A new 85-bedroom hotel is in the pipeline at Drayton Manor Park to meet rising demand for overnight stays – and will be named after site founder George Bryan.
Proposals for Hotel Hamilton have been drawn up in the wake of the success of the original £19 million hotel, which finally opened in summer 2011 following years of planning delays.
The Drayton Manor Hotel has already pulled in nearly 150,000 sleeping customers – and is set to be supplemented by Hotel Hamilton.
The new hotel will take 92 year-old George Bryan’s middle name of Hamilton, and will be attached to the complex’s popular Hamilton Suite.
Although the project is still in the early stages of planning, park chief executive Colin Bryan is hopeful that building work could start as early as 2015.
He told the Post: “We needed to do a five-year plan for Lichfield District Council and in there are a lot of new ideas including hotel number two. It will be attached to the Hamilton Suite building and the hotel will be Hotel Hamilton.
“The first hotel has been an absolutely enormous success and has totally exceeded our expectations.
“We are making good profits out of it and we are approaching 150,000 sleeping customers since it opened. That figure does not include people who come for dinner-dances, functions etc.”
Mr Bryan could not reveal the cost of the new investment. “It will be a three-star and will not be as expensive as the last one. I think that the hotel could be started after 2015.
“It is very Spanish-looking – it will have its own entrance and the banqueting facilities will be part of the Hamilton Suite.
“I like the idea of a second hotel. It is an adjunct – an extra bedroom hotel – it will not have any restaurant in it apart from a breakfast bar.”
Mr Bryan said Drayton Manor had celebrated the second best year in its history from February 2012 to February 2013, with around 1,120,000 visitors, including from Ireland, Norway, Japan and elsewhere.
“The hotel has had a lot to do with that because we now have people staying for two days. Around 70 per cent stay for more than one day.
“We have also just had planning permission for an extra restaurant at the current hotel.”
Mr Bryan said the park had enjoyed a record August in 2012. “August 2008 was the previous record and we beat that in August 2012 by 49,000 extra people.
“We are on a high – we are doing well. We have a good pricing system and we offer what the public wants.”
He said the park had been forced to shut for the first time in its history in late March following unprecedented heavy snowfall.
“We were shut for three days – it was the weekend after we opened. But we have not closed anything due to the recession.
“The zoo is having a new refurbishment this coming winter, with a new entrance. It is still very popular with the youngsters.
“We have invested in the park – everything we do, we have an investment programme where we have a set amount of money.”