For me, Kinlough is the perfect rural village with all the necessary amenities readily available. From local shops, petrol stations, cafés, hair salons, beauty salons, pubs, a Michelin star restaurant not to mention the ultimate outdoor experience at Wild Atlantic Crusades (I’m allowed to blow my own trumpet, it’s my blog!) and a highly successful camper conversion business. At the track, we host many corporate team building days with the majority of businesses travelling from Mayo, Sligo, Donegal & Roscommon. We sell vouchers nationwide meaning people from all over Ireland have visited us and in turn, have visited Leitrim and more specifically Kinlough. This was our vision, build a successful business but also a business that gives back to the local economy and environment. As Moses said, ‘build it and they will come’.
We also have Crusader Cabins which tourists love. We have tourists from all over the world coming to stay at our cabin. It’s very surreal when you’re showing people from Canada, America, South Africa, Germany and England a small rural cabin in North Leitrim that has an outdoor hot tub. They all love the scenic beauty of our location close to the mountains and the sea. These are the things I sometimes takes for granted.
Last year, during one of our team brainstorming sessions, when we were ideating how to make our team-building shed more profitable, we came up with the idea of Kinlough Peoples Market. A market where local businesses could showcase their products and generate sales in a collective group. It’s also a place to go after mass on a Sunday before you sit down for the Sunday roast. Something different to do! We figured Kinlough needed a monthly community event and these talented, experienced businesses needed a platform to showcase themselves.
Not only did we envisage locals coming to our markets but we’re hoping to build on what we have and entice tourists to the market who are exploring the Wild Atlantic Way during the busy Summer months. Our Crusader Cabin residents will also be dragged down. At our last market, we have three German ladies arrive who were staying in Bundoran. They left with bags of stuff!
Getting business ventures like this, off the ground is a difficult task, from maintenance costs, wages, rent, insurance etc. it has it’s challenges but the end result will be worth it. If we can entice more people, to visit our small town, our businesses and to put Kinlough on the map, well sure we’d all be winning in life. And that’s our end goal. Go hard or go home…