Scarborough hotel couple are eager to welcome their first guests

Lockdown buyers say ‘everything will be okay’

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 4:37 pm
Tony and Paula Bates outside Hotel Ellenby

The pandemic has seen impacted businesses in a number of ways, but what happens when your business hasn’t even begun to trade?

This was the scenario facing Tony and Paula Bates who bought the Hotel Ellenby in Queens Parade, Scarborough, earlier this year.

“We started planning a year ago. We had a sign and graphics business in Nottinghamshire and we decided to put it up for sale,” said Tony.

Tony and Paula look forward to welcoming their first guests

“Much to our surprise, the business sold during lockdown, which we didn’t expect, because running any business during lockdown is not much fun.

“We decided to go for it. It seems madness now, but in the long term it will be okay.”

The couple headed for Scarborough and began to prepare the hotel to open. Tony said: “It’s been frustrating not getting the hotel open this year.

“The beds are made up and the hotel is ready to go, we’re just putting our own stamp on it.”

The current tiered restrictions are making it difficult when deciding who is allowed to come to stay at the hotel.

Tony said: “How do we control who comes? We’ve got lots of people in Nottingham who would like to come and stay.

“But they’re in tier three> At one point, Nottingham had the second highest rate of Covid in the country.

“If people book through booking.com, it doesn’t ask which tier people are in.

“ I don’t know how it gets controlled. It shouldn’t happen, but if someone comes from a Tier Three area and we don’t know, would we be doing something wrong?”

The couple have spent their time preparing to open completing food hygiene and licensee courses and also learning how to be Covid safe.

Tony said: “We completed an online course which helped us understand how it’s transmitted.

“We’ve done a lot of research and think we may only open at weekends to begin with, which will allow us to leave three days between guests in each room.”

The couple has enjoyed adding Scarborough memorabilia to the Grade II listed building, which enjoys spectacular sea views from many of its rooms, and now they’re raring to go.

Tony said: “There is only so much tweaking you can do. It would be lovely to have people coming in.

“If we can, we will open in January.”