Sun | May 19, 2019

Breathtaking! - Central Gardens opens at Dunn's River Falls and Park

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2017 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Some of the kiosks at Central Gardens.
Kids enjoying themselves at the newly opened Central Gardens.
From left: Dr Damian Graham, Urban Development Corporation (UDC) general manager; Custos Norma Walters; Winston Dear, UDC director; Joey Issa, chairman, St Ann Development Company; and Mayor Michael Belnavis officiating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open Central Gardens at Dunn’s River Falls and Park in St Ann.
Central Gardens at Dunn’s River Falls and Park in St Ann.
A section of the Central Gardens at Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC), on Thursday, officially opened its newest attraction, the $122-million Central Gardens at the world-famous Dunn's River Falls and Park in St Ann.

What was once an area that served as a car park for patrons has now been converted into an alternative source of recreation, the UDC said.

"The facility now stands as a cluster of three gardens with a waterslide and a splash pad as central features. The layout also includes kiosks from which ice cream, pizza and sealed liquor concessionaires and the Dunn's River Falls and Park Logo Shop will operate," the corporation stated in a release.




General manager of the UDC, Dr Damian Graham, said the garden represents another upgrade of the facility by the UDC, which, over the years, has introduced an electronic ticket-management system, picnic areas, ticket office and entry courtyard, among other facilities, to the attraction.

"We are, indeed, committed to surpassing the customers' expectations and experience at this world-famous attraction through continuous product improvement, innovation, value-added services and bold marketing initiatives," Graham stated.

He added that e-commerce, through the Dunn's River website, will soon become the normal way of doing things.

... Make Dunn's River better than Disney World - Issa

Joey Issa, chairman of the St Ann Development Company, has challenged the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to invest further in Dunn's River Falls and Park in St Ann to make the facility as good as or even better than Disney World.

"If we can change our mindset and be proactive rather than reactive, we can create here something as good as or better than Disney. Let's make the investment to make this a world-class facility," Issa urged.

Speaking on Thursday at UDC's official opening of its newest attraction, the $122-million Central Gardens at Dunn's River, Director Winston Dear said the corporation's commitment is to continue exceeding the standard of excellence. He assured that all projects undertaken by the UDC will be in harmony with what currently exists.

"It's the commitment of the UDC to continue the development of Ocho Rios," he said.

Construction for the project, which was carried out by Chin's Construction Ltd and managed by UDC, started in 2015.




Mayor of St Ann's Bay, Councilor Michael Belnavis, in hailing the new development, said he now expects the visitor numbers to Dunn's River to move from the current rate of 800,000 annually to reach the one million mark.

Admission to Dunn's River for Jamaicans is J$600 for persons 12 years and older, and J$300 for children three to 11 years old.

For non-residents, the admission is US$20 and US$12, respectively.