Prices slashed for two tourist businesses
The asking price for a Kerry hotel with 24 apartments has been slashed by the receiver from €6m to €3m and a Cahersiveen community organisation is mounting an independent campaign to get the hotel re-opened.
Their move contrasts with the Irish Hotels Federation demand for the Government to close down troubled hotels.
Muintir Sadhbh, representing local businesses, reckons the Watermarque Hotel could generate more than €4m for the local economy and support up to 20 jobs.
The organisation commissioned Dublin economist Geoff Tucker to undertake a report to highlight the benefits and help enlist the support to attract a buyer.
Meanwhile an equally sharp discount is expected for a group of 16 luxury sea front lodges, known as Whelyn Lodges, and an entertainment centre near Castletownbere, West Cork.
The KPMG receivers are expected to settle for a price of between €2m to €3m for the lot which was estimated to have been worth around €7m at the market peak. Joint agents Colliers Jackson-Stops and Cohalan Downing have set May 12 as the closing date for tenders.
Muintir Sadhbh believes that the re-opening of the Watermarque would help Cahersiveen prevent the loss of businesses and jobs including loss of wedding and tourist business to other towns.
For instance the Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts attracts 20,000 visitors each year but many of these visitors stay in other towns.
Mr Tucker points out that Cahersiveen has only one other hotel but it was not built to the four star standard of the Watermarque and such a standard is required to create a destination hotel which will attract visitors.
A substantial share of the purchase price could be recouped from tax allowances or the sale of apartments which are worth about €130,000 each.