Moving tributes paid to resort hotels chief

Former hotelier and entrepreneur John Nelder, who has died aged 82
Former hotelier and entrepreneur John Nelder, who has died aged 82
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A former hotelier and entrepreneur described as “a true gentleman” by his family has died.

Tributes have been paid to John Nelder (pictured), who owned three prominent Blackpool hotels as well as two in the Lake District. He was 82.

Mr Nelder ran Choice Hotels - with a portfolio including the Claremont, Cliffs and Viking Hotels on the Promenade.

His son Robert, 54, a director at the company, said: “People have passed on a lot of condolences to us and are very sad. He was nobody’s fool and a true gentleman, he was well respected for being a proper man. He wasn’t flamboyant or a man about town, he was a family man.”

Mr Nelder was born in Birmingham in 1931 and was warded a HND in civil engineering from Loughborough University. He then emigrated to Quebec, in Canada, to work in the iron ore mining industry. While in Canada he married his wife Anne, now 79, and Robert was born.

He later moved his family back to these shores and went into business with his brother Owen in Birmingham.

In the late 1960s he moved back to Blackpool, where he built up the family’s hotel empire. Mr Nelder, who lived on Holmefield Avenue, Clevleys, was a keen fell walker and also enjoyed angling and curling while in Canada. He died of natural causes.

He is also survived by second son Matthew, 53, and four grandchildren - Tom, 25, Suzie, 23, Victoria, 22, and Claire, who turned 21 on the day her grandfather died.

His funeral takes place at Carleton Crematorium from 10am. All are welcome.

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