By Roger Green [email protected]
A multi-million euro investment and revitalisation plan over the next five years is set to launch Quinta do Lago into a bright new era and place it firmly ahead in the international golf and leisure industry, claims John Dwyer, the resort’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer.
John Dwyer, 37, said: “We have a very young and incredibly talented and dynamic team here. When I was in Ireland, before joining the company, the place we always were hearing about in world golf was Quinta do Lago and my aim is to place Quinta do Lago in the centre of the international stage where it deserves to be.
“I have been in too many places in the past where bureaucracy has brought things to a halt but here in Quinta do Lago, it is just the opposite. There is very much a positive ‘can do’ attitude.”
While he agreed that it was a difficult year to be considering investment, he added: “We have already started investing in the golf site. The board approved a 4.7 million euro plan for renovation of the clubhouse and Casa do Lago and a new clubhouse at the Laranjal course.
“There has also been a significant investment in the agronomics and landscaping of the three courses. All this is either completed or under way and over the next five years we envisage further major investments.”
The CEO confirmed that a number of other projects have already been approved by the municipal authorities but not yet started.
Meanwhile, other ideas are being debated in conjunction with the municipality.
“Basically, we are re-assessing everything to see what needs to be done – what Quinta do Lago has got and what it needs.
“We are trying to feed into the municipality some ideas and attempting to find common ground on what can be expedited.”
It was just over 12 months ago that John Dwyer joined Quinta do Lago SA as general manager of the Sociedade do Golfe de Quinta do Lago and was promoted to his new role in August.
There are clear signs, he says, that Quinta do Lago is beginning to emerge from the global crisis that has affected the golf and leisure business.
Although the golf operations experienced a drop of between 25 and 27 per cent at the beginning of 2009 as a result of the economic situation, he expects that figure to be around 18 per cent by the end of the year. “I think people’s attitudes are starting to thaw in their desire to enjoy their travel and leisure and in the last few months, especially July and August, there has been a strong interest in golf with more positive questions being asked about property and that looks like continuing throughout September and October.”
A qualified accountant, John Dwyer grew up in the hospitality business in Ireland where his parents ran a private residence.
He was always around golf courses and started playing at the tender age of five. He currently plays off a nine handicap.
His professional career took him to a number of golf courses in Ireland as a financial controller before heading for the Algarve.
Created in the early 1970s by the entrepreneur André Jordan, Quinta do Lago, near Almancil, has long been regarded as Europe’s finest luxury golf and leisure resort, frequented by the rich and the famous.