McCann keen to retain contract


HOTELIER PAT McCann will be fighting hard to retain the management contract for the Clyde Court and Ballsbridge hotels in Dublin, which have just been put out to tender by the banks who funded Seán Dunne’s purchase of them in 2006.

Former Jurys Doyle boss McCann signed a one-year contract in January to run the hotels for the banks and will now have to pitch with others for the five-year deal being offered by the lenders.

“There is no question but we will be strong contenders for this,” he told me this week.

McCann declined to speculate on who his rivals might be and he isn’t taking anything for granted.

“You never make any assumptions,” he said. “We will make a strong pitch but I’m not complacent about it.”

McCann said he would be disappointed if his company didn’t secure the contract given its efforts since January. “We’ve done a lot of heavy lifting so I would be disappointed if we didn’t get it.”

McCann said the hotels have had a “very good year” with “earnings up 40 per cent on last year”. But they will need some capital expenditure during the five-year term to keep them looking fresh.

He’s also cautious about next year. “I’d be a bit cautious about the first quarter of next year because there aren’t so many events happening. But Ireland will be hosting the EU presidency and then we have The Gathering. Hopefully they’ll provide momentum.”

McCann heads Dalata, the biggest hotel group in the State, controlling about 4,000 bedrooms in 23 hotels.

It is best known for its three-star Maldron franchise but has a variety of management contracts, including Jim Mansfield’s former Citywest Hotel in Saggart, Breaffy House in Co Mayo, and the Clayton in Galway.