Blackpool hotel owner will need 15 years to pay-off £31K gas and electricity bill

Hotelier Adrian Smirthwaite from the Albany Hotel is receiving negative reviews on his Tripadvisor but they are meant for another Albany Hotel on Clifton Drive
Hotelier Adrian Smirthwaite from the Albany Hotel is receiving negative reviews on his Tripadvisor but they are meant for another Albany Hotel on Clifton Drive
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A hotelier amassed a huge power bill which at his current re payment level would take until 2034 to pay off.

Adrian Smirthwaite, 57, owes more than £31,000 to British Gas for his gas and electricity supplies and failed in his bid to delay an application by the power firm to enter his property – The Albany Hotel on Albert Road, Blackpool – and cut him off.

Smirthwaite told Blackpool Magistrates: “My ex used to run the hotel and built up some of this bill.

“Then she did one with the cleaner’s husband-she was unfaithful.”

The hotelier claimed he had suffered a break down and tried suicide twice because of the bill.

He added:”I having been paying British Gas through their solicitors and I am not happy that all the payments have been passed onto the company.”

The court was told by British Gas that Smirthwaite had been in debt for six years.

He currently owed £5,647 for gas and a massive £25,568 for electricity.

The company said: “His level of repayment is seven per cent and it will take him until 2034 to pay this off with his current consumption.

“This has been long term debt and we have exceeded our credit plans.”

He told the court:”I am trying to remortgage the hotel and its up for sale .I have dropped the price from £330,000 to £230,000.”

After the hearing Smirthwaite said: “We will just have to move out.”

Last year Smirthwaite publicly blamed Trip Advisor for a turn down in his business stating that comments about another hotel in Blackpool bearing the same name had affected him.

In 2015, he threatened the online review site with legal action claiming negative reviews of his hotel actually referred to premises of the same name on clifton Drive.

As a result, Trip Advisor agreed to remove the two-star reviews wrongly attributed to Mr Smirthwaite’s hotel.

He said: “People were getting mixed up and they putting their bad reviews of the other Albany hotel onto my site.

“It affected my business because if people see a bad review they won’t book and every booking can be worth £200 or £300.

“We were thinking of changing the name of the hotel but that would cost about £5,000 changing all the signs and our literature.”

A spokeswoman for Trip Advisor said 10 reviews had been disputed by Mr Smirthwaite and seven were removed.