Choice Hotels Eyeing UK And Ireland Expansion
According to its CEO Andy O'Neill, Choice Hotel Group has been investigating possible new acquisitions in the UK, as well as being on the brink of completing the purchase of new leases and properties in Ireland.
Talking to The Irish Independent, O'Neill revealed that the firm is currently close to finalising two hotel deals in Ireland, both of which will "operate as Clarions." At present, Choice is in charge of the franchise for the Clarion, Comfort, Ascend and Quality brands in Ireland.
While O'Neill would not divulge the names of the two Irish hotels in question, he did reveal that Choice intends to purchase one and lease the other, as well as the fact that both are 100-bedroom venues, with one being on the west coast and the other being in the midlands.
Commenting on the group's plans for the UK, O'Neill said, "We're working on deals in the UK", but noted that Choice faces stiff competition in Britain from Dalata, which plans to increase its UK bedroom stock by 8,000 over the next seven years.
O'Neill stated, "Where we can afford to go and want to go is the regions [in the UK]. Where we've met Dalata there during an open sales process, we've walked." However, he said that Choice is still targeting seven or eight cities that are also on Dalata's radar.
O'Neill is hoping to have "three or four" hotels under the management of Choice in the UK in the next several years, as well as ten venues in Ireland by early 2019.
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.