Regional

Blue Mountain fun

Zipline course added to BM Tours' range of activities

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 14, 2019

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Operations at Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours (BMTours) in Portland have expanded to include zipline activities, Manager Rohan McLeod has revealed.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East last Wednesday, McLeod described the new addition as “unique and exciting”.

Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours is a sustainable community-based tourism initiative which began in 1991.

“Our zipline is 1,000 feet long and it is the longest continuous zip line in Jamaica. All the others go from one landing to the next but ours is just one straight thing across,” McLeod stated.

He boasted, too, that it is the highest zipline in Jamaica, primarily because of geography and height above ground.

Activities are expected to begin before the next winter tourist season Observer North & East was told.

“It will be our newest attraction to the Blue Mountain. We wanted to add a difference because we have been doing the bicycle tours for [almost] 30 years and so we decided to add zipline to our repertoire to make things more exciting. We're also looking at, for the future, a rock climbing wall to make it one big, fun thing in the Blue Mountains,” he shared.

While locally, the business enjoys “tremendous” support, McLeod noted that the company's clientele is mostly made up of tourists from the United States, with a few coming in from Europe and Canada.

“Based on the feedback we've been getting I think our zipline business is going to go very, very far. It's going to be huge. Every week we've been getting calls from locals and persons from overseas, even on our Facebook page, persons contacting us asking how soon because they are eager to come. Persons are really geared up and ready to go,” McLeod stressed.

The custom-designed zipline, surrounded by unspoilt mountain environment, is in keeping with the company's eco-awareness.

Each course offers panoramic views of mist-covered peaks and pristine, emerald valleys, the manager promised.

While not disclosing the figure for the heavy expansion, McLeod noted that it was a “tidy sum”.

That includes the cost to train team members, as well as acquiring international certification.

“Myself and the rest of the team have been suitably trained. We went through 16 weeks of training under the guidance of a team from Costa Rica and got our international certification. The safety gear that we use is very expensive, with one single set costing almost US$1,000. One of those safety gears can hold weight of up to 600 pounds.

“We also do tandem ziplining, where if someone comes and they are a little bit nervous one of our certified guides will be able to take the person across,” said McLeod.

The end of the course is topped off with a trek to a waterfall within close proximity.


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