Works are to commence on the redevelopment of the old Shannon Oaks Hotel in Portumna within a matter of months – meaning it could be reopened for business by the end of the summer.
And that would result in a major multi-million euro boost to the South East Galway town which has been bearing the brunt of the lack of a hotel for almost seven years.
The redevelopment of the hotel is part of a €2 million-plus investment by the new owners, the Comer Group.
Luke Comer told The Connacht Tribune that he intends to restore the hotel to its former glory.
“We have purchased the property and we want to turn it into a new state of the art hotel in Portumna where we feel has loads of potential. We have put the project out to tender and obviously we would prefer to secure a local builder.
“It is in a prime location and we would hope that the new hotel would be up and running by the end of the Summer. I understand that there are two local contractors involved in the process,” Luke Comer added.
The Comers, originally from Glenamaddy, own some 40 hotels across the world including eight in this country and Luke is excited about adding the Portumna venture to their portfolio.
This comes as welcome news for Portumna Chamber of Commerce and President Paul Dillon said that he would give the new owners all the help and advice they required to make the new hotel a success in the town.
“It is wonderful news and the Comers can be assured that we will give them every support that they require. The town needs a hotel to boost our tourism potential and this is great news.
“It would be great for the town. I have been in contact with the new owners and it is now great to see that they have significant plans for the building”, Paul Dillon added. The development also includes several holiday homes and chalets.
It is a significant mark of the drive behind the town Portumna that it managed to commercially survive without the facility of a hotel – and particularly it being mainly dependent on tourism.
Portumna basks on the shores of Lough Derg and when the hotel in the town burned down in 2011, it was devastating but, soon after, it created something of a new enthusiasm amongst the local business community.
It is generally accepted that the development of the new hotel in Portumna has the capacity to create an additional 500 jobs in the town, which is largely dependent on the Shannon for its income.
However, Luke Comer is looking forward to the Portumna challenge and he believes that it can be a success. He believes that other similar towns in the vicinity can sustain a hotel and he is convinced that with The Shannon on its doorstep, his new hotel will prove a success.
“I have given it out to tender and I believe that there that two local contractors interested and I would love to give it out to someone from the area. I am expecting this will be done within the next couple of weeks,” he confirmed.