Adventure time: UB Alumni run Niagara Falls Adventure Park
Zip lining down 350 feet or a daredevil jump off a rooftop might be a good way to blow off some steam as schoolwork starts to pile on.
Niagara Falls Adventure Park is the place to go. The park is run by Ryan Lynn, a UB alumnus, and Kevin Santa, a student taking a year off. The park, located at 427 First Street, Niagara Falls, has three attractions for thrill-seekers: zip lining, rope-courses and Daredevil jumping.
“The zip line is the most popular, since people know more about it. Ours is a bit more low-key, but it hits 30 miles per hour, but you’re side-by-side with a buddy and you can race,” said Lynn, general manager of the park. “When people see people doing the daredevil jump and having fun, that’s usually the next one they do.”
During his time at UB, Lynn was the vice president of Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) and president for two years after that.
Lynn had the opportunity to work for the park while it was being built and the owners were looking for attractions that would fit.
Lynn isn’t the only worker to come out of UB to work the park – many from OAC and other outdoor clubs also are part of the staff.
This is because these clubs offer experiences that would fulfill the necessary requirements for the job: a knack for adventure.
“My favorite experience would have to be getting someone to do something they never though they’d do,” said Santa, the assistant manager. “I get a lot of people that get up the ladder and are scared, a lot of times they can work through it, but other times I help them. I usually goof around on it so people can see I’m safe and relaxed, it helps ease them through it.”
Before guests are set loose on the ropes course, they’re outfitted with a harness and a Bornac safety billet carabineer, which limits a fall off the course to about a foot.
“It was exhilarating, both the zip line and the free-fall. I felt alive and it was liberating, it's my first time doing this,” said Sally Tellier from the Canadian-side of Niagara Falls.
But not everyone has the best experience their first time around.
Santa recalls a 12-year-old girls first experience at the True Blue drop on the ropes course.
The True Blue drop is a section in the middle of the ropes course where guests can hook themselves to and lower themselves down to the floor, instead of climbing back to the ladders.
“We’d recently added a rope to it for easier access for kids and it slipped, but the rope wasn’t for safety, just for reach, but she fell,” Santa said. “She was scared by the drop and started crying, so I helped her down the ladder and off the course. When she came back the second time, she ran around the course and jumped down the True Blue 12 times, she even counted.”
Lynn has also had his fair share of experiences both good and bad and works to help groups have the best time possible.
The adventure park even took some Go-Pro footage while guests participated.
“We have a 10-foot free-fall jump and people’s reactions are great, we strap Go-Pros on them, but we can’t use the footage because people tend to use colorful language,” Lynn said.
The Niagara Falls Adventure isn’t open all year-round but they have a wide season of operation.
They operate during the week from Friday to Sunday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and their season runs from early May to mid-October.
Kenneth Kashif Thomas is the senior features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org