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August 25, 2014

Go Ape complex opening in NMB

Thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush soon will have a new option with Go Ape Treetop Adventures set to open Saturday at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex.

The course includes five zip lines, including one that crosses a lake and is 900 feet long, several rope ladders, and two Tarzan swings. It spans six acres and takes about two to three hours to complete.

“I really enjoyed myself,” North Myrtle Beach city manager Mike Mahaney said Monday after city officials and media were invited to a test run of the new attraction. “I’ll definitely come back, probably with my family. I think it’s a great value for the money – and I think it’s something different. It’s something that the Grand Strand doesn’t have.”

This is the seventh ropes course for Go Ape, with locations across the Northeast and Midwest. Similar adventure attractions in the area include the ziplines that can be found at Adrenaline Adventures in downtown Myrtle Beach and at WonderWorks at Broadway at the Beach

“When we pick a location we look for things to build ‘wow’ into the course to make it exciting,” owner and business development director Chris Swallow said. “North Myrtle Beach contacted us to see if we’d be interested in coming here. And when we saw the plan for the complex we saw that it was an amazing location for a course.”

City spokesman Pat Dowling said the city approached Go Ape because it was a perfect fit for the park’s ample amount of trees.

“The trees and the population,” he said. “And it gets people outdoors and really is good for many age groups.”

Swallow said they allow children as young as 10 to participate – as long as they are at least 4-feet-7-inches tall – and they’ve had an 84-year-old woman go through the course with her grandchildren.

Adults also cannot weigh more than 285 pounds, Swallow said. He said the company plans to construct a Treetop Junior course for children ages 4 to 12 and at least 3-feet-3-inches tall.

“It’s inclusive for the people that are adventurous as well as people that are testing their limits,” he said.

Plus, it’s a good workout, Mahaney said.

“I run and I lift weights,” he said. “But you’re using different muscles.”

Swallow said he anticipates the attraction to be open year-round, or as long as the weather allows it.

“But we encourage people to book online ahead of time,” he said.

Mahaney said he hopes the city is able to to continue adding attractions that aren’t found anywhere else on the Grand Strand.

“You can find ziplines in the area, but the treetop experience is definitely unique in this area,” Dowling said.

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