Top hotel goes on the market

Hilton Hotel, Blackpool

Hilton Hotel, Blackpool

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Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel has been put on the market.

Bosses at the four-star hotel say it will remain open for business while a buyer is found.

The group says it wants to pursue other opportunities instead.

A spokesman for Hilton Worldwide said: “We can confirm that Hilton Blackpool is currently being marketed for sale.

“Hilton Worldwide has taken this difficult decision in order to pursue other opportunities that best fit our overall business strategy.

“We remain fully committed to expanding our presence in the UK and over the next few years plan to open 23 hotels across the country, which we anticipate will create over 300 jobs in 2013 alone.

“In the meantime, the hotel remains open for business and will continue welcoming guests.”

The 274-room Hilton on North Promenade, opened in 1982 as The Pembroke alongside the Derby Baths, which were later bulldozed.

At that time it was owned by the Birmingham-based Metropole Group, a subsidiary of Tiny Rowland’s Lonrho empire.

The hotel became the Stakis Blackpool in 1996 following the £327m takeover of the Metropole Group, before becoming part of the Hilton group in 1999.

Hilton were among the front-runners to operate the super-casino in Blackpool if the resort had been successful in its bid for the licence.

In 2009, planning permission was granted to build a 118-bedroom Hampton Hotel, the budget arm of the Hilton brand, on land adjacent to the existing hotel, but the development has so far never gone ahead.

Neighbouring hoteliers opposed the proposals.

Tricia Phillips, of the Windsor Carleton Hotel, on Warley Road, said: “I have heard the Hilton is up for sale, but it won’t affect my business at all.

“It is always going to be a hotel, and I say best wishes to whoever takes it over.

“It will be interesting to see who the new owner is, and there are already rumours.”