Five-star Park hotel back in black

THE exclusive five-star hotel operated by RTÉ’s “hotel experts”, John and Francis Brennan, returned to profit last year after two years of successive losses totalling over €400,000.

The third series of At Your Service is running, with more than 568,000 viewers tuning in on Sunday nights to watch the Brennans offer tips and advice to struggling hotels and guesthouses.

However, John Brennan revealed yesterday that they were forced to take their own measures at The Park Hotel in Kenmare in Co Kerry after it sustained after-tax losses of €418,000 in 2008.

Rooms at the 46-bedroom hotel range in peak season in from €340 to €500 per night and John Brennan said that the loss sustained in 2008 was the first annual loss recorded in 27 years of business at The Park Hotel. He said: “We always made substantial profits.”

In 2009 it recorded a modest loss of €21,000 and Mr Brennan said that the hotel recorded profits of about €100,000 last year.

“The bottom fell out of the business in 2008, not just out of the Park Hotel, but out of the tourism sector for a host of reasons, which are well documented.”

He said that two things brought back the hotel back to profit in 2010: an increase in business and operational prudence.

“We didn’t adjust as quickly as we should have adjusted within the season of 2008. In our particular business, it is very, very hard to adjust mid-season.”

Mr Brennan said that staff numbers at the hotel have reduced by about 10% since 2008.

Mr Brennan said there have been no wage cuts.

He said that the staff have been “very good to us and we have been extremely good to them in return”.

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