‘Blackpool hotels need big shows like Britney to compete’

Britney Spears brings Piece Of Me Show to Blackpool
Britney Spears brings Piece Of Me Show to Blackpool

The leader of Blackpool hoteliers group Stay Blackpool has warned the pressure is on to keep the big shows coming, if the predicted 800 new posh hotel rooms are to be kept full.

President Claire Smith said that although the new hotels at the higher end of the scale are to be welcomed in the resort, if not enough big draw shows such as the Britney Spears concert in September come along, hotel owners may be tempted to cut prices.

An artists impression of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel which will be built on South Promenade, Blackpool

An artists impression of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel which will be built on South Promenade, Blackpool

She said if that happens and prices fall into the budget end of the scale, then smaller B&Bs would struggle to compete against the modern newcomers.

Blackpool is set to get around 800 new rooms with the likes of the Hamptons by Hilton opening this year on South Promenade, the five star 90-room hotel above the Sands venue, the a four-star 142-room hotel adjacent to Blackpool North Station and a possible hotel alongside the revamped Winter Gardens.

Claire Smith said: “Having around six new hotels coming on stream in the next few years is great it shows investment confidence in Blackpool, but these bedrooms will have to be filled.

“We will therefore need to attract the visitors for them.

“As four and five star hotels they are not really competing with the many smaller hotels and B&Bs, but if they drop their room rate, as many big hotels do at certain times of the year to get them filled, then they will put pressure on the little hoteliers.

“That could just shift the problem around Blackpool.”

She said if more smaller hotels are closed it would look bad for the resort which is trying to modernise and improve its offer. The building of the conference centre at the Winter Gardens is likely to help bring new visitors to Blackpool.

She added: “It began with the Mamma Mia run, having Will Smith last year was fabulous and Britney coming this year is amazing but we need to keep that momentum to keep rooms filled and everyone in business.”