Jurys Doyle Hotel Group plc History

Address:
146 Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge
Dublin
Ireland

Telephone: (353) 1 607 0070
Fax: (353) 1 660 5728

Website:
Public Company
Incorporated: 1924 as Jurys Hotel
Employees: 4,000
Sales: EUR 253.77 million ($303 million)(2003)
Stock Exchanges: Irish London
Ticker Symbol: JDH
NAIC: 721110 Hotels (Except Casino Hotels) and Motels

Company Perspectives:

At Jurys Doyle, we are dedicated to providing good quality hotel products that are appropriate to our customers needs in a friendly, professional and flexible environment.

Key Dates:

1839:
William Jurys opens his commercial lodgings in Dublin, Ireland.
1866:
After Jurys becomes a partner in a new Shelbourne Hotel, he sells his original hotel to his cousin Henry James Jurys, who expands the property, then called Commercial and Family Hotel, and later the Jurys Hotel.
1918:
Jurys Hotel is requisitioned by the British army during Ireland's War of Independence.
1924:
Jurys Hotel is acquired by a group of businessmen.
1963:
The hotel adds a new 80-room wing.
1964:
Developer Pascal Vincent Doyle opens his first hotel, The Montrose, in Dublin.
1966:
Doyle opens two more hotels in Dublin.
1969:
Doyle adds a fourth Dublin hotel.
1970:
Jurys adds a new hotel in Westport.
1971:
Jurys opens a new hotel in Sligo.
1972:
Jurys sells off its properties and reforms as a new company in order to acquire three hotels in Dublin, Cork, and Limerick; Doyle opens Burlington Hotel.
1977:
Doyle opens five-star Berkeley Court Hotel.
1984:
Doyle moves into London with the acquisition of Clifton Ford Hotel; he also acquires two hotels in Washington, D.C.
1986:
Jurys goes public on the Irish Stock Exchange.
1991:
Jurys enters the United Kingdom with the purchase of a hotel in Glasgow.
1997:
Doyle acquires Dupont Plaza in Washington, D.C., and begins construction on The Washington Hotel (opened in 1999).
1999:
Jurys acquires Doyle and becomes Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, the largest in Ireland.
2002:
The company begins selling off three-star properties to focus on four- and five-star hotels.

Company History:

Jurys Doyle Hotel Group plc is Ireland's leading hotel group with a fast-growing international component as well. The company operates more than 30 hotels in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and in the United States. The company's Irish home base includes 13 hotels in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Galway. Ireland accounts for just under half of the group's revenues. The company's fastest-growing segment is in the United Kingdom, where it operates 15 hotels in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, as well as in Belfast. Jurys Doyle is also present in the United States with three hotels. Since the early 2000s, the company has been shifting its portfolio to emphasize its higher-margin four-star and five-star properties and has been selling off its lower-margin three-star properties. Jurys Doyle hotels are marketed under two core brands, the four-star Jurys Hotel brand, and the mid-priced Jurys Inn brand. The group's five-star hotels operate under their own names and include The Berkeley Court, The Westbury, and The Towers in Dublin. The company has put into place a strong development program, with six new hotels slated to add 1,500 more rooms by mid-2005. The new openings will boost the company's total number of rooms to nearly 8,000. Quoted on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, Jurys Doyle posted sales of EUR 253.77 million ($303 million) in 2003. The company is led by CEO Pat McCann.

19th Century Beginnings

William Jurys, a former commercial traveler, set up an inn catering to the commercial sector on Dublin's College Green in 1839. The inn grew and by mid-century had become known as the Commercial and Family Hotel. In 1866, Jurys became part of the partnership that built the city's Shelbourne Hotel. After that hotel opened, Jurys sold his original business to a cousin, Henry James Jurys. Over the next two decades, Henry Jurys further expanded the College Green hotel site. Henry Jurys died, but the hotel remained in the Jurys family, becoming known as Jurys Hotel--one of several Dublin locales featured in James Joyce's Ulysses--until it was requisitioned by the British forces during Ireland's War of Independence in 1918.

