Easter boost for business in spite of poor weather

John Child, managing director, Sandcastle WaterPark
John Child, managing director, Sandcastle WaterPark
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Businesses in Blackpool enjoyed a mixed weekend as people flocked in to celebrate the Easter season.

Major attractions, including the Pleasure Beach and Sandcastle Waterpark, reported a busy bank holiday weekend while a number of hotels said they were fully booked.

However, some business owners said the rain meant they were not as busy as they had hoped.

John Child, managing director of Sandcastle, said: “We have had an excellent start to the new season and the four-day Easter weekend has seen 10,000 guests visit our water park.

“Our online booking system reached capacity each day, as did the water park.

“It has been a busy weekend for us and our team has worked very hard to ensure an enjoyable and memorable visit for each of our guests.”

The attraction hosted egg hunts for younger visitors over the weekend.

Peter Sedgwick, owner of Blackpool’s famous piers, said the weather can have a big impact on trade.

While Easter traditionally sees visitor numbers increase, he said, the rain meant some people preferred to stay indoors.

“Easter is the first holiday of the year and people are glad to get out of the house,” he added.

“We brought in the crowds but the figures aren’t going to break any records because of the weather.

“When the weather is right, that’s when we really bring in the numbers.

“It was like a mini-Easter two weeks ago when it was very warm.”

Hotelier Claire Smith, of Stay Blackpool, said: “It has been a fabulous weekend. We have had lots of people around.

“We could have done with better weather but it was still a good start for the season, and it’s certainly the same for other hotels in Blackpool. Traditionally Easter was always booked up well in advance and that doesn’t happen any more. We fill up at the last minute.

“We were all fully-booked which is really good but it does make you sweat a bit more when you’re wondering whether you’re going to make it or not.

“Easter is much more drawn out these days so it means instead of a nightly blip, bookings are more spread out over the month.”

Meanwhile bosses at Blackpool Pleasure Beach were pleased with the turnout over the weekend.

The attraction welcomed members of 2009 Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity yesterday. Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo from the popular dance group were in the resort to promote Slimefest, which takes place in October.

A Pleasure Beach spokesman said: “Despite the mixed weather this weekend, the sunny spells have brought out many visitors including Jordan and Perri from Diversity.”