Hotel owners and their staff today celebrated a multi-million pound deal that says ‘we believe in Blackpool’!
The Sheraton Hotel on Queens Promenade, North Shore, has been bought for around £2m by the Seddon family who already own the neighbouring Elgin Hotel.
For the family to invest in Blackpool shows how confident we are in Blackpool as a resort
The new owners have already begun a £250,000 refurbishment of rooms at the Sheraton which will be brought up to three-star standard.
The deal also brought together two families who between them have shared 100 years of being in the hospitality industry in Blackpool.
While the Seddons have owned the 89-bedroom Elgin, also on Queens Promenade, for 46 years, the McPhee family have been at the 104-bedroom Sheraton for 54 years.
Yesterday the 120 staff from both hotels celebrated by forming a chain along the Promenade between the two hotels, holding a ceremonial ribbon which was cut jointly by Mrs Irene Seddon, managing director of Elgin Hotel Ltd and Miss Katie McPhee, director of Hotel Sheraton.
Jane Seddon, marketing director for Elgin Hotel Ltd, said: “The Seddons believe in Blackpool and because of that we wanted to invest back into Blackpool.
“The Sheraton being another family business fitted into what the Elgin does and we felt it was the right time to expand.
“For the family to invest in Blackpool shows how confident we are in Blackpool as a resort.
“We could have looked elsewhere but felt Blackpool was where we wanted to be.”
Mrs Irene Seddon added: “We are so delighted to not only continue our investment in Blackpool as a resort, but also to now call the Hotel Sheraton the sister hotel to the Elgin.
“We have known the McPhee family personally for many years and know that they will be as excited as we are regarding our future plans for investment in the hotel.”
Work has already begun on refurbishing the first 35 bedrooms at The Sheraton.
The McPhee family decided to sell following the death of Mrs McPhee’s husband John earlier this year after a long battle with dementia.
Mrs McPhee said: “Blackpool and the Sheraton have given us such an unbelievably great life and I’m so grateful.
“After Mr McPhee passed away in January from dementia, the time was right for us to say goodbye and I am glad the hotel is going to such a caring, professional family and we wish them all the luck in the world.”
Staff at the Sheraton said they were delighted the investment had secured their futures.
Bars manager Peter Houghton, who has worked there for 26 years, said: “My wife Angela runs the restaurant and my sons have worked here too, so the handover is emotional because we have worked so long for Mr and Mrs McPhee.
“But I am look forward to the hotel being restored to its former glory and it is great it is in safe hands with another Blackpool family.”
Reception and duty manager Alison Bacon said: “It is nice for everything to be finalised and for all the staff to know what is happening with their futures.
“The best thing about this hotel is the staff and I think everyone is pleased the hotel is going to be run by another family.”
The Seddons have not disclosed exactly how much they paid for the Sheraton, but the asking price was £2.3m.
Between them the Elgin and the Sheraton have welcomed more than 500,000 guests staying two million bed nights during their 100 years.
The planned refurbishment of the Sheraton this winter will include 35 completely refurbished bedrooms with new bathrooms, new dining room furniture, fresh carpets and decor to the public rooms, new signage, new brochures and a new website.
The hotel’s function rooms will also be more widely available to Blackpool residents to hire for celebrations and Christmas parties.
Following her father John’s long illness living with dementia, Tara McPhee, departing managing director of Hotel Sheraton, now owns a business based in Bispham, called Home Instead which provides home care to older people across the Fylde, specialising in looking after those living with the condition.