In 1924, after the hotel had been vacant for some two years, a group of Dublin businessmen bought the property, founding Jurys Hotel Ltd. That company bought a second property in Dublin, on Moira Street. Later, in 1963, the company unveiled a new 80-room wing for the original College Green property. The boom in the Irish tourist market during that decade encouraged the company to add two new hotels in the west of Ireland; one opened in Westport in 1970 and the other in Sligo in 1971.

Yet even as the company's new hotels opened, the tourist market appeared to fizzle out. Confronted with high maintenance costs for its aging Dublin hotels, softer than expected traffic at its western sites, and rising competition--notably from the PV Doyle Group, founded in 1964--Jurys now faced an uncertain future.

In response, the company decided to disband, selling off its properties, including the original Jurys Hotel, in order to reform as a new company, Jurys Hotel Group Ltd. That company was specifically founded in order to acquire three new hotels in Dublin's Ballsbridge, and in Cork and Limerick from the Irish and Interncontinentals Hotels group. Nearly all of the company's former shareholders participated in the operation. At the same time, the company took on a number of new investors.

International Growth in the 1990s

The company next renamed its new properties under the Jurys Hotel brand, with the Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge serving as the company's flagship. The company grew strongly into the early 1980s, expanding its Cork hotel in 1980 and again in 1986. The boom in Ireland's tourist trade prompted the group to begin seeking further expansion. In order to fuel its new growth plans, the company went public in 1986, listing on the Irish Stock Exchange. The public offering was accompanied by the opening of a new major hotel, The Towers, in Dublin.

The 1990s marked a new era for Jurys as it grew into one of Ireland's leading hotel groups, then captured the top position at the end of the decade. Acquisitions formed a good part of the company's growth, starting with its first acquisition, in 1990, of the Ardree Hotel in Waterford. Yet Jurys had also set its sights on developing an international hotel portfolio, with its natural target being the United Kingdom. In 1990, the company made its first entry into the United Kingdom, buying a Glasgow hotel from the Stakis Group. A new acquisition, in 1993, added the group's first London hotel, the Onslow, which was subsequently renamed the Jurys Kensington.

By then, Jurys had developed a new hotel brand, the mid-priced Jurys Inn, the first two of which were opened in Galway and Christchurch, in Dublin, in 1993. A third Inn opened in Cork in 1994. By mid-decade, the formula had proved a success, and the company began a larger rollout, targeting especially the United Kingdom from 1996. In 1995, the company had begun listing on the London Stock Exchange.

In the meantime, Jurys had been adding a number of other hotel properties, which were brought in under the Jurys Hotels brand. These included Bristol's Unicorn in 1994 and the Cardiff International in 1995. The company also bought the prestigious London-based Custom House, which was redeveloped as the Jurys Great Russell Street Hotel in 1999.

That year marked the next major moment in Jurys history when the company agreed to purchase Irish rival Doyle Hotel Group in a cash and shares deal worth IRP194.5 million. Since its founding in 1964, the Doyle Group had grown into one of Ireland's major hotel groups, with properties in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but also with a small holding in the United States.

Founded by builder Pascal Vincent Doyle, that company had opened its first hotel, The Montrose, in Dublin in 1964. By the end of the 1960s, Doyle had already added three more hotels. In 1972, Doyle opened The Burlington, which became the largest hotel in Ireland, and in 1977 the company added its five-star Berkeley Court in Dublin. Another five-star hotel, The Westbury, also located in Dublin, was added in 1984. Doyle also sought growth beyond Ireland, and in the early 1980s added two hotels, The Normandy and The Courtyard by Marriot Northwest in Washington, D.C. In 1997, Doyle added a third Washington, D.C, site, buying the Dupont Plaza, where it built The Washington Hotel which opened in 1999.

Critical Mass for the 2000s

The merger with Doyle doubled Jurys in size, boosting its portfolio to 32 hotels, with a total of nearly 5,500 rooms. The deal had also transformed the company, which became the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, into a truly international company, with more than half of its properties located outside of Ireland.

