THE future of one of Blackpool’s most famous hotels has been secured.
Queens Hotel, on Blackpool Promenade, has been bought by hotel chain operator Leisureplex, The Gazette can today reveal.
The Chorley-based firm – sister company to leading coach holiday operator Alfa Travel – has announced the completion of the purchase. The 107-bedroom hotel had been on the market since March 2011 when previous owner Pat Mancini – the resort’s most famous landlady – decided she was going to retire.
Charity champion Pat – awarded an MBE for her fundraising work – lost her battle with cancer in July last year at the age of 72.
The Queens had been marketed at £2.5m, but is understood to have sold for far less.
Leisureplex managing director, Paul Sawbridge said: “We are delighted to have acquired this hotel which has outstanding potential for the development of both our coach holiday and self-drive businesses.
“In deciding upon a Blackpool hotel, we were anxious to find one with generously sized bedrooms and public areas that would fit in with our brand standards.
“The fact The Queens is also in such a great location and has plenty of parking is a real bonus.”
In a statement announcing the purchase, Leisureplex added: “In addition to a cocktail bar, the hotel has attractive lounges and a multi-level recently-refurbished theatre bar with superb entertainment.
“There is a leisure centre with indoor pool, gym and sauna available free of charge to guests.
“Unlike many Blackpool hotels, The Queens has generous public areas and extensive parking for both cars and coaches.”
Staff at The Queens were due to meet the new owners this week.
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s been a worrying time with the hotel on the market for so long – you start to worry about its future as it is getting old.
“It is an older property and we’d like to see it brought up to date and some assurances from the owners about our future.
“Hopefully we’ll know more as the week goes on, and we can see a safe future for the hotel.”
Leisureplex owns hotels around the UK in seaside resorts including Bournemouth, Torquay, Newquay, Fort William, Great Yarmouth and Scarborough.
The Queens becomes it’s 20th premises, giving it more than 1,600 bedrooms around the country.
Clare Smith, president of hotelier’s association StayBlackpool, said: “I’m really pleased the hotel is going to be looked after and will continue in the same vein it has before.
“It takes up a large plot on the Promenade and it’s important the hotel moves forward with the times – we didn’t want a large plot like that looking shabby and bringing the area down.
“It is really good news it’s going to continue being an asset to the town.”
Mike Rossi, who has organised entertainments at the venue for years, said: “New people have new ideas of how to run things, but we’re told it will carry on as normal at the hotel and I’ll be holding the Rock ‘n’ Roll nights as they are, and we will be hosting our annual Q Factor competition from March 15.”
Leisureplex describes itself as a “value for money” accommodation provider at British seaside resorts across the UK.