DCSIMG

Travelodge to pull plug

Travelodge in Blackpool's Talbot Square and (below) Claire Smith.

Travelodge in Blackpool's Talbot Square and (below) Claire Smith.

  • by Shelagh Parkinson
 

BOSSES today pledged to ensure a historic Blackpool hotel continues operating after its future was put in doubt.

The Travelodge in the Grade II listed Clifton Hotel in Talbot Square is one of 49 hotels set to be off-loaded by the budget chain as part of a debt refinancing package.

It will continue to trade throughout a six month window during which it is hoped to find a new owner.

The hotel opened in December 2008 after Travelodge signed a 25-year lease as part of a £3.8m deal with Barnlsey-based Brook Leisure which owns the building.

Gary Hunt, managing director of Brook Leisure, said: “We are currently in negotiation with Travelodge with the aim of finding a replacement operator as soon as possible.

“There is quite a lot of interest in taking over from Travelodge in that location.”

Brook Leisure invested around £9m in restoring the 90-room Clifton.

The development also includes the Che Bar on the ground floor, and around £500,000 was spent soundproofing the accommodation above.

The three other Travelodges on the Fylde coast - on Balmoral Road, Seasiders Way and in Clifton Drive South, St Annes - are unaffected.

Travelodge is now in the hands of investment bank Goldman Sachs and two US hedge funds following a debt-for-equity swap with former owner Dubai International Capital.

The refinancing deal will see landlords receive 55 per cent of their current rent levels while efforts are made to sell the hotels which will continue to operate without any job losses.

Creditors will vote on September 4 on whether to go ahead with the arrangement.

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said; “We were concerned there were too many Travelodges coming into Blackpool but this is not good news and we hope if they sell it to a reputable operator.”

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