Press release -
Center Parcs Elveden Forest celebrating 25 successful years
4th August is a very special date for Center Parcs Elveden Forest, it marks twenty five years since the village opened to guests for the first time.
As the second of the Center Parcs villages to be built in the UK, Elveden Forest became an instant hit with guests and has become one of the most popular short break destinations in the UK.
Since it opened in 1989, Elveden Forest has welcomed over 10 million guests. During that period;
- Bikes from the Cycle Centre have travelled 22 million miles, which is the same as 899 times around the Earth
- 2 million pancakes have been flipped in The Pancake House
- 185 million skittles have been knocked down in the bowling lanes
- Families have hit 4 million golf balls on the Adventure Golf course
In the 25 years Elveden Forest has been open, the forest has also been transformed from a commercial woodland with very little ecological value to a thriving forest with a wide variety of plants and animals. Center Parcs has successfully demonstrated how a commercial business can work with the environment and, as a result, Elveden Forest has become a biodiversity hot spot with regular sightings of muntjac deer, reptiles, birds, squirrels, insects and even a rare type of moth.
Elveden Forest is also an area of significant historical interest. The British Museum and Time Team held an archaeological dig at the site uncovering rare evidence of human activity that dated back 400,000 years.
Having suffered a fire in 2002, Elveden Forest was temporarily closed. Just 14 months later, after a £60m rebuild, Elveden Forest opened the doors again and continued to delight families who have come to visit since.
As one of the largest tourist destinations in Suffolk, Center Parcs Elveden Forest has attracted thousands of families to the area as one of the UK’s favourite short break destinations. Elveden Forest currently employs 1,400 staff, the majority of whom live in the local areas of Brandon and Thetford and 18 of whom have been working there since Day 1.
Over the last 25 years, Elveden Forest has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative sports and activities. In November 2008, Elveden Forest was the first of the Center Parcs villages to open the Water Cable Ski and, in 2012, a unique water ride, Tropical Cyclone, was opened.
Elveden Forest’s General Manager James Barrett praised the staff for making it an enjoyable place to be: “We are proud to have offered excellent service over the past 25 years and at this exciting milestone it is a real joy to be a part of the Elveden Forest team”.
Notes to Editors
- Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
- As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
- Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
- The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
- This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
- Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
- Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row