BUSINESS leaders and local public officials in Ballycastle have welcomed the news that the Marine Hotel looks set to re-open in the near future.
Selling agents, Osborne King have confirmed the sale which is understood to have cost the purchaser just over £405,000 - a far cry from the price it fetched some years ago of several million pounds when bought by local businessman Mervyn McAllister.
The hotel has been closed for more than two years and that has dealt area a major blow in tourism terms. It is understood to be in need of major refurbishing.
Independent councillor Padraig McShane, has welcomed the development and wished the new owners “good fortune in the challenges that await them.”
He said the people of the district would get behind the new business and would be delighted to see the iconic location up and running again.
“Moyle District Council will endeavour to help the new owners wherever possible. The Tourist Board plus Invest N.I. must recognise what we are trying to do in the Moyle area and, support with what ever resources are to hand, to reinvent Ballycastle and the Glens as a holiday destination”.
Armoy businesswoman, Claire Hunter, the new owner, is now tasked with getting what was one of the areas most popular spots back in business - a task many feel she is very capable of.
Advertisements have been placed for a general manager and an executive chef and the hotel will be recruiting more staff in the near future.
Speculation about the future of the Marine has been ongoing for sometime. The sale was understood to have been agreed last summer but only finalised within the last week or two.
The three-star hotel which also had a Country Club facility with swimming pool was an ideal venue for many of the local sporting organisations and groups in the area as well as for weddings and other functions. Located on the North Coast it was a mecca for visitors and locals.
The hotel had been placed into receivership by the then Northern Bank in May 2011.