Walltopia Caves: Underutilized Spaces Become Revenue Streams
From Watersport to Adventure Center:
The Dunmore Adventure Story
Dunmore Adventure, Ireland, started as a watersports centre in 1993, offering windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and snorkelling to holiday makers and schools in the area. Early on the need for a broаder, weather proof range of activities occurred as a way to overcome the seasonal nature of the business. One such activity is the center’s artificial caving system, designed and produced by Walltopia back in 2014.
The cave was built into a part of Dunmore Adventure core building that was empty. With the cave it was successfully turned into a revenue stream for the park.
The Dunmore Adventure Cave is used in many ways:
- For individual visitors – families and groups of friends
- For school tours – they do a quick exploration session, where the children are brought to the briefing chamber, and then let exploring in groups. As the caving system is in a loop, there is no fear of losing anyone
- For Stags and Hens parties they have a challenge in the cave where guests have to find stars to win a prize
- For team building events where tackling the challenge as a team is a perfect exercise
- This year, the center also launched an escape game of the cave that’s been very successful for all of the above target groups
In 2020 the center was awarded Best Small Business in Ireland as a recognition of their great service and ability to always up their game and add new challenges.
Edutainment at its best
Dunmore Adventure’s cave was among the first in Walltopia’s portfolio. Ever since, Walltopia caves have risen in popularity. There are two main reasons for that trend – caves offer a unique mix of fun and education.
The rock realistic look of caves is achieved through the use of molds taken by real rocks and is produced from resistant glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP). Among the favourite authentic cave features are stalactites and stalagmites, fossils, lava and sumps.
Tours usually start with the operator’s briefing and then, depending on the length and complexity of the cave, can continue as a guided or not-guided tour. The guided tour brings in added value for parents and educational institutions as it gives kids both the adrenaline of the walk and helps them acquire new knowledge. Kids crawl through narrow tunnels with a variety of routes, squeeze through tiny holes and pass different obstacles that challenge them physically, just like in a real cave.
The theming in the cave was the best and most realistic from any companies that we tendered, we even have an LED lava entrance which is always a big hit with everyone! - shares Karen Harris, Owner at Dunmore Adventure, on their choice of Walltopia. “The cave is very easy to operate, we have safety hatches in the event that someone becomes claustrophobic and needs to get out quickly, although we have never had to use them for that purpose - just for maintenance. - continues Karen.
Inside the Cave
During a cave visit, kids are treated like little explorers and are given helmets, headlamps, knee and elbow protectors, as well as torches. They will are not only able to see and touch what a real cave is like, but also enjoy the sound and special lighting effects too.
Walltopia’s extensive knowledge with rock-realistic climbing walls made of GFRP, help the company develop its artificial caves to a level no other competitor can meet. Clients may choose through standard caves or go for a custom design. All caves come with a number of safety measures – fire resistant material, emergency exits throughout the tunnels, lights, ventilation system.