Forty new jobs have been created at the Whistledown Hotel in Warrenpoint following the completion of a £2.5m redevelopment, it was announced yesterday.
The revamped hotel now boasts 23 ensuite boutique bedrooms, a function room capable of catering for up to 200 guests and a private dining room, in addition to the existing Finns Bar.
Sarah and Colum McAvoy, owners of the premises, purchased the neighbouring Coolbawn Nursing Home in 2006 in order to expand the hotel.
Commenting on the project Mrs McAvoy said, “This development has been hard work for everyone involved in the business and is the result of more than 10 years hard work — I am delighted with the end result.
“I strongly believe we are now ideally positioned to take advantage of the new tourist demand, especially from the south.
“I am particularly encouraged by the prospect of the development of a bridge at Narrow Water Castle.
“This would benefit not only the Whistledown Hotel, but also many other businesses in the Newry and Mourne area.
“We are the first hotel to open in Warrenpoint in 15 years and we hope to see more private investment and public funding to continue the regeneration of the area.”
The hotel owners also thanked First Trust Bank for helping them achieve their goals for the business.
Peter Creegan, manager of First Trust Bank’s Newry branch, said the new look hotel had given the area a boost.
“We would like to congratulate the McAvoys and to wish the Whistledown every success in the future.”
The hotel owners had previously closed the premises in 2000 for a period of six months in order to make improvements.
Mrs McAvoy said this had been in response to an increase in tourism from both Northern Ireland and the Republic.