From left, Liz Nallen, Sam Johnson, Fergal Gaughran, Seán O’ Loughlin and John Nallen at Hotel Minella, Clonmel
Clonmel High School business teachers Carol Dwane and Ronan Guilfoyle, LCVP students and students studying economics paid an educational visit recently to Hotel Minella.
They were there to find out how proprietors John and Liz Nallen run their nationally and Internationally-recognised establishment, and get an insight into what it takes to maintain a four star Hotel.
Teachers and students were not disappointed, as John and Liz were waiting on the steps of the hotel to greet them with a warm welcome - albeit behind masks, in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
John said that his parents Jack and Babs Nallen purchased the hotel in 1961.
After two years of refurbishment it opened its doors in April 1963. Over 50 years later, with extensive redevelopment and constant refurbishment, Hotel Minella is one of the finest hotels and attracts people from near and far.
John and Liz explained to the students the different types of insurance needed, such as building and contents, public liability etc. and the huge costs these entail on an annual basis.
Liz explained how all businesses pay rates to the local council. Marketing was another area the boys learned about, and the importance social media plays when running a business.
The proprietors spoke at length about the impact of Covid-19 on their business. They are a large employer for the town and Covid has reduced their bookings substantially. This in turn has had a knock-on effect for their suppliers.
What they omitted to add, as they don’t publicly discuss their philanthropy, was a mention of all the open air concerts they held over the last few months to give something back to the community and to cheer people up during Covid.
John and Liz are business people in the real sense and this was never more evident when they finished off the morning with hot chocolate and cake for all the students, and a family voucher for the leisure centre for the student who got the highest score in a questionnaire about Hotel Minella.
From a business learning point of view this experience was much better than anything that could be learned from a textbook.
It also created an awareness among the younger generation of how important it is, now more than ever, to look after each other in our own communities, to shop local and to support establishments such as the very reputable Hotel Minella.
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