Two former Jurys bosses pay €22.5m for Travelodge


Two former Jurys Doyle executives are behind a €22.5 million takeover of Travelodge's Irish portfolio of hotels and restaurants.

Mr Seamus McGowan, group general manager, and Mr Richard O'Sullivan, financial controller, have set up a company called Smorgs Ltd to purchase Travelodge's eight Irish hotels and five Little Chef restaurants. The hotels consist of about 520 bedrooms in total.

Travelodge Ireland operates two properties in Dublin, one close to the airport and another in Castleknock. The other six are in Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast and Derry. Five of the hotels have Little Chef restaurants adjoining them.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr McGowan said: "We are delighted to have acquired the master franchise for Travelodge, which is the leader in the branded budget hotel sector in Ireland. Travelodge is an extremely strong international budget brand, offering a consistent high level of accommodation at very affordable prices. We were attracted by the high profile quality locations, combined with the existence of a quality operating team in each of the Travelodges".

The two men said there would be no job losses as a result of the deal and there could be job increases. "To further strengthen and develop the brand it is our intention to open and operate additional properties under the Travelodge banner during the coming years."

Meanwhile, the Dublin Convention Bureau yesterday announced a successful first year in operation, having sourced over €3 million in new conference business into Dublin since its establishment last year. The organisation is designed to tap the market for international conference business and bring it to Dublin.

It was established by the Irish Hotels Federation, the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers, Dublin Tourism and Dublin City Council.

The bureau also announced the appointment of Ms Jean Evans as business development director.

Mr John Power, a director of the bureau and chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation commented: "The work of the Dublin Convention Bureau to date has been very encouraging... However, despite the bureau's success to date, without a dedicated convention centre, Dublin is still at a disadvantage to other European cities in attracting conference business."