New American owners for Belfry


Sean Dudley

The Belfry resort in England, four times host to the Ryder Cup matches, has been bought by an American venture capital firm specialising in golf and hospitality investments.

KSL Capital Partners has bought the property, previously owned by bankrupt Irish entrepreneur Sean Quinn, for a price believed to be in the region of £90 million. Quinn paid £186 million for the Belfry in 2005, but the Quinn family businesses failed after the collapse of the Irish economy, and the property reverted to the family's bankers.

The three courses at the Belfry, including the Brabazon, famous for its Ryder Cup connections, and the rest of the resort, are to be managed by the De Vere group, which owned the property before the sale to Quinn. KSL plans a major renovation of the hotel, though it is not yet clear whether any work is intended for the golf courses themselves.

KSL partner Richard Weissmann said: “Given KSL’s experience owning and operating large scale golf and spa resorts across the United States, the Belfry is the perfect opportunity for our first resort investment in Europe. We believe De Vere’s familiarity with today’s European travellers combined with our planned renovations will provide guests of the Belfry a new level of luxury, service and amenities.”