As one observer stated, the deal enabled the company to achieve "critical mass," at least in terms of generating higher levels of institutional investments in order to fuel its growth strategy. Those plans called for the group to expand onto the European continent, with its most likely targets to come in the Eastern European markets, where the entry threshold was lower than in such major markets as Paris or Berlin. The company also hoped to expand beyond its Washington, DC, core in the United States, with plans to add new properties along the eastern seaboard.

In the meantime, the company set to work restructuring its existing portfolio, a process led by new CEO Pat McCann, who joined the company in 2000. Jurys Doyle began renovating and expanding a number of its existing properties, such as the 69-bedroom addition to its London-based Jurys Clifton. The company also added a number of new sites, including two Chamberlain hotels in Birmingham in 2001.

In 2002, the company began a shift toward higher-margin properties, beginning a sell-off of many of its three-star locations in favor of refocusing its hotels portfolio around four- and five-star properties. At the same time, Jurys Doyle continued its expansion into the United Kingdom, where the company had targeted some 60 cities as potential future markets, opening the Jurys Inn Croydon in London in 2002 and the Jurys Inn Newcastle and Jurys Inn Glasgow in 2003.

By then, Jurys Doyle had already boosted its number of rooms to nearly 6,500, and its revenues had climbed to EUR 257 million ($303 million). The company had also begun a new expansion drive, with six new properties in development at the beginning of 2004, two of which, the Jurys Inn Leeds and the Jurys Inn Chelsea opened in London in February and March of that year. Other properties slated for opening included a new hotel in Dublin's Parnell Street, a hotel serving London Heathrow, and an entry into Southampton slated for 2005.

Jurys Doyle also looked forward to its first extension beyond Washington, D.C., in the United States, as it prepared for the opening of the new four-star Jurys Boston Hotel, scheduled to be in operation before the summer of 2004. The new openings were expected to add 1,500 bedrooms to the group's portfolio. Jurys Doyle had evolved into Ireland's leading hotel group, with plans to become a major European hotels player in the new century.

Principal Subsidiaries: Thornhill Inc; P.V. Doyle Holdings Ltd.; Koyland Ltd.; Back Bay Investments Ltd.; United Kingdom Hotel Investments Ltd.; P.V. Doyle Hotels Ltd.; Belfcard Ltd.; Jurys Doyle Hotel Management (UK) Ltd.; Jurys Doyle London Hotels Ltd.; Chamberlain Hotels Ltd. (United Kingdom); Jurys Doyle Hotel Group (UK) Ltd.; Jurys Doyle US Holdings, Inc; Jurys Washington, LLC (United States); Jyle B.V. (Netherlands); Jurys Doyle Hotels (Europe) SA (Luxembourg).

Principal Competitors: Loews Corporation; Radisson Hotels and Resorts; Compass Group plc; Marriott International Inc.; ACCOR S.A.; SABMiller plc; Hilton Group plc; Virgin Group Ltd.

Further Reading:

  • Bergsman, Steve, "Doyle Dominates Dublin Market," Hotel & Motel Management, June 5, 1995, p. 4.
  • Creaton, Siobhan, "Good News at Inns for Jurys Doyle," Irish Times, April 22, 2004, p. 19.
  • Hensdill, Cherie, "Jurys Doyle Achieves Critical Mass," Hotels, October 2000, p. 18.
  • "Jurys Boss Banks on Three-star Inns to Give Group a Five-star Future," Irish Times, January 10, 2003, p. 61.
  • "Jurys Hotel Group Acquires Doyle Hotel Group," Hotel-online.com, April 1999.
  • "Jurys to Buy Its Inns at Christchurch and Galway," Irish Times, April 28, 2004, p. 42.
  • McAffrey, Una, "Jurys Slips in Tough Trading Conditions," The Irish Times, September 10, 2003, p. 16.
  • McCabe, Eileen, "Jurys to Open London Inn," Times, October 17, 1996, p. 33.
  • McHugh, Fiona, "Doyle Hotels Set for Pounds 225m Float," Sunday Times, May 17, 1998, p. 1.
  • Walsh, Dominic, "Jurys Close to Finalising Doyle Deal," Times, November 19, 1998, p. 35.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.64. St. James Press, 2004.