Merlin Entertainment Unveils The Bear Grylls Adventure

Merlin Entertainment Unveils The Bear Grylls Adventure

 First attraction in partnership with world-famous adventurer to open at Birmingham NEC in 2018
6 November 2017

Merlin Entertainments, one of the world’s leading visitor attraction operators, provides more detail of its new partnership with world-famous survival expert, international TV host and bestselling author Bear Grylls to create a new attraction targeted at the rapidly growing market for adventure-based activities.

The Bear Grylls Adventure is set to open its doors in 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.

Bear Grylls is one of the most recognised and celebrated adventurers in the world with global media distribution in over 180 countries, reaching an estimated 1.2 billion people.

The attraction, which will cost approximately £20 million to build, will take inspiration from Bear’s real-life adventures across mountains, deserts and jungles around the world and bring them all under one roof. Thrill-seekers will be able to choose challenges from five activities, including diving, rock climbing, iFLY (indoor skydiving) and the highest free-roam high ropes in Europe. Entry to Basecamp, included in the ticket price, will allow customers to hone their adventurer skills through an assault course, skill-based shooting, a break-out group challenge and the chance to face their fears and conquer them in the phobia zone. Prices and activity time will vary for different activities with Basecamp entry tickets starting at £25.

Construction of the 8,000 square metre attraction is already well underway at the NEC, Birmingham; a world-class facility with strong infrastructure and ideally located for visitors from around the UK. Under the terms of the deal with Bear Grylls Ventures and Mantis Media, the entity which holds the master license for the attraction, the partnership grants Merlin global exclusivity of the concept until 2026, with an extension on further rollout of attractions.

For use of the brand, Merlin will pay Bear Grylls Ventures and Mantis Media a revenue-based royalty.

The launch of this new concept will see Merlin further diversify its portfolio of iconic brands, extending its reach in to new and rapidly growing market segments, whilst leveraging strong Intellectual Property partnerships. The Bear Grylls Adventure attractions will support Merlin’s Midway roll out pipeline, and Merlin is currently exploring opportunities outside of Europe for its second site.  

Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said:
The Bear Grylls Adventure is a one-of-a-kind attraction – bringing together Bear, one of the most celebrated and recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure, and Merlin’s expertise in creating fantastic, memorable experiences for guests and families across the world. In a project that has taken nearly two years in the creation, Bear has been central to each step of the attraction’s development – from the initial concept, to providing expertise and insight into the challenges.

The market for adventure-based activities has incredible potential. Our research shows that nine out of ten young adults are actively seeking adventure and challenge experiences, and this trend is set to continue. We already have plans to expand the concept to other geographies, including the US and China, where Bear has a similarly strong following.”

Bear Grylls commented:
“It has been an unbelievable journey to work with Merlin Entertainments to bring so many iconic, one-of-a-kind adventures, all together under one roof. This is a totally unique way to experience the adrenaline and thrill of skydiving, climbing, diving, and so much more. And all the time, testing our resolve and spirit to never give up and to go the extra mile. Get ready for the adventure of your life!”

Rupert Tate, Chief Executive of Bear Grylls Ventures, said:
“As a company, we want people to go out there and find their adventures, and this new Attraction will do exactly that. We are proud to partner with the world class team at Merlin Entertainments, and we know The Bear Grylls Adventure will allow many more people to experience some of the challenges, exhilaration and fun Bear has had in all his adventures, all in one location.”

Paul Gardiner, MD, Mantis Media, commented:
“Mantis Media works closely with Bear and Bear Grylls Ventures to develop world class location based entertainment sites. Mantis Media developed The Bear Grylls Adventure concept with Merlin Entertainments alongside Bear and Bear Grylls Ventures, and in true Merlin style the ideas have become what we believe is going to be a truly amazing, first of its kind experience.
“We’re so thrilled to be working together with Merlin Entertainments on this exciting venture with Bear and Bear Grylls Ventures. Let the adventure begin!”

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