Encouraging signs as local chamber voucher sales rise

Local hospitality sector reports strong festive period

Some €6,000 more Mullingar Chamber vouchers were sold in the run-up to Christmas 2010 than in the previous year, new figures from Mullingar Chamber have revealed.

In December 2010, Chamber vouchers to the value of €65,000 were purchased, meaning this amount of money will be spent in the town’s businesses in the coming months.

The figure for the previous December was €59,000.

Business development manager with Mullingar Chamber, Karagh Fox, says the increase is encouraging as “a lot of this is money that might otherwise go out of the town”.

“It is some consolation for the town. We will be revamping the voucher system this year in an attempt to get every shop in the town involved; currently 50 or 60 businesses are signed up. We will be rolling this out shortly,” she said.

“We want to keep things moving, and will do everything we can to get people out and spending money in the town.”

Elsewhere in Mullingar there were further encouraging signs over the festive period, with the local hospitality sector in particular reporting positive figures.

Manager of the Greville Arms Hotel, John Cochrane, said his establishment was lucky not to be affected by water shortages.

“We were very lucky that we weren’t affected, and we had no internal problems in the hotel. Coming up to Christmas our parties were a great success in spite of the weather; in fact more people were staying over in the hotel instead of travelling back home. We’ve had a great run of business and are looking forward to a great 2011,” he said.

Meanwhile the Annebrook House Hotel also reported a busy season, with five weddings and several other big occasions, in spite of some initial cancellations during the first cold spell.

Manger Berty Dunne said they had been on alert before the big freeze, but that the town centre had been largely unaffected by issues with water supply.

He also did his bit to assist local people whose homes had been affected by the freezing weather conditions.

“We had people come in to us who hadn’t been able to shower for four or five days, and we gave them the use of our apartments free of charge. We also had some families book in for a few days whose homes had been damaged by leaks.

“We did have some cancellations for Christmas parties due to the freezing conditions, but some of these have rebooked for January,” he added.


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