A CONTROVERSIAL party hotel has become the first in Blackpool to be shut down using tough powers normally applied to drug dens and brothels.
The Malibu Hotel on Albert Road was due to accommodate 100 guests this weekend but must now turn them away.
Town hall chiefs applied for a closure order after receiving a catalogue of complaints from other hoteliers in the holiday heartland.
Yesterday Blackpool magistrates agreed the venue must stay closed until a full hearing takes place in four weeks.
Neighbouring hoteliers have complained about noise, and lewd and anti-social behaviour since The Malibu opened last year targeting the stag and hen market.
They say owner Jonathan Hartley cannot control his guests whose disruptive behaviour – culminating in a massive brawl recently – is damaging trade nearby.
Adrian Smurthwaite, of The Albany Hotel, said: “All our guests, including children, are witnessing this mayhem.
“We know a lot of hotels take stag and hen groups, but the point is at this hotel there is no control over them.”
Diane Waters, of The Arabella Hotel, said: “The noise is terrible and you see people being sick over the railings and against the walls. Every weekend there is disruption in the street.”
The council successfully used Asbo laws to have the premises closed down. It is believed to be the first time such an order has been used to shut a successful commercial business.
Mr Hartley’s solicitor Trevor Colebourne told the court: “My client has invested £250,000 in what was a dilapidated rat infested building used by tramps.
“He has 100 guests, well within his licence limits, due to arrive for the weekend. They have already paid £20 per head per night.
“There are the same numbers booked in for the next three weekends – far more than other hotels in this area will be expecting.”
Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said the situation was “shocking”.
He added “This is the first time we’ve used this legislation to close a hotel down with immediate effect.
“It was a situation we could not allow to continue for another day, let alone weekend.”