the base.