KYLIE Minogue and Westlife are among the big-name acts that could soon be gracing the stage in Dundalk when a new concert dome is constructed later this spring at The Fairways Hotel.
The 5,000 seater facility is the brainchild of hotel owner Billy Kelly, who took over the running of the Dublin Road hotel last June.
Billy has operated similar domes in Blackpool in the past and is confident he can turn the Dundalk Dome into a mini O2 with top acts from around the globe.
"We're involved with a big promoter and we'd like to try and have a smaller version of the Point Depot here as it's a more central location than Dublin.
"It's something I've done in Blackpool in the past and now is the time to do it because the hotel trade is slow and the Tin Suite in The Fairways is too small for the type of act we want.
"We're going ahead with the Dome and we hope to have the likes of Kylie and Westlife in Dundalk before too long."
Billy says that because the Dome is not a permanent structure there is no need for planning permission and he expects the construction of it to start as early as next month.
"We don't need planning permission for a temporary structure. The Dome will be on the same style as the Olympia in Dublin and it's very nice when you're inside it.
"We hope to start work on it in February and it should take about six weeks to complete.
"It's the only way forward for the business because hotels are finished."
While the arrival of the Dome and big acts will ultimately benefit the local economy, Billy also estimates that between 40-50 new jobs will be created when it gets off the ground, adding the existing 90 full and part time staff at the Fairways.
"The Dome will create at least another 40 to 50 jobs and will be family friendly. We won't be charging prices like they do in The Point and we can afford to do things cheaper because we have our own PA, our own stage and we can also provide accommodation for the various acts who play here.
"We have a couple of major acts lined up as definites already but I can't give their names out just yet," he said.
l Billy Kelly of the Fairways Hotel