Lightbulb Moment | "If you had something interesting to offer people, they would come to see it"


The idea for a theme park came to me around 18 years ago. I had bought 30 bison from the US to use commercially, selling their meat. The amount of interest that that generated and the amount of PR and TV that it attracted really struck me. Taking American bison into Ireland was unheard of. At the time, it helped the Hunky Dory crisp brand that I founded, as we brought out Hunky Dory buffalo flavoured crisps, but more than that, it was a catalyst for Tayto Park. I could see that if you had something interesting to offer people, they would come to see it and experience it – you could say that was my light bulb moment. Tayto Park didn’t start quite as smoothly as we had planned. We began to build it in 2008 and opened it in November 2010, which turned out to be the wrong time of year to do so. Nobody came and I thought it was going to be a disaster. That was until the Easter break in March 2011 when the crowds started to come. Most people said to me afterwards that at the time they thought I was completely mad to open Tayto Park. I wondered why they hadn’t told me back then, but they said they didn’t want to ruin my enthusiasm! However, I believed it would be successful for two reasons: there was no theme park in Ireland for kids and adults to go to and, secondly, I had the Tayto brand behind it.

Attribute pic to Frank McGrath


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