SOME 50 jobs have been saved after a landmark hotel in Westport was sold as a going concern for almost double its list price.
Local hoteliers Joe and Anna Marie Corcoran have bought the Atlantic Court Hotel from receivers Stephen Tennant and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton for €2m.
Savills acted as agents for the property, and the new owners will formally take control before Christmas.
The final sale price was well ahead of the guide price of €1.2m when it came to the market last May.
The Corcorans already operate the Westport Plaza and Castlecourt Hotel Resort in Westport town centre, and are said to be planning a refurbishment programme of the bedrooms in the coming months and "build on the fine reputation that the hotel already enjoys".
Unsurprisingly, Mr Corcoran was jubilant with the deal.
"We are delighted with the opportunity to acquire the Atlantic Coast Hotel as it is a superb property in a unique coastal location, and will greatly complement the town centre location of our existing hotels," he said.
"This purchase is only possible as a result of the recent recovery experienced in the Irish hotel market, visible in both the strong performance of our existing hotels this year and the continued strength of Westport as a top quality destination.
"The reduction in the VAT rate to 9pc has been a great benefit to the hotel industry and we are delighted that this rate has been kept in Budget 2014. This is the first year since 2007 where hotels in leading tourist destinations such as Westport are experiencing recovery with room occupancy growing by 2.5pc in 2012.
"Our years of experience in marketing Westport means we know what works in this thriving town and we believe this will help us to increase room occupancy at the Atlantic Coast in a very short space of time," he added.
According to Leona Mullen of Savills, "This sale is another sign of the strong domestic interest in Irish hotel assets.
"With almost 120 expressions of interest received, it is evident that Irish and overseas owner operators and investors see real value and opportunity in Irish hotel assets"
The deal safeguards the future of 50 full- and part-time staff at the site.
Built in 1999, the four star hotel, which was restored from an 18th century mill features 85 bedrooms, bar and restaurants, conference and banqueting facilities, spa and swimming pool.
Looking out across Westport Harbour, the hotel offers conference and banqueting suites with views of Clew Bay, ideal for corporate events, weddings and special functions. Leisure facilities include; Ayurvedic Centre and Spa, a 17m swimming pool, steam and sauna rooms, making it an ideal leisure break hotel.
The hotel has been in receivership since this time last year, and had proved popular once it hit the market. There were more than 30 expressions of interest within a week of the hotel being advertised. In the six weeks before the property went sale agreed in July, Savills dealt with some 120 enquiries from Ireland and abroad.