Belfast Telegraph

Open boom time for Portrush guesthouses - most rooms already sold

By Donna Deeney

No sooner had the 149th Open been awarded to Portrush than the telephones of the town's hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs started ringing - and they haven't stopped since.

The vast majority of holiday accommodation providers have sold all their rooms for July 14 to July 21 next year, and could have done so many times over.

The average room rate for these dates has approximately tripled at some establishments as owners make the most of the biggest sporting event ever staged here.

Anna McKillen, owner of the Albany Lodge Hotel, said: "We have been booked out since December 2016 and I could have sold all 10 of my rooms three or four times over.

"All of the bookings are provisional and I will be collecting deposits to secure the rooms soon, but I have no concerns about filling the rooms because I am still taking calls from people every day.

"This is only our third year in business and we have pitched our price accordingly for events, which is treble the normal rate."

Gail Smyth, who owns the Mandalay B&B, had a similar influx of enquiries from people looking to stay.

She said: "The level of interest has been tremendous; it hasn't stopped since The Open was announced and we have sold all our rooms to one person from London.

"We have had calls from people from all over America, from all over the world in fact, but that's typical for everyone who has holiday accommodation.

"Portrush is a golfing town and this will add to that, so we expect to reap the benefits for many years."

Timothy Swart, who owns the Harbour Heights B&B, has also been inundated with enquiries, but he still has availability.

He said: "We took our first call asking about booking a room on the day The Open was announced and there has been an ever-increasing number of calls since then.

"Some people have been asking about staying on the Friday night and others have been asking about staying for three nights, which we are not doing."

At the weekend golf fans were left astonished after they were quoted £20,000 for a two-night stay at a hotel in Londonderry from July 20 to 22 next year.

But the online price some were quoted for their stay at the Maldron in Derry was in fact an error.

The Maldron Hotel group said that the inflated double room price for the final two days of the championship offered on Booking.com and Expedia was a mistake, and added: "It is now being amended."

Belfast Telegraph

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