By Sarah Chambers
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
ANY of the locations on budget hotel chain Travelodge’s East of England ‘target list’ of hotel sites could become part of its plans to expand a budget gym partnership, it says.
Travelodge has plans to create new hotels in 23 locations across East Anglia, Cambridge, Essex and north Kent.
Included in the list is an 87-bed hotel for Ipswich Central which was opened on the town’s Waterfront in August.
Among the deals not yet marked as ‘done’ is an 80-bed hotel at Bury St Edmunds. A proposal for part of a former council offices at New Shire Hall in Bury St Edmunds to be used as a hotel was given the go-ahead in July. While not a proposal specific to a Travelodge, a design and access statement submitted with the planning application by current site owners M & D Developments said the budget hotel chain had prepared a scheme for the building which proposed 80 suites.
The chain also wants to create a 100-bed hotel in Colchester, and 60-bed hotels at Newmarket, Thetford and Braintree.
A spokesman for the group said if a suitable site is found, then any of the locations on its East of England target list would possibly be in line for the gym roll-out the hotel chain is planning
It has stepped up its partnership with The Gym Group by announcing £70million plans to find another 10 sites. Travelodge shares locations with the budget gym chain in Guildford, Plymouth, London Waterloo and Wembley but wants to expand this over the next five years.
Travelodge director Paul Harvey said the existing four co-location sites have worked “enormously well” for both parties. There are currently 27 sites in operation by Gym Group, which is focusing its search for new sites on London and the South East.
Travelodge is seeking to transfer 49 hotels to other operators in the next few months, including at Beacon Hill, Needham Market, and Clacton-on-Sea. It is also aiming to retain some hotels at reduced rents including Barton Mills, near Mildenhall, and at Great Dunmow
A spokesman said: “We are committed to finding new operators for Travelodge Ipswich Beacon Hill and Travelodge Clacton-on-Sea. We have employed specialist property agents to help seek new operators for these hotels and have received interest. We are very hopeful that we will find new operators for these hotels, and we will work with all parties to ensure that there is a successful handover.”