Hotel guests left high and dry as online Blackpool firm goes bust

Debbie McIntyre (left) and bride to be Laura Bullock (right) who have been left out of pocket by the demise of Awesome Weekends
Debbie McIntyre (left) and bride to be Laura Bullock (right) who have been left out of pocket by the demise of Awesome Weekends
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Hoteliers across Blackpool have been plunged into chaos after a booking website went bust.

Awesome Weekends - a Blackpool-based online firm offering discount group mini-break packages - has gone into insolvency.

Guests have been told they will not get refunds while hoteliers across the resort have lost out on scores of bookings.

Debbie McIntyre, 38, had paid £1,100 out of her own money for a two night stay at The Grange Hotel in Hornby Road for herself and 12 family and friends for her pal Laura Bullock’s hen party on August 31-September 1 - the same weekend as the Switch-On and Britney Spears’ concert on the Tower Festival Headland on the Prom.

In a statement on the company’s website, they said: “Awesome Weekends have ceased tradiung as of 13/08/18. For any enquiries regarding your booking please contact Francesca Vivace of Campbell Crossley and Davis on (01253) 349331.”

Maid of honour Debbie, from Drumchapel, near Glasgow, said: “I’m not sure what we are all going to do now at such short notice. My friend Laura, the bride, was in bits when I told her. “How do I tell her family that I have paid all this money? She is saving for her wedding.

“It was so hard to hear her crying when I told her that the booking had been cancelled.

“The Grange have been great and offered us three rooms and would knock off £20 each but there’s 13 of us so I’m not sure that’s going to work. They are worried people are going to turn up at their door with a reservation they no longer have.

“I will take it up with my bank about the money but it could be months before we may get it back.”

Tina Craig, Debbie’s sister, said: “Debbie got an email at 5pm on Wednesday saying the company had ceased trading. We have also paid £40 each for the bus to bring us to Blackpool.

“Laura is devastated and my sister feels like it is all her fault, which it obviously isn’t. It’s a lot of money for many of us.

“There will be a lot of hotels affected by this in Blackpool and we don’t know what to do now.

The package with Awesome Weekends was £85 per person for two nights bed and breakfast with an organised pub crawl around Blackpool and VIP wristbands for venues across the resort

Awesome Weekends said bookings up to and including this weekend were unaffected.

Marlene Spires, who part owns the Grange Hotel, has agreed to hold the three rooms back for the hen party despite now signing up with a new booking agent.

She said: “It came as a big shock to us too. I rang Awesome Weekends up on Monday morning and was told they were having a meeting. It was only after that we were told they had gone into liquidation.

“I had no contact numbers for future bookings as they don’t give us the guest details until they have paid the full amount.

“We’ve had one group tell us they got an email on Monday to tell them they had to pay the remainder of their booking - and then the same day they went bust. That’s not on.

Laura, 40, will marry her fiance Danny Murphy at the Pond Hotel in Glasgow in November.

Ian Williamson, insolvency practitioner at Campbell, Crossley and Davis, said Awesome Weekends were technically insolvent.

He advised anyone affected to ring the firm on the number above, adding those who had paid by debit or credit card should also contact their bank.

Those who paid by bank transfer will now be classed as creditors and should call Campbell, Crossley and Davis in the first instance.

CAN YOU HELP DEBBIE AND HER PALS?

Contact The Gazette on (01253) 361842