Otley Pub Club call on Enterprise Inns to ensure that the en route Black Horse Hotel is open for the Tour de France 2014
Otley’s community pub supporting organisation, Otley Pub Club, have written to the new CEO of Enterprise Inns, Simon Townsend urging Enterprise to ensure that the Black Horse Hotel, which is on the route of the Tour de France 2014, is open for this historic once in a lifetime event.
The Black Horse, currently closed yet again, since late 2013 and has had a chequered history in recent years, closing and opening regularly. This is despite some much needed investment in the Hotel in 2011.
The Black Horse, a Victorian coaching inn with the current building dating back to 1901/2, is the only hotel in Otley and its 11 letting rooms are crucial to the town’s tourist offering. The Hotel’s function room would also offer a fantastic view of the Tour as it passes through Otley.
Otley Pub Club are calling on Enterprise to publicly commit to having the Black Horse open – and available for people to book – for the TdF and for the annual Otley Cycle Races which take place just before Le Grand Depart – making the first week of July a real celebration of cycling in Otley, which is famous for cycling – and for its pubs.
Otley Pub Club are suggesting that Enterprise should either commit to doing this by reopening the Hotel with a temporary manager (and as soon as possible, to ensure that the business is build back up and bookings can be taken) or that they sell the hotel to a hotel operator, who would ensure that it is open and trading in July 2014.
Such is the importance of this issue that the public letter to Enterprise has been copied to Otley Town Council, Otley’s MP, Welome to Yorkshire and the organisers of the annual Otley Cycle Races.
In November 2013, Otley Pub Club President renewed his call for Enterprise to sell the pub to a proper hotel operator, saying that it would not work as a leased pubco pub but could work as a properly run hotel, pub and restaurant if operated by the right company.
Commenting, Andy FitzGerald, Chair of Otley Pub Club said:
“ It is a sad indictment of how Enterprise manages its properties that there is the very real risk of the Black Horse being empty on the day the world’s greatest cycle race passes by the front door. We would welcome the opening of the Black Horse in time for it to participate in this historic event and demonstrate just what a successful hotel it could be”.
Greg Mulholland MP, President of Otley Pub Club and Otley’s MP said:
“Millions of people around the world will be watching the Tour de France as it passes through Otley and it would reflect badly on the town and on Enterprise Inns if this historic Hotel remained closed.
“The first week in July, with the Tour de France and the annual Otley Cycle Races, will be a unprecedented week long celebration of cycling in the town and we need to have the only hotel in the town centre open and trading.
“Enterprise Inns must either publicly commit to having the Black Horse Hotel open soon and to remain open in July or should sell it to a proper hotel operator who could run it and make it a success. The chequered history of the Black Horse means that Enterprise are unlikely to get another tenant, nor will it work on that basis, so selling it to an appropriate hotel company remains the most likely way for the Black Horse to succeed. Either way, it cannot sit gathering dust much longer, so it really is time for Enterprise to make a sensible decision and ensure that Otley’s town centre hotel is open for Le Tour Yorkshire”.
Please click on the following link to see a copy of the letter sent to Enterprise Inns .