Wild Atlantic Way ‘genius’ idea, says Kerry hotelier

John Brennan of the five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare, which he said had benefited hugely from the WildAtlantic Way, which he described as phenomenal. Picture: Don MacMonagle

One half of TV’s trouble-shooting hotelier team yesterday described the Wild Atlantic Way as “genius” and its impact on the tourist trade as “phenomenal”.

John Brennan made the comments yesterday when confirming that business at his five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, was up 6% last year on 2013.

Mr Brennan runs the Park Hotel with his brother Francis and said yesterday: “We’re in good shape. We are very happy where we are are. Revenues have returned to where they were outside the boom years.”

He said the impact on tourism from the Wild Atlantic Way “has been phenomenal”, that it had increased business at the Park Hotel, but also that “it is hard to quantify”.

The tourism initiative involving a 2,500km drive along Ireland’s western Atlantic seaboard was launched last year. “It is the most significant development in Irish tourism since Aer Lingus commenced flights across the Atlantic,” Mr Brennan said.

He added that “the product was already there. What has been done is the spend of €4m on signs. Ryder Cups come and go, but the Wild Atlantic Way will be there forever and business will only increase from it.”

Mr Brennan said that, as a result of the general uplift in the economy and increased business at the Park Hotel, it will open six weeks earlier than usual this year, on March 6. He said he would be disappointed if the business doesn’t secure an 8% increase in business due to the earlier opening.

Mr Brennan said its Christmas business was up by 17%, boosted mainly by self-employed Irish people staying at the hotel.

Mr Brennan was speaking as new accounts show that accumulated profits at the business in 2013 increased from €2.05m to €2.07m.

The accounts show that the firm’s cash last year reduced from €512,922 to €201,956, with the money owed by debtors increasing from €174,498 to €301,205. The increase in profit takes account of non-cash depreciation and writedown costs of €164,960.


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