By Gordon Deegan
Plans have been lodged for a €40m development at the Donald Trump-owned Trump International Doonbeg golf resort in west Clare.
The new plan includes 53 holiday homes, a ballroom/function room, a leisure centre and a new restaurant.
The construction phase of the project is to employ up to 100 people at its peak and General Manager of Trump Doonbeg, Joe Russell said on Thursday that the application is “a further vote of confidence in Trump Doonbeg, west Clare and Ireland and a continuation of the Trump Organisation’s initial plans for the resort when they purchased it in 2014”.
Putting a value of €40m on the planned development, Mr Russell said that the resort is enjoying its “best year so far since the resort commenced full operations back in 2006”.
He said that “economic growth has led to a strong domestic market but the USA business has been terrific this year” adding that the resort being on the Wild Atlantic Way has also added to business.
Mr Russell said:
Trump Doonbeg is the 16th in the Trump International portfolio and the hotel accommodates 45,000 guests each year with over 50% coming from North America.
Currently, 30% to 40% of hotel visitors are principally interested in golf with other guests attracted by the location and setting with most staying for leisure purposes.
Documents lodged with the plans state that the overnights at the resort will increase by 10%-15% along with higher individual room occupancy.
The application states that the 53 short term let cottages, ballroom and leisure building is necessary for the completion of the masterplan as originally intended.
The application states that the proposed ballroom and leisure facilities will diversify the range of activities offered and compliment the hotel’s existing facilities.
The banqueting facility that will cater for up to 300 people is to replace the marquee structure currently in place to cater for weddings.
Trump Doonbeg has stated previously that the investment in the new ballroom was contingent on the green light for the resort's planned coastal protection works - that application is currently before An Bord Pleanála.
Asked if that remains the case, Mr Russell said: “We are hopeful for a positive decision in regards to the coastal, but at the same time need to push in with the next phase of growth for the resort and our business.”
A decision is due on the €40m application early in January.