Employment boost with opening of Lough Arrow Lodge
After nearly two years of turbulence for the hospitality industry, one Sligo hotelier is delighted to announce the expansion of his business.
After leasing the former Field Study Centre in the village of Ballinafad just outside Boyle, Patrick Ward and his team from the Coach House Hotel in Ballymote plan to bring their expertise to their new venture- Lough Arrow Lodge.
It follows many months of working with the Board and Community of Arrow Community Enterprises in Ballinafad.
Patrick currently employs 26 people and is preparing to create a further 10 jobs at the new location with a further 6 part-time during the summer months.
Plans are underway for Lough Arrow Lodge to welcome its first guest’s in early 2022 offering a range of double, twin and family rooms, in a village strategically located between the two populated towns of Boyle, Co. Roscommon and Ballymote in Co. Sligo
Planning is underway to convert the building known as the Field Study Centre along side Ballinafad Castle to a modern day affordable accommodation for visitors to the region offering families, couples and sole travellers an affordable accommodation base in an amazing location along the N4.
Patrick took over the Coach House Hotel in Ballymote in late 2018 and has worked tirelessly over the years to bring tourism to the region, believing that this part of the country has as much to offer as any other region along the Wild Atlantic Way. Known from his experience at managing The Fox’s Den in Keash and creating many festivals over the years, Patrick hopes that he and his team can bring life into the region in a post Covid world.
Patrick is no stranger to tourism or business, having begun his hospitality career as one of the first members of staff at the award winning Landmark Hotel in Carrick on Shannon and then emigrating to America in 2000 working at the exclusive OminShoreham Hotel in Washington DC and Jurys Doyle Hotel Group.
Speaking to Boyletoday.com, Patrick said he feels it is now time to prepare for 2022 and use his experience to do so.
“Once tourism reopens we must be ready to welcome guests from all parts of the world. If we as business people want to succeed we must plan ahead and think outside the box. The days are gone of using Dublin or Galway as a main base, we must now create our own base for visitors to the region. With air connectivity at Ireland West airport just 30 minutes away and Shannon and Dublin now under 2 hours we must not exclude what we can offer to visitors. Creating friendships with similar sized properties is also key in this region. Family run Hotels like that of Cawleys Hotel Tubbercurry and ourselves in Ballymote work together to fill our rooms and not turn away larger groups if we can facilitate a group between us. We should always try to accommodate and recommend the next nearest location. Business needs to support each other to progress and the way we do business in a post Covid world may become very different to what we know”, said Patrick.
“We cannot invite people to the area without having the facilities in place. The wider area including Boyle has far more to offer than just a day trip, and working together, we can make a day trip become a holiday to remember. We have everything you need from Surfing at Strandhill to Hill Climbing on Benbulben, Walks and Kayaking in Lough Key Forest Park, King House, Boyle Abbey, Zipit, the Lough Key to Boyle Cycleway, Exploring the Caves of Keash and the Summer Solstice at Carrowkeel – all only a glimpse as to what’s on offer around us here, concluded an enthusiastic Patrick Ward.