Our Site Visit to Afan Valley Adventure Resort
Above Ben and James take photographs of the stunning scenery
Last Thursday and Friday, I attended a site visit to Afan Valley Adventure Resort in Wales. This was hosted by Ben Dews and James McKelvie – the developers of the resort.
Investor Meetup – Thursday Late Afternoon
We initially met up with Ben and James on Thursday afternoon along with prospective investors in the cosy lounge of the Celtic Manor Resort. The atmosphere was really great – relaxed and sociable!
Ben took us through the history of NPD, as well as sharing about his former career as a director of a music studio business and his days as head of the studio union at university.
Ben had an informal chat with our guests and discussed the plans for the resort and the journey currently taking place to create the finished product.
What really worked was everyone was finally able to put a face to the name to the developers – they were no longer just a company online. Whilst sipping on their drinks, Ben reviewed with them the investment opportunities for the luxury lodges at Afan Valley and the rooms in the 5 star hotel at Treetops Hotel & Spa.
The meet up with Ben and James gave our guests that added layer of confidence that you just wouldn’t get on a phone call or an email.
Site Visit to Afan Valley Adventure Resort (Friday Morning)
At 9am Friday morning we all set off for a site visit to Afan Valley. The views were absolutely spectacular – and everyone could see that the topography was perfect for the resort.
Ben and James led us through each of the different zones in the resort (Forest, Alpine, Trails and Xtreme) and we were thrilled to see the different landscapes future visitors would enjoy. We also had a chance to see where the Central Zone of the resort would be, as well as the site for the Treetops Hotel.
Whilst on site everyone asked more questions about where the different zones would be, the location of the lodges, the entrance, where will the Zip Wire be located, and Ben really helped them to visualise the resort when it will be complete. Everyone was excited to hear that Jaguar Land Rover would have its vehicles on the resort for Off Road.
The feedback was amazing. Clients were thrilled to be able to see Afan Valley for themselves – it really brought the opportunity and the resort itself alive for them. Ben described this as ‘the first of its kind in the world’.
He noted that Center Parcs has consistently achieved 96% occupancies since its launch in the late 1980s. Afan have projected at 65% occupancy in year 1, but expect 90%. Everyone felt inspired and excited whilst on site, imagining themselves at the completed resort – and they left feeling satisfied that all their questions had been answered fully answered. Ben referred to it as ‘the next big step after Center Parcs’.
From Conception to Creation
The idea for Afan Valley Adventure Resort originally came from Gavin Woodhouse, Chairman. The UK already has adventure parks/venues with activities including zip wire, off road mountain biking, white water rafting… but not one which incorporated all of these activities into one resort. In this way, Afan Valley will be the first of its kind.
In the meantime, Peter Moore, former CEO of Center Parcs, had a similar idea – but could not find the perfect piece of land in which to build it on.
After Peter and Gavin were introduced to each other, they found the site of Port Talbot, Wales. This was the ideal setting for Afan Valley and so the concept of an indoor/outdoor adventure resort was born. After gaining support from the Welsh government, the plans were finally put into practice.
The terrain was so varied and would be a fantastic spot for the creation of an adventure resort. It would provide a huge economic boost to the town, and create up to 1,200 jobs for locals.
Links to further information about Afan Valley and the Treetops Hotel and Spa can be found below on our website.
We are planning our next site visit to Afan Valley, so to register your interest in attending, contact us now: email@example.com, or give us a call on 44 (0)20 7624 5555.
We’d love to chat!