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VIDEO: Former Wild West park tamed to create luxury resort

By WMNlynbarton  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

By Lyn Barton, WMN reporter, Twitter: @BartonLyn

  • An image of what the new resort will look like

  • The Spirit of the West

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The wagon train has long since departed from a former Wild West theme park which recreated a world of gunslingers, cowboys and sheriffs just outside Padstow.

But the site of the Spirit of the West theme park - a decaying clapperboard village strewn with tumbleweeds - is now to have a brighter future.

Thanks to a £50million investment by Retallack Resort and Spa, it is to be transformed into a luxury state-of-the-art holiday spot.

Jason Keyter, resort director, said the Spirit of the West had long since had its High Noon and it was time to breathe fresh life into the area.

“The Spirit of the West theme park closed in 2009 and was a fantastic attraction in its day,” he said.

“The buildings are now structurally unsound and it is an unsafe area.

“The plans we have will provide new investment into the local area and the Cornish economy.

“We are very excited to be able to start a new chapter in the life of this site.”

Cornwall Council has granted planning consent to develop the new centre, which will feature an indoor leisure village, tourism training academy and 325 luxury rental properties.

Mr Keyter said it was great news.

“We are thrilled to have been granted planning permission by Cornwall Council,” he said.

“With planning consent secured this allows us to move forward in our detailed discussions with partners on finalising the funding package for the development.

“It promises to be a market leader, which will not only provide much needed employment and skills training to local people, but also shows that people are investing in Cornwall and its fantastic tourism industry.”

Mr Keyter said the proposed academy could help boost Cornwall’s historically low wages by raising standards.

“It is said that wages in Cornwall are 25 per cent below the rest of the region,”

“If we can get this development off the ground, then we will be able to play a part in helping to combat this by raising standards and skills, providing people with the relevant qualifications and actual work experience.”

The plans include an academy to train budding tourism professionals in all facets of the self-catering tourist industry, in which Cornwall leads the way in the UK.

The proposed training facilities will be the best in the South West and will develop young talent looking for a career in tourism.

The Retallack Resort has already proven itself as a contributor to Cornwall’s tourism industry with a strong portfolio of over 100 five star self-catering properties.

Its current leisure facilities include a health club, spa, kids club and the UK’s first FlowRider simulated wave surface surfing wave.

Retallack also opened its newest restaurant, The Green Room, in February this year with MasterChef winner James Nathan as the executive chef.

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