Mike Ryan, owner of Executive Hire, Irelands foremost Luxury Site Seeing Tours and Irish Golf Vacations Packages tour operator examines a year of positive and unprecedented change in the landscape of what is Irelands bedrock of the Golf Tourism industry, where Limerick, Shannon and the Southwest Region collectively form the overall offering of central accommodation easy International Airport access, and of course the worlds finest golf courses, all within easy reach of each other.
2014 seemed to start like the previous number of years. The backdrop was one of an Irish economy in mild recovery, great value on luxury accommodation and golf courses both links and parkland, and solid and improving connections to each of Shannon Cork and Dublin international airports. We did know that Limerick City would play host as Ireland’s 2014 Culture Capital, just three years after a hugely successful year as European City of Sport. Great, of course but none of us really predicted the sea of positive change that would sweep the environment for what is undoubtedly Ireland’s best place to have a one or two week Irish Golf vacation package.
Limerick, Irish Capital of Culture 2014
The Culture Capital tag captured the imagination of Limericks people and indeed all the facilities and businesses that comprise her tourism offerings. The 4 and 5 star offerings in the greater Limerick area are possibly the finest in Ireland. Dromoland Castle, Adare Manor and The Savoy Hotel in Limerick are 5 star facilities that offer heavenly accommodation in their own inimitable style. The City was awash with visitors from all over Ireland and further a field as cultural attractions on a new scale arrive in Limerick creating a buzz and feel good factor.
Economic growth for Ireland
Then came upbeat economic predictions of Ireland’s return to growth at levels beyond 5% and 6% annually. We hadn’t heard of this type of growth since 2007, one year before the economy was dragged through the global economic crisis. Thankfully the worst of all that is behind us and we look forward with more certainty and competitiveness for tourists engaged in booking Irish golf vacation packages seeking value.
Investment a boon for Golf Vacation Packages Ireland
After that came the news that Doonbeg Golf resort as we knew it had been acquired by Donald Trump and it s now referred to as Trump International Golf Links Ireland at Doonbeg. We welcome Mr Trump’s investment here. We all recognise that Greg Norman unveiled a world class masterpiece when he developed this site. In fact we wrote comprehensively about it recently as a feature of Southwest Ireland Golf Tours Special Offers which lauds Norman’s ability to use Mother Nature herself as his design partner on what has become a European and World Golf must play experience. The Trump took up where Norman left off speaks volumes about this key ingredient of any Ireland Golf Tour. Its close to Shannon Airport, recognised by tourists who vote with their feet, as Ireland’s friendliest airport, nearby Lahinch Golf Links, another esteemed world class edition, and Limerick City as an accommodation base with multiple award winning 4 and 5 star accommodation options.
What a way to lead into my next point! Limerick has seen its commercial property market boom in 2014, and specifically its Hotels and Castle Hotels. No doubt the Culture Capital of Ireland success story for Limerick in 2014 has helped Limerick Hotels reach REVPAR (Revenue per Available Room) levels not seen since the glory years of the Celtic Tiger. Again, this is great news for Irish Golf Vacations customers as there has been a bidding frenzy for the cream of the Limerick Hotel crop in an unprecedented surge in late 2014. Lets briefly examine the sales patterns here starting at the lower end of the scale. the Patrick Punch Hotel on the edge of the City, a small property which closed only earlier in 2014 with the loss of 50 jobs sold recently having gone under the hammer, and will be retained as a hotel. Too often in the Ireland of recent years we have seen similar properties been converted to student accommodation which has a changing effect on the local landscape. 1.5 mil SOLD!
Next, The Strand Hotel, a cutting edge, multiple award winning 4 star hotel, part of a bigger development including high end apartment blocks, and gymnasium/pool area, was put out with a guide price of 17mil that was easily met, and some, selling to Irish-American businessman John Malone. SOLD for the lion’s share of 20mil. The action doesn’t stop there. Across the river Shannon from the Strand, resides the City Centres only 5 star Hotel, The Savoy. Like the Strand, this property too is part of a wider development including residential apartments and quality retail outlet space with existing rents in place. SOLD, 18mil. So we’re now at about 40mil give or take the odd million Euros. The Savoy Hotel is a favourite of Irish Golf Vacation Package clients as it is an ideal place for a high value, high luxury 5-star stay while playing Southwest Ireland Golf Tours .
Top Limerick Irish Golf Vacation destination for sale
Another favourite Limerick landmark property right out of the discerning golf tours Ireland top drawer and luxury vacation makers dream accommodation venue is the infamous Adare Manor. This Hotel was bought by American businessman Tom Kane some years ago and commendably and sympathetically developed in all facets including a series of on-site million dollar homes that appeal to golf clients. Robert Trent Jones Senior, twice redeveloper of Augusta made Adare his last project and what a gift to the golfing world. Home to what many regard as the most difficult opening hole in the game, and stunning views of Adare Manor from fairways that stretch and span the meandering Maigue River. This glorious property wasn’t on the market long before rumours emerged that one of Ireland’s most wealthy net worth individuals emerged with the highest bid at a cool 30mil. At the time of writing, the deal hasn’t been fully struck yet but soon after news of this bid emerged, JP McManus announced the return of his Pro Am competition which has a great history of visiting Limerick golf courses in recent times attracting Golf greats like Tiger Woods, and Hollywood stars such as Michael Douglas, all in the name of raising some 40 mil for local charities. It seems right that the next JP McManus Pro Am would take place at Adare Manor under his ownership. Of course, and needless to say this golf resort and landmark Castle Hotel are a favourite of Golf Tours Ireland operators.
So assuming Adare Manor changes hands, Limerick based hotels will have changed hands for 70mil. This investment reflects confidence in Limerick as the ideal venue for Irish Golf Vacation makers as Shannon Airport continues to expand its US city base that it serves. Now more than ever is a great time to enjoy the benefits and value to be had by enjoying a 2015 Irish golf vacation, or a customized golf tour of Ireland in what we describe as the jewel in the crown – the Southwest region. Executive Hire is celebrating these developments by offering their new and returning clients their 2015 Golf Tours Ireland Special offer. Thanks for reading and hopefully we’ll see you in 2015 or even hear from you before then, contact Executive Hire at www.executivetoursireland.com or call toll free from US and Canada at 1 888 793 0416, or from anywhere else at +353 (0)87 793 0447 You’ll find our team to be helpful with any queries you have at any time 24/7.
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