Kang family tee up Fota for Irish Open
Fota Island golf resort, Cork: A ‘great long-term investment’ for Chinese owners, according to Nama’s Patrick Ryan
In his speech to the Hotel Property Conference in Dublin this week, Nama’s hotels guy, Patrick Ryan, proudly trumpeted the agency’s €21 million sale in August of the Fota Island golf resort in Cork to a family of Chinese hoteliers.
He described the resort, which was assembled for €90 million by the former bankrupt developer John Fleming, as a “great long-term investment” for the Kang family. But it appears the Kangs have been busy in the short term, too.
The word is that Fota has stolen in ahead of Carton House in Kildare, built by Dublin developer Paddy Kelly, as favourites to land the Irish Open for 2014. The event was hosted at Fota in 2001 and 2002, when the original course was owned by Killeen Holdings which later sold it to Fleming, who built it out.
The fortunes of the event have ebbed and flowed since 2006. For the following two years, it was held without a sponsor at Adare Manor, then controlled by the American Tom Kane, who also went bankrupt.
After a couple of years under the wing of mobile company Three, and one part-funded by Failte Ireland, it was sponsorless again for the last two years.
Fota said no deal was done but “we’d love to have it”.