The future of the troubled Park Avenue hotel in east Belfast looks uncertain after its owner, the Beannchor Group, revealed its plans to instigate a review of the property following a period of ‘performance that had fallen short of expectation’.
Beannchor bought the hotel out of administration in the autumn, signalling an end to the long association with the venue of former MD, Mandy Patrick, whose family had been at the helm there since it was opened in the 1950s.
The group, which is headed up by Bill Wolsey, made a series of improvements, including improvements to its online presence, a new entertainment schedule and a streamlined marketing strategy.
But speaking to LCN in December, Wolsey conceded that occupancy rates at the hotel remained ‘disappointing’ and indicated that he would make a decision regarding its long-term future by February.
Now, however, with the announcement of this wide-ranging review, the future of the once bustling hotel seems increasingly uncertain.
Beannchor has confirmed that the review will consider further development of the property, but also the potential of the site for other ventures, including commercial and residential.
A spokesperson for Beannchor said yesterday (March 9):
‘The Park Avenue Hotel has unfortunately been struggling for some time and despite our intervention, business continues to fall behind expectations. From the outset, we were aware of the challenges facing the hotel and notwithstanding our best efforts, these difficulties persist. During this review process, we will continue to strive to ensure the future employment of Park Avenue staff as a priority.’
A Proposal of Application Notice has now been submitted to Belfast City Council relating to the potential use of the land for residential purposes.
Beannchor will shortly begin its pre-application community consultation process on the future potential use of the site. A drop-on event is scheduled for April 29 at the venue between 3pm and 7pm.