Star Outdoors in Kenmare is seeing a surge in interest with bookings up more than 50% on previous years, a sign that is giving its owners “huge hope”.
They have spent lockdown redesigning and extending the purpose built centre which specialises in kayaking, paintball, splat ball, archery and a water park as well as cruise trips of stunning Kenmare Bay in preparation for a safe and successful reopening.
Managing Director of Star Outdoors, Daniel McCarthy, says he is ‘optimistic’ that this Summer will be one of their busiest ever once they are able to resume operations as he is seeing a surge of bookings coming in from all over the country, adding that interest in his centre has never been as high.
“Given the disaster that last year was for the hospitality sector we all desperately need a good 2021 and the signs are fantastic. Like a lot of businesses’ in the hospitality sector we were shut down for most of 2020, being open to the public for just 8 weeks out of a possible 52. Schools tours, American tour buses, hen’s, stags, corporate groups, summer camps were all cancelled last year with a few bad spells of weather ruling out another few days of an already short season for the company. It was tough going I can tell you”.
“However we are really hopeful for a massively successful comeback this Summer”.
“If we could get open for early summer we would be expecting a good season. We have set up a new booking system on our website Staroutdoors.ie to better help us judge how busy the 2021 season will be. Whilst the industry norm is to receive booking a few days in advance we have already had a flood of bookings coming in 4, 5 or even 6 months in advance. People are planning ahead this Summer as last year many people experienced Self caterings, restaurants and activity centres being sold out and they definitely don’t want to be caught out this year”.
Reflecting on the work they have undertaken to throw open their gates in the knowledge that all precautions have been taken to ensure safety and compliance, Daniel says
“Last year was a big shock to everyone in our sector so we needed to scale things back to give us an opportunity to put all the proper safety procedures in place. We have spent months rejigging space here to allow for maximum comfort and security for our guests. On foot of that we were able to make the decision in Star Outdoors to open up more of our activities this year and allow additional groups participate; we have over 40 acres of space so it offers great freedom for visitors. There is massive interest in paint ball, splat ball and archery, people are dying for a bit of craic”.
“We will also be taking bookings for Hen and Stag groups, which we weren’t last year. We have had many enquires in this front due to mass cancellation of Weddings over the past 12 plus months”.
“We have a natural backdrop which is literally magnificent and acres of space so we are really tapping into the very particular needs of people at this time. People want space and the outdoor life; the majestic wildness and ruggedness of Kenmare offers up so many options for people to enjoy a fabulous holiday . Kerry is a treasure trove of options for tourists and I firmly believe it will be the top destination this year”.
He also revealed that they are in the middle of finalising plans to unveil a long planned for addition to Star Outdoors, a water park which will be one of Ireland’s largest.
“Yes, we’re putting the finishing touches to what has been a long cherished dream for us here at Star Outdoors; watch this space!”.