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Galgorm sets new wheels in motion

A Co Antrim hotel and wedding venue has spent £200,000 on a new set of wheels.

Galgorm Resort & Spa said its new Rolls Royce Ghost represented a substantial investment in its wedding services.

The five star venue recently spent £500,000 on renovating its Great Hall.

Its investment comes at a tough time for the hotel industry as figures reveal occupancy rates of 50% for the month of November for hotels in Northern Ireland, the lowest in seven years.

Experts said many hotels would have to cut costs in order to survive.

But Yvonne Moore, Galgorm Resort & Spa general manager, said: “At a time when the hotel industry is still feeling the pinch of the economic climate, Galgorm Resort & Spa is committed to investing in our core business to keep ahead of the competition.

“This requires constantly looking at new services and products to delight and inspire |our guests and maintain our extremely strong position in the wedding market.

“The acquisition of the Rolls Royce Ghost is a perfect example of this.”

Ms Moore said the hotel, which is owned by brothers Nicholas and Paul Hill, hosted 300 weddings in 2009, with additional staff recruited to deal with the growth in demand.

Bookings for this year were ahead of targets, she added.

Michael Williamson, a director of accountancy firm ASM Horwath and an expert in the hotel sector, said the market had slowed down in Belfast in particular because of the city’s waning popularity as a conference destination.

“We were very successful in attracting conferences, with 2007 a golden year, but that industry goes in cycles,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph