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Center Parcs Elveden Forest celebrates 30 years

Building work under way inside the sub-tropical paradise before it opeened in 1989  Picture: Submitted

Building work under way inside the sub-tropical paradise before it opeened in 1989 Picture: Submitted

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A family holiday resort is celebrating its 30th birthday.

Inside the subtropical paradise today  Picture: SubmittedInside the subtropical paradise today Picture: Submitted

Center Parcs at Elveden Forest, in Suffolk, welcomed its first guests on August 4, 1989.

Set in 400 acres of woodland, it was the second Center Parcs village to open in the UK.

The centre, which had 489,107 visitors stay for short breaks last year, employs 1,812 members of staff, 73pc living within 15 miles.

Nicky Richardson, general manager of the site, said: "I'm so proud that Center Parcs Elveden Forest has been delivering memorable short breaks to families for 30 years now.

Nicky Richardson, general manager at Center Parcs Elveden Forest   Picture: SubmittedNicky Richardson, general manager at Center Parcs Elveden Forest Picture: Submitted

"We have been lucky enough to be the first village to receive some of Center Parcs' new offerings over the years, like spa suites and the tropical cyclone water ride, meaning we've always had new things for repeat guests to try, which is really important.

"I want to thank all the Elveden Forest team for their continued hard work and commitment to delivering excellent service to all of our guests, come rain or shine, 365 days a year. Sixteen colleagues are reaching 30 years' service this year, which is an incredible achievement. Our team are what really makes the Center Parcs Elveden Forest experience and I look forward to celebrating this milestone with them."

Sam Ashford-Thomas, who works as a Spa Attendant in Aqua Sana Elveden Forest, is one of the 16 staff celebrating three decades.

She started as a full-time lifeguard in July 1989, straight out of college and rose to be Aqua Sana manager, before reducing her hours and becoming a part-time spa attendant.

Spa attendant Sam Ashford-Thomas  Picture: SubmittedSpa attendant Sam Ashford-Thomas Picture: Submitted

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"It was very exciting, as the village was still being built and there really was nothing else like it in this area," she said. "I have so many fond memories of working at Center Parcs and have met some fantastic people, both staff and guests, over the years."


Since 1989:

Bikes from the Cycle Centre have travelled around 26.4m miles.

Some 2.4m pancakes have been flipped in the Pancake House.

Around 222m skittles have been knocked down in the bowling lanes.

And 4.5m golf balls have been hit on the Adventure Golf course.

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