Mayo hotelier poised for rebuilding challenge

A LEADING Mayo hotelier has spoken about the huge challenges of rebuilding the business following the far-reaching impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Wilson Bird, manager of Breaffy House Resort and Spa, revealed the facility reopened yesterday to meet a need locally to accommodate essential front-line workers.

The hotel is also initiating the process of retraining and restructuring ahead of a full reopening on July 20.

He stated: “The hospitality sector has taken a tremendous hit. Every week we are closed, the financial impact is significant.

“We have had 25 wedding receptions postponed. Now we have to kick-start the business all over again in line with a strict and extensive regime of new health and safety measures.

“Consequently, all of the staff have to be re-trained and we will be utilising the next eight to nine weeks to do so.”

Mr. Bird said despite the massive setback, he is optimistic for the future.

“I firmly believe Mayo hoteliers can capitalise on the beauty of the county, its wilderness and wonderful walking and cycling routes when they are fully back up and running.

“More and more people will be taking their breaks where there is plenty of indoor and outdoor space. From our own perspective, we have been developing our own new walks around our grounds,” he said.

He is also buoyed by the fact that all of the 25 postponed wedding receptions have re-booked. . .along with eight new ones. “It's going to take time but we are going to get back on our feet and be stronger than ever, albeit with many changes.”

In the meantime, a limited number of guests can book rooms via an app – but the hotel will be operating without a reception, restaurant and waiter services. Guests, however, can order an evening meal to their room in advance via the internet while a take-away breakfast is offered.

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