Sir Terry Matthews development plan for his Celtic Manor Resort will create more than 200 new permanent jobs over the next decade.
The investment, which includes long-term plans for a major extension of the hotel, will first see ten luxury chalets – with the capacity to accommodate two families – opening next summer.
The resort eventually plans to build 50 chalets, while a tender is currently out for the building of 40 apartments. Units in the apartment block are expected to go sale in 2015.
Sir Terry said: “The Ryder Cup was not the finish line and the hotel is simply work in progress. Since the event we have spent £1.5m on the resort.”
Simon Gibson, chief executive of Sir Terry’s investment fund Wesley Clover said: “We have a 10 year development plan for the resort, with an investment of £160m. This investment will create 230 new permanent jobs.”
During the week the hotel an occupancy rate of nearly 80% while at weekends the room occupancy rate is usually running at 100%.
“One of the problems is that the hotel is so successful that we are having to decant guests to other hotels in the region,” said Sir Terry. “That is a problem as if you have a conference and cannot put up people, it is a bit negative as you don’t want to turn people off. So the investment in these five star luxury chalets is an extension of the hotel and will provide extra capacity.”
The hotel currently has 409 rooms. The resort has a permanent headcount of 740, with an additional 300 seasonal staff.
Sir Terry said the hotel was trading “extremely profitably” and added: “It is a very good business, but it is also about having fun. If you look at the hospitality sector inEuropeit is down more than 10%, but we are up 20%, not only because we have a quality location and product, but because people are coming here to have fun.”
In August the Resort plans to unveil the longest zip wire attraction in Europe– with four wires taking users from the top of the resort on a one mile ride across the River Usk to Caerleon – reaching speeds of up to 80 mph. The Sky Wire Wales attraction represents a £200,000 investment.
Celtic Manor Resort www.celtic-manor.com