So here we are then... the last Wednesday column of the year. It’s probably the furthest away from New Year’s Eve it’s possible to be but it’s the last publishing Wednesday of the year, so there you go!
Next Wednesday is Christmas Day, and the next time we gather will be New Year’s Day. I was lucky to finish for Christmas last Friday.
It’s been a turbulent year in many respects for all of us. Uncertainty has been the word from the start, both nationally and locally. We’ve had two lots of elections, council and general and the whole Brexit thing has sought to divide us in a way nobody thought possible.
Back in May we saw the Labour council returned to power in Blackpool by the skin of its teeth... a narrow majority, but nonetheless a working majority to allow Simon Blackburn’s team the chance to crack on with their plans for the resort.
A changeable summer weather wise brought with it uncertainty for the tourism industry. We heard from the usually bubbly Claire Smith at Stay Blackpool who quite candidly told the BBC that this year had been tough. Many new hotels coming on line, she argued, meant that until the major new attractions and the conference centre are built, existing guest houses were having to fight like never before for the existing holiday market.
Amanda Thompson at the Pleasure Beach then joined the debate as she opened her brand new five star Boulevard Hotel to argue that everyone needed to up their game to compete for trade next year.
My favourite quote of the year came from the landau man on the Prom when asked what sort of a season it had been. “They’re here, but they’re not spending.... It’s one ice cream, and four lickers!” he said.
And so with a week to Christmas we pin our hopes on next year, and I’ll write more about that when we gather here again on New Year’s Day.
Until then, I’d like to thank you for joining me here in the Gazette each Wednesday during 2019 for the weekly rant, and wish you and your family a Happy Christmas.
A changeable summer weather wise brought with it uncertainty for the tourism industry.