Mount Juliet complex to get €10m upgrade

Better maintenance equipment and golf buggies to be purchased

Mount Juliet: goal of the investment is to enhance the property as “the highest-quality golf resort and residential community in Ireland”.

Mount Juliet: goal of the investment is to enhance the property as “the highest-quality golf resort and residential community in Ireland”.

 

Irish investment group Tetrarch Capital has outlined its plans for a €10 million expansion and upgrade of the Mount Juliet hotel and golf complex in Kilkenny to homeowners at the resort.

This includes a €1.1 million investment in new equipment to improve maintenance at the golf course and to help it return to profitability.

Tetrarch has also decided to increase fees and to rebrand the resort.

A note was sent recently to homeowners at Mount Juliet to update them on a meeting from May 7th between the owners, the new members of the resort’s management team and a committee representing the golf club there, including captain Laurence Shields, vice-president Norman Kilroy and lady captain Anne Murphy.

Ongoing losses

“Maintenance costs remain extraordinarily high compared to the country’s other leading parkland courses in Ireland and other comparable course in the UK and Europe,” the letter stated.

This was put down to the average age of maintenance equipment, which is 17 years, a lack of investment in new equipment and certain work practices.

“In addition, the level of green fee income has been poor due to the low green fee rates being charged at Mount Juliet,” the letter said.

To address these issues, Tetrarch has ordered €750,000 of new Toro maintenance equipment and is also spending €350,000 on a fleet of new golf car buggies.

It has also increased green fees to improve the financial performance of the course and it is also reviewing membership rates for individuals and corporates for 2016.

Tetrarch has upgraded the golf club and shop, and bar and catering facilities. It is also working with two potential contractors to the Hunters Yard complex in Mount Juliet. This forms part of the company’s plan to increase the number of bedrooms at the hotel and to increase the scale of its hospitality facilities.

Tetrarch is also considering reopening the academy course at Mount Juliet but is reviewing the future of its 18-hole putting course, which it says is “underutilised and a material loss-maker” due to high maintenance costs.

Key appointments

David Brookes, a consultant to the European golf tour and an adviser to former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, has joined the board of Mount Juliet.

Mr Brookes’s appointment is seen as an indication of Tetrarch’s intention to attract major golfing tournaments to Mount Juliet in the future, possibly including the Irish Open.

Tetrarch is understood to be in negotiations to bring a European challenge tour event to its other resort, Mount Wolseley in Co Carlow.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Michael McElligott, Tetrarch chief executive, said the investment is part of his company’s long-term strategy to revitalise Mount Juliet.

“We view our investment as a generational one and we have very clear long-term ambitions for Mount Juliet,” he said.

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