Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

G8 summit: Homeowners charging £12k a week for house in Fermanagh

Lough Erne Golf Course
Lough Erne Golf Course

Savvy landlords and homeowners in Fermanagh are gearing up to make the most of the G8 summit by renting out properties for more than £1,700 each day.

Owners have put their various residences up to let ahead of the international summit in June for as much as £12,000 for just one week.

Using the advertisement website Gumtree, houses are being touted as 'available for G8 summit', with their distance from the Lough Erne Golf and Spa resort included in the descriptions.

In some cases entire guesthouses are being offered. One landlord is even keen enough to offer a set-down and pick-up service from the airport.

Though the G8 summit being held at the luxurious Lough Erne resort on the outskirts of Enniskillen is three months away, those who have properties to rent are already getting set to cash in on the thousands who will come to the scenic area for the event. The summit will take place from June 17-18 when the leaders of world's eight wealthiest countries arrive.

Some of the homes are advertised as having gardens large enough to be used as helicopter landing pads. Others boast chauffeur-driven cars and 24-hour security guards.

One poster even said their family were moving out of their home for the duration of the summit to rent it out.

Others offer fishing trips organised by expert anglers in the nearby lakes.

Competition in pricing varies, with people asking from £2,000 to £12,000 to rent their homes by the week.

They'll be hoping that as thousands descend on Fermanagh for the summit, demand for accommodation will rocket, with companies and organisations hunting for a secure hub near the resort to use as a base for its duration.

Last month £380,000 was set aside to clear up derelict sites in Fermanagh ahead of the visit by the heads of state of the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the UK. The summit is set to herald a massive financial boost to the area with some of the most powerful people in the world destined to arrive at the golf resort, which itself has been at the sharp end of recession.

Property owners making the most of the summit have been praised by Sinn Fein MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Phil Flanagan, who said: "I admire those who've shown entrepreneurial spirit. They're showing that it's alive and well. People who are trying to make the most of this opportunity should be commended for doing so. There's a fear that the benefit of the G8 will be very small, so I suppose if people are able to make a few pounds out of the media scrum and the entourage that's coming along with it.

"People need to be innovative so they can maximise whatever it is they have ahead of the G8. It's rumoured there will be 800 Americans over with President Obama, so it's important to have the capacity to house those people."

DUP MLA Arlene Foster also said: "The G8 will present both long-term and short-term economic opportunities, not just for Fermanagh but for Northern Ireland as a whole.

"Accommodation in Fermanagh and the surrounding counties is clearly in huge demand, with many venues completely booked up before, during and after the summit."

The Enterprise Minister added: "Hosting the G8 is a tremendous coup and it will give us the opportunity to show the world why Northern Ireland is a great place to visit and why it is the ideal location in which to do business, to invest and export goods from."

The Lough Erne golf resort, which boasts a course designed by golf star Nick Faldo, was on the market for £10m after administrator KPMG's takeover of the complex in May 2011. The 120-room golf and hotel complex was boosted when it was announced that the G8 summit was going to be held there.

The location may have been chosen as it will be hard for protesters to gain access to the area as it's surrounded by water and only single lane roads lead to it.

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