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The Oakwood Arms in Shannon. Photograph by John Kelly

Oakwood set for expansion

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THE capacity at Treacy’s Oakwood Hotel is set to increase significantly, should a new planning application get the green light.
Shannon Estuary Hotel Ltd have sought planning permission for an extension to their second floor to accommodate an additional 29 bedrooms, as well as an extension to the first floor to provide another six bedrooms.
There will also be alterations to the ground floor, a new lift and the provision of a significant amount of extra parking.
A document filed with the planning application says that the reason the extension is being sought is to accommodate coach tours, which it says can deliver a huge amount of new business.
“The purpose of the proposed development is to expand the offer of the hotel with specific reference to accommodating coach tours,” the document states.
“As can be seen from an attached letter from Abbey Group tour operators, the regional value of coach tours is approximately €2.6 million.
“The proposal will result in an additional 35 rooms which will accommodate a coach tour of up to 50 people.”
Regarding parking it said, “Revisions are also proposed to the car parking layout. A total of 95 additional car parking spaces are proposed (previously permitted under an earlier application) and two bus parking spaces resulting in a total of 208 car parking spaces and two bus/coach parking spaces.”
The letter referred to from tour operator Abbey Group said, “Abbey Group can confirm that our levels of business are greater than the Hotel can provide at the present. If there were additional rooms at Treacy’s Oakwood Hotel, we would be in a position to book a lot more dates in the hotel as currently there aren’t enough bedrooms to facilitate our current level of bookings.
“We have asked the Hotel for an additional room allocation of 30 rooms per night from May-September in 2025 but unfortunately the hotel cannot commit to this request due to a lack of bedroom space. If we had this allocation we would be in a position to fill a lot more dates in the Hotel. Some of the groups would stay more than one night, we have many 2-3 night coach tours.”
It added that each coach tour has in the region of 25 rooms, accommodating up to 50 people. It envisaged that there would be 4590 room nights between the start of May and the end of September.
Abbey Group also stressed the regional importance of such business.
“Fáilte Ireland have published information that tourism figures into the Mid West region in 2022 produced 1,322,000 trips to the region with an estimated spend of €261 million in this region alone, with an average length of stay being 2.5 nights,” the document states.
“The total worth per trip is €197 to the region. If you take this in context to a coach trip, the amount per coach is worth €9,850 to the Mid West region.”
Recently filed accounts by Shannon Estuary Hotel Limited show that shareholders funds increased from €1.7 million to over €2.5 million last year.
The company spent over a million euros on wages and salaries in each of the previous two years.
It has three directors, Maria Keena, Edward Keena and Patrick Treacy.

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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