An international darts competition is set to hit the bullseye with hoteliers and tourism bosses as Blackpool gears up for a global cash injection.
Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has secured the Professional Darts Corporation’s World Matchplay Darts tournament until 2018 and will see the likes of Phil Taylor, Michael Van Gerwen and Fleetwood’s Wes Newton grace the Empress Ballroom arena.
The first tournament in the new deal will take place from July 19 to July 27 next year – the 21st tournament to be held at the Church Street venue.
Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure at Blackpool Council, said: “We are delighted to hear World Matchplay Darts will remain in Blackpool at the spectacular Winter Gardens.
“The popular event brings in a number of people into the resort and puts us in the spotlight on international television.” North Shore hotelier Mick Grewcock, who runs the Queens Mansions and Burbage Lodge apartments, added: “This will help Blackpool a lot because it’s more consistency where we can set our stall out for people to come in.
“For five years we can now target and market that particular sport through investing in it.
“I believe the Winter Gardens makes more money during that period than at any other time, so it’s good news for hotels, apartments and the Winter Gardens.
“It will bring more money and recognition to Blackpool because we need more good publicity and the magnificent Empress Ballroom will be shown off on Sky.”
Charles Ruppert, owner of The Colwyn Hotel, New South Promenade, South Shore, said: “When there’s a massive darts tournament in town there’s definitely a rise in the bookings we receive.
“We’ve also had people staying with us from abroad when the darts are on.
“We’ve always had more bookings and we are in South Shore, so I imagine the centre of town will be booming from this.”
Readers of www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk also welcomed the new darts deal for the resort.
Reader Seasides said: “Great news....My favourite event of the year in Blackpool and amazing coverage on Sky TV, well done to all concerned.”
Another reader, 1953-BFC, added: “Great news for our world famous town, Blackpool. Well done.”