500 jobs to be created as €100m resort planned for Co Longford
A BRITISH holiday firm is to open a €100m resort in a forest in Co Longford.
As many as 500 jobs could be created at the complex by Center Parcs UK with another 600 employed during the construction phase.
The company is in talks with Coillte over a site near Ballymahon to lease hundreds of acres of mature and semi-mature forestry.
The resort will include more than 200 lodges and villas including a swimming pool complex and spas, RTE reported this morning.
Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby last year said expansion in Ireland was on the cards.
"The Irish market appears very attractive. We have had some very preliminary discussions around Ireland so I think our attention may well turn to Ireland as we look forward to the future," he said.
"We've had a chat with the tourist board and people like that to see how the land lies," he said.
Center Parcs is owned by private equity fund Blackstone, although the company is looking to sell the business.
It is understood that two of China's main billionaires could clash in a global takeover battle for the resort operator.
Wang Jianli and Guo Guangchang are understood to be in the early stages of bidding for Center Parcs.
Other potential bidders include the owners of the Formula 1 franchise.