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Mount Juliet's new owners are planning a €10 million revamp after 'significant' losses

Green fees are going to be hiked at the Co Kilkenny golf resort as part of the turnaround.

The Mount Juliet Hotel
The Mount Juliet Hotel
Image: Shane McDonald

THE NEW OWNERS of the prestigious Mount Juliet golf resort are planning a €10 million revamp of the property in an attempt to turn it around from “significant” losses.

Property investment firm Tetrarch Capital has written to homeowners living on the Co Kilkenny estate to notify of its plans for the 500-acre property, which includes a hotel and spa, and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

The letter said the company was a “significant loss-maker” in 2014 due to “extraordinarily high” costs and low green fees when compared to other leading golf courses, according to the Irish Times.

A Tetrarch spokesman confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the company was spending €1.1 million on new golfing equipment as part of its plan to bring the course back into profit.

The outlay formed part of a wider €10 million-plus upgrade at Mount Juliet which would include increasing the number of bedrooms.

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Million-euro losses

Last year the new owners flagged spending up to €5 million refurbishing the hotel and spa as part of a plan that would add between 30 and 40 new rooms.

The business, which changed hands last June, had delivered an operating loss of €1.65 million in 2013 and €3.3 million the previous year, according to its most-recent accounts.

Smiles Dental founder Emmet O’Neill and Brehon Capital, which later spun off its circa-€400 million property empire into Tetrarch Capital, paid an estimated €15 million to buy the golf resort from long-standing owners the Mahony family.

Luke Fitzgerald, Emmet O'Neill & Vogue Williams present Re.Store, a dynamic new Irish food, coffee and convenience concept 2 Businessman Emmet O'Neill, centre Source: Naoise Culhane

O’Neill spent five months as a director of Mount Juliet before stepping down in December. In October he was made chief executive of his uncle Denis O’Brien’s Topaz petrol station chain.

The business’s current directors are Tetrarch Capital’s Damien Gaffney and Michael McElligott, whose firm previously bought the Marker Hotel in Dublin and Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow.

Former Whites of Wexford general manager Peter Wilson has been appointed Mount Juliet’s new head and he said he was keen to put in place the investment plans of the resort’s new owners.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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