Martin Flynn, a graduate of CNA's two-year Adventure Tourism-Outdoor Recreation program:
Martin Flynn took his love for the outdoors and turned it into a hit business in his hometown. Flynn is part owner of Marble Zip Tours in Steady Brook, the only zip line in Atlantic Canada.
He says the college gave him all the skills necessary to start his business. The program covered all the general studies areas, but the specialized courses are what piqued his interest. Said Flynn,
We had some specific courses to help manage your own business, and courses which were very hands on. I found these very practical - things I would use in the real world.
He enjoyed the hands-on courses the most such as kayaking, canoeing, field navigation and class road trips - anything outside the traditional classroom setting.
Once he completed the program Flynn had developed the skills to travel and put them to good use. He did this by working as a sports director on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
As I travelled, I learned about different cultures and people. However, doing the Adventure Tourism program led me to my career. I wanted to have something unique, less mainstream and something that would fall more into the ‘hard’ adventure category, yet something anyone could enjoy.
The zip line idea didn’t come out of thin air. Flynn had it in the back of his mind since he was a kid growing up in Forteau, Labrador.
Growing up in a small town, sometimes we had to make our own fun or be a little creative. We didn’t have your everyday amenities (which I don't think is a bad thing), but we always had a close group of friends. I was always the one for being outdoors.
Flynn had a yearning to be out of the house so he and a friend built a make-shift zip line across a sand dune.
It was not nearly as safe or advanced as my current operation, but definitely a similar idea. We built it for ourselves but in no time we had people from all over Forteau coming down to look at it and try it.
When he came to Corner Brook to complete the Adventure Tourism-Outdoor Recreation program he spent a lot of time at Steady Brook Falls.
All I could think about every time I visited was, ‘imagine a zip-line across that!’ I kept it fairly quiet and when I finished school I did some traveling and research and decided to pursue it further. A few years later I turned a childhood dream into my job.
Marble Zip Tours is like nothing anyone has experienced in Newfoundland and Labrador. The attraction consists of a series of zip cables and platforms placed at various elevations along Marble Mountain Gorge. You wear a harness and helmet as you soar from platform to platform; feeling a mix between parachuting and flying. You zip across lines up to 1,000 feet long and drops 300 feet down reaching speeds of 80 kilometers an hour!