Dalata boss McCann rubbishes idea of Dublin hotel with 1,000 bedrooms

Tourism chief Paul Kelly says a hotel with 1,000 rooms could attract conferences from firms keen to have all delegates in one place

Dalata chief executive Pat McCann: he has said calls for a 1,000-bed hotel are “naivety in the extreme”

Dalata chief executive Pat McCann: he has said calls for a 1,000-bed hotel are “naivety in the extreme”

 

The boss of Ireland’s largest hotel group has rubbished the idea of a 1,000-bedroom hotel for Dublin, describing it as “the biggest load of rot” he has ever heard.

“It’s naivety in the extreme,” said Dalata chief executive Pat McCann.

He was responding to comments by Fáilte Ireland chief executive Paul Kelly, who this week claimed that a lack of hotels of such scale was costing the tourism industry here “tens of millions of euro” in lost conferencing business.

Mr McCann questioned whether a hotel business of that size would be sustainable, claiming it would be impossible to control costs.

“What will happen with a large hotel like that is your occupancy will be at 100 per cent today and zero tomorrow,” he said at the inaugural Executive Summit event in Dublin.

“It doesn’t work anywhere in the world. What you need is 500-600 bedroom hotels, which we have a number of – we [Dalata] have two of them in Dublin, and they perform well because the model works.”

The head of the hotel group, which operates the Maldron and the Clayton brands, said he was in regular contact with the operators of Dublin’s Convention Centre, and would on occasion make up to 1,000 rooms available to them but across several hotels.

“We would have regular conversations with them about how we can fit this into our business model, which works for them and works for us. But the idea that you’d have a single hotel geared for that is utter rubbish.”

Speaking at Fáilte Ireland’s Meitheal showcase, the annual gathering of tourism businesses and international buyers, this week, Mr Kelly said he regretted the lack of large-scale properties planned of “800 to 1,000 rooms”, which he said would help to attract conferences from companies keen to house all of their delegates under one roof.

He said such a hotel is needed within the city centre, ideally close to the Convention Centre Dublin on the city’s quays.

Commercial leaders

The Executive Summit, which took place in Clontarf Castle Hotel, is the brainchild of University College Cork student Barry O’Sullivan.

“The reason I did this was because I want to create an annual event which would connect commercial leaders in Ireland, an event which would see global CEOs disseminate their insight, views and ideas to managing directors and executives in Ireland,” Mr O’Sullivan said . “I want to connect people with CEOs so that they can discuss issues that are happening in their business and in Ireland.”

The event was attended by several of Ireland’s top chief executives, including the head of Leinster Rugby Michael Dawson; the chief executive of the Housing Agency John O’Connor; the Irish Stock Exchange’s chief executive Daryl Byrne; and Jayne Ronayne, chief executive of recruitment firm Talivest.