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Aerial adventure park planned for Nags Head soundfront

By  on October 14, 2013


Treetops Adventure Park in Asheville. (

A Nags Head resident has submitted plans to build an outdoor adventure park that would feature challenging rope courses and zip lines ranging from 10 to 50 feet in the air.

If approved, the park is slated for 2 acres west of the Dairy Queen at Milepost 16 in Nags Head.

First Flight Adventure Park would be geared toward all ages and designed to challenge the body and mind with varying difficulties of obstacle courses.

Bradley Carey, foreman of Challenge Design Innovations Inc., said he hopes to have the park up and running by the 2014 season. Town commissioners have approved a zoning text amendment to allow the park in the area along the Roanoke Sound. The next step for Carey would be to gain site plan approval.

The Planning Board will review the site plan at its Oct. 15 meeting, said Nags Head Planning Director Elizabeth Teague. Commissioners will then hold a public hearing Nov. 6.

The park would be located in the town’s commercial-outdoor recreation overlay district near other recreational venues, including the Outer Banks Event Site, the amusement park at Full Throttle Speedway and a handful of miniature golf courses and other amusements.

Challenge Design Innovations Inc. has built similar parks in Asheville, N.C. and Ohio and is currently working on one for the Greensboro Science Center and one in Hilton Head, S.C.

The plan includes two 60-foot towers and about 60 rope or zip line elements, Carey said. Three courses would range from easy to hard and be named after a native animal of the Outer Banks.

Carey said the park would be open only during daylight hours in its initial season, and participants could pay for two-hour blocks to explore the challenges. He estimated that it could cost between $40 and $50 per block, less for a child.

The park would generate 12 seasonal jobs and eight full-time positions.

According to the company’s mission statement, it strives to provide “innovative challenging, and supportive environments, which push personal boundaries, inspire self-discovery, and build healthy relationships.”

Carey said the adventure park plans to rent retail space adjacent to Dairy Queen where it can sell merchandise and store equipment. The park is proposing to use parking already available at the site.

“This plan has a low environmental impact to build and to operate,” said Carey, who called the proposed park an adventure-based, educational activity. He said he hopes to attract tourists during the peak season and community, school and church groups for a discounted rate during the off-season.

“The aerial adventure park will provide a series of opportunities for growth, creativity and problem-solving in a family-oriented environment,” the application for a text amendment read.

The park, which would be built to sustain 120 mph winds, could be constructed over wetlands. It would be an Outer Banks-themed course where participants will learn about animal and plant life on the barrier islands along the course.

Teague said that under the new text amendment, the towers at the park could not exceed 60 feet, the same height as the Ferris wheel that debuted this summer at Full Throttle Speedway.

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