Rockland Estate eyes December for opening

CUL DE SAC–Rockland Estate eco-park has had to revise its opening date due to the impact of monster Hurricane Irma on September 6. The park, the country’s newest tour, is now scheduled to welcome visitors in December, about a month later than it was originally to get started.

Lift One on Soualiga Sky Explorer was back in action as of September 29. “This is our first major milestone in the repair process, which provides access to the essential Lift Two and upper deck for repairs,” Rainforest Adventures (RFA) officials told The Daily Herald.
The cable on the Lift Two bull-wheel was replaced on October 3, the first step in repairs to this crucial link to the Upper Deck.
The eco-park will open with two signature attractions – the Flying Dutchman and the Soualiga Sky Explorer – plus the Emilio Wilson Museum and Emilio’s Restaurant. Additional attractions, including the Sentry Hill Zip Line and the Schooner Ride will be under construction with openings to follow in early 2018.
Rockland Estate General Manager Shaydar Edelmann said, “The people of St. Maarten have come together with strength to restore and rebuild after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. St. Maarten is overcoming every challenge and we will do our utmost to help heal our community, re-establish the tourism product and kick-start the recovery of our Friendly Island.”
The Upper Deck, a series of platforms encircling the top of Sentry Hill, sustained minimal damage with repairs of railings and staircases underway.
Base area and buildings suffered only superficial damage and have been restored to their previous condition, and final site work is underway.
Initial preparations have just begun on the Sentry Hill Zipline and construction is now slated to continue with a targeted opening in early January.
The Schooner Ride, a unique hillside inner tube ride, cannot be salvaged and will be redesigned and rebuilt with a targeted opening of February.
The Rainforest Adventures Replanting Programme has begun and includes the removal of invasive species and planting endemic species of mahogany and flamboyant trees.

Source: The Daily Herald