The FourRooms Blackpool proprietor believes change needs to come from the Government
The owner of a five-star Blackpool B&B has said the resort is becoming a “dumping ground” for the rest of the UK and has urged for a compulsory licence to help bolster the town’s reputation as a holiday destination.
The comments, from Michael Elt, the man behind the five-star bed and breakfast FourRooms in Blackpool, come after concerns from Scott Benton MP about the standards of some accommodation in the resort.
Earlier this week, the MP for Blackpool South urged hotels and B&Bs to get behind local accreditation following ongoing complaints about the standard of holiday accommodation in Blackpool.
Michael uploaded a video to YouTube on August 26 titled ‘Dirt cheap Accommodation’.
In the video he reached out to those looking to book a holiday but also “want a bargain.”
He said that “Blackpool has, or did have, the reputation of cheap and cheerful but now it is just a detriment to the town itself”.
Michael added: “Many of you booking out there see a room for £10, £15 per night and think ‘great, that will do me.’
“This price also attracts the people who really just want to come to Blackpool, get drunk and trash the place.
“But then, the provider of the accommodation can’t afford to replace anything that has been broken, stolen etc and so the place then stays exactly the same way for the next visitor, which is you and then we’ve got the start of the downwards spiral.”
“Some premises are already at the bottom of this downwards spiral, but really all they care about is money and not about your treatment or your holiday – just money. Their way of thinking is, let’s get as many in as we can and make some money, whilst not investing in this dump.”
“So you’re paying for something that is, pretty much, a dump. Blackpool is then left with this image of, it’s a dump, and the people who have experienced the rubbish will also promote this fact.”
“if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check all the reviews, speak to the property direct before you jump on that bargain as you may not experience the dream holiday, but instead the holiday from hell.”
“if you want dirt cheap, then i’m sure you’ll get it, you’ll get the dirt and you’ll get it cheap. You’ll really only get what you pay for. Thanks for listening and hope we make a difference.”
Michael told LancsLive that business had been “more than busy, manic” this season, “which isn’t how we do things anyway.”
Michael said that there are plenty of Blackpool hotels and B&B’s that “lower their prices” mid-week in order to “cram the people in to try and get the place full” but by the time the weekend comes around, prices rise. He said: “It’s just all about money.”
Michael and Paul own a “high quality” B&B which they describe as “offering the very best of luxury accommodation”. They have four rooms and award winning levels of service and facilities.
They have consistently high reviews on TripAdvisor, and have five stars from VisitEngland as well as a Gold-standard award.
On other hotels and B&B’s that have caused Mr Benton MP to promote the VisitBlackpool accreditation scheme, Michael said for other hoteliers: “It’s nothing to do with the standard of the place, how you might have a nice holiday, how you might have a lovely experience – none of that is taken into consideration.
“It’s all about money, cram as many in as you can then cram them back out again to get the next lot in.”
FourRooms, he says, do things “totally” differently.
Michael recalled a guest who continued to stay elsewhere due to the company they had in regulars at the accommodation “so they loved it” despite it being “dated.”
But since their accommodation had been taken over, “they were left with that shell of the building with no atmosphere at all.”
Michael said: “Then they came to us and said they wouldn’t stop anywhere else now. They’d always come to us.”
People continue to stay at these places “because of the people” but he believes fellow hoteliers care mostly about money.
For change, Michael believes that a licensing scheme should be compulsory.
He drew on the food standards license for comparison. He said: “You don’t pay for a food standards licence, you have no choice. It’s compulsory. With normal landlords, there’s a rule in place that you have to have properties that are clean and tidy, they have to be habitable.
“There is nothing like that for bed and breakfasts, hotels, nothing.”
Michael described price competition between independent accommodations as “a race to the bottom” with cheap prices lowering rates and causing poor standards of accommodation.
He said: “How the hell can you provide a good room with a bed, breakfast, towels, water, electric everything, for just £15.
“They want something dirt cheap and they get something that is dirty and cheap. They then complain about it, but the people offering it, there’s no way they can repair anything. The room stays like that ready for the next one to come in, you’re on a downwards spiral right from the start and nobody will do anything about it.”
A compulsory licensing scheme would ensure that accommodation in Blackpool is held at the same trading standard across the board.
Michael said: “There needs to be something in place that means before you can trade, the room you are letting needs to be clean, without a speck of mould anywhere, and if there is there needs to be a plan in place to see you are doing something about it. It needs to be kept on top of.”
Consistency of these inspections would be key to keeping Blackpool’s accommodation at a good trading standard. But Michael believes the change needs to come from the Government.
“If there was something like that in place, it would then push out a lot of the rubbish that is in Blackpool and other places as well.
“It is right across the board, but Blackpool needs to stop being the dumping ground for the rest of the country.”