Two West Country hotels have been sold by Bristol-based business recovery experts Begbies Traynor, saving more than 40 jobs.
Ralegh’s Cross, a 17 bedroom pub with rooms, based in Exmoor National Park, has been in Law of Property Act Receivership since November 2011. It employs 27 staff from the local area and the sale was completed during June.
The Camelot Hotel, in Bude, Cornwall, which has 24 bedrooms, and employs 20 staff, has been in administration since February 2012.
Both hotels have been traded through their financial difficulties and marketed by Begbies Traynor, with sales made to private investors, with plans to continue trading in their present form.
Simon Haskew, partner at Begbies Traynor in Bristol, believes that ensuring the businesses continued trading was vital.
“The sale of both hotels was achieved by understanding the importance of bringing these businesses onto a secure financial footing and being realistic with our valuation of the businesses in the current economic climate. We increased interest in the properties by utilising the Begbies Traynor Accelerated property sales website. The sales we have achieved represent good value for all involved and keep the hotels running,” he said.
“A common denominator in the under-performing hotels that we see is out of date décor which doesn’t appeal to customers and keep them coming back. Keeping an on-going programme of improvements to the hotel, and staying abreast of modern trends such as boutique rooms is imperative if hotels are to survive and flourish.
“The other key factor at play is an hotelier’s wage bill,” added Mr Haskew. “A healthy rate for this industry is between 25-30% of turnover, but many hoteliers keep a workforce way in excess of their trading, creating cash problems for the business and the subsequent financial difficulties.”
Simon has over 25 years mid-market corporate restructuring and insolvency experience across a wide range of industry sectors, as well as broad experience in all aspects of personal insolvency. He joined Begbies Traynor as a partner in 1999 after a formative career with Ernst & Young in Bristol and London. He is a member of the R3 General Technical Committee and recently served as the Examiner of the “rescue” paper for the JIEB exam.