Wexford's Talbot Collection buys historic Newbay House
ONE of the county's most historic country house hotels has been bought by the Wexford-based Talbot Hotel Collection for an undisclosed sum.
Newbay House and gardens, on the outskirts of Wexford, is the latest acquisition to the group's established and growing portfolio of four-star hotels.
The price paid for Newbay was not disclosed, but outgoing owner Denis Reid ploughed a huge amount of money into the business and re-opened it just a year ago following a painstaking three-year refurbishment.
Newbay's buyers say they are confident that further employment will be created over and above the 20 people, full- and part-time, who are currently employed.
The Talbot Hotel Collection said it was looking forward to working with the existing team at Newbay. Mr Reid, however, will not be part of the new business venture.
Mr Reid, who declined to comment to this newspaper about the pending sale last Thursday, could not be reached following the Talbot announcement.
In a statement yesterday (Monday) confirming the purchase, The Talbot Hotel Collection, said the latest acquisition 'prove they are thriving in the hospital industry'.
Managing Director of the Pettitt Group Cormac Pettitt said Newbay House will complement the group's existing businesses in Wexford, in particular the Talbot Hotel and the Talbot Suites at Stonebridge.
'We look forward to welcoming and serving the people of Wexford and beyond in this new and exciting venture,' he said.
Managing Director of the Talbot Hotel Collection Philip Gavin, said he was thrilled to add an exclusive wedding and events venue to the portfolio.
'We have a very strong reputation for hosting weddings and events, and with creative catering we have become the preferred suppliers at several outdoor events in properties similar to Newbay over the years,' said Mr Gavin.
'So when the opportunity arose to marry our expertise with a beautiful venue, idyllic setting and spacious gardens which are ideally suited to weddings and large scale events, we knew it was the perfect fit for our brand,' he said.
Mr Reid bought Newbay House and Gardens in 2012, two years after it was closed by its then-owners the Scallans who said the high cost of operating a business in Ireland made the decision inevitable. Since taking Newbay on, Mr Reid had complained about the high level of business rates and the cost of utilities.
Least year, Australian-Irishman Mr Reid said '2016 is a very exciting and historical year for Ireland, and in particular for the people of Co Wexford and Newbay Country House which is associated with this history will hope to contribute to the celebration with the opening in the spring.'
Under his mandate, Newbay House underwent extensive renewal with major repairs to most areas of the building which was available for functions for family and corporate events including weddings, parties and functions and featured 11 bedrooms, all with en-suites.
The improvements included a bistro and bar. Mr Reid, who owns a hotel in Australia, said previously that the Newbay project entailed a major refurbishment which took longer and more money than planned.
He self-funded a major part of the work, however, he secured funds from the Bank of Ireland for the final phase.
The first mention of Newbay dates from 1540 when Hore's History of Wexford refers to the township of Newbane as consisting of a castle and 60 acres of land in the tenure of Richard Roche as part of the possession of the late Priory of Selskar.
When it was sold in 2012, Newbay House was valued by the auctioneers at €650,000, however, it failed to sell at auction with a sole bid of €450,000 rejected by the agents, following by a private treaty sale later on the auction day to Mr Reid, who has made the bid.
In 2001, Newbay House came on the market guiding more than €1.25 million, the sale on behalf of Joan Coyle and Des Mullen, who had undertaken a complete restoration when they bought the business in 1996. It was subsequently sold to the Scallans who owned it until its sale to Mr Reid.