THE owner of Blackpool’s lavish Sands Venue on Central Promenade says things are “looking good”.
With a successful summer completed and only a couple of hundred tickets left for the entire festive season, Peter Swann is forging ahead with more of the same for 2012.
“The summer went really well and we learned a lot over our first full season of activity,” he says. “The top floor restaurant is a slow burn, but the feedback we have been getting is great and people are getting used to what we are offering on our different levels.”
With five chefs in three kitchens he says there is something for everyone and is pleased that, as well as its evening trade, the venue is building a reputation as an after-show meeting place.
Once Christmas is over the venue will remain open every Friday and Saturday in January with admission pegged at £24.99 for a three-course meal and entertainment. The Tuesday afternoon tea dances will also be carrying on.
“The weekends will be pretty much as they are now, but we will be featuring a rota of soul acts on Fridays instead of a resident band,” said Peter. “Saturdays will remain mostly big band and swing nights.”
Bigger names lined up later in the year include Buddy Greco with dates in June and September, Elkie Brooks, Alvin Stardust and Stacey Kent, he said.
“It was always going to be a gamble, but I had plenty of confidence in Blackpool and its regeneration plans,” he said. “Obviously last year we were hit a bit with the Promenade works, lack of trams and no convenient place for taxi drops, but we have overcome all of that now and ticket sales grew accordingly.
“The night-time economy has disappeared completely in some places, but Blackpool is still managing to hold its own.”
He hopes to be to be adding to that from July, when a nightclub will also be opened in what was the former Palace building.
He’s keeping the name under wraps for now but says it will be a “safe environment” for up to 400 people, and add to the Sands Venue’s aim of being a complete destination venue.
“I’m still excited about the entire project and we are determined to continue improving our service and standards,” he said. “We listen to what people want and we try and accommodate them.”