Find us a Cromer site, say Travelodge

A top hotel chain is offering a reward of up to £150,000 to anyone who can find it a site at Cromer.The unusual move comes from Travelodge which is keen to set up shop at the resort as part of a £150m expansion programme into seaside towns across the country.

A top hotel chain is offering a reward of up to £150,000 to anyone who can find it a site at Cromer.

The unusual move comes from Travelodge which is keen to set up shop at the resort as part of a £150m expansion programme into seaside towns across the country.

Anyone whose site is seen through to the building stage will get a £500-per-room “finder's fee” up to a £150,000 ceiling.

Travelodge chief executive Grant Hearn said a new budget hotel would provide a big boost to the local economy

with the average guest spending £254 a week in the area, including £100 on food and drink and £100 on excursions.

The news has been given a cautious welcome by people in the town who say the plans could bring both more beds and a boost to the local economy - but they have warned the company not to bulldoze its way in and encouraged it to work with the community.

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Bruce Stratton, secretary to the Hotels of North Norfolk marketing and lobbying group, said: “If you stand still, like any business, you go backwards so I do accept change providing that change is for the better.

“Travelodge have a national reputation for quality and good value rooms so from that point of view them coming into an area has the advantage of generating more bed nights and more local spending so that is positive.

“In terms of Cromer I support this provided Travelodge are prepared to work alongside the local tourist associations and encourage the improvement of standards in Cromer.”

Cromer mayor, Hilary Thompson, said she thought the idea had the potential to “lift the whole town.”

She said: “I would have thought it would be a good thing.

“More people are taking holidays in the UK and there are times at the height of the season when all the bed and breakfasts are full. This would help.”

Mrs Thompson said she was not sure where a Travelodge would go but felt that the best place would be on the outskirts so ample parking could be provided.

Travelodge says it welcomes suggestions from everyone and not just those who own land or property they wish to put forward. In fact, if you directly benefit from the sale of the site then you cannot claim the cash.

With the credit crunch starting to bite more people are choosing to holiday in the UK and the company estimates that 30pc of British holiday makers have already scrapped their foreign holiday plans for this year.

It wants to tap into the traditional British seaside holiday market by building 55 hotels at coastal resorts by 2015.

Currently Cromer is the only resort in Norfolk on the company's list.

Travelodge boss Mr Hearn said: “Expansion in Britain's seaside resorts is an increasingly important part of Travelodge's plan.

“With the credit crunch, strength of the Euro and soaring air fares making foreign travel unattractive for many Brits, the appeal of a domestic seaside holiday has not been as strong for a generation.”

Already strong in the roadside and budget city hotel room sector, the company owns 337 hotels and operates 23,500 rooms across the country. Under its expansion plans it hopes to be operating 1,000 hotels by 2020.

Mr Hearn added: “Cromer is exactly the right location for us and the benefits will be felt across the town.

“If anyone knows of a site that may be suitable for conversion then I urge them to get in touch.”

To suggest a suitable site go to www.travelodgedevelopment.co.uk

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