Major blow as historic Harrogate district hotel closes after 114 years

It's the end of an era for one of the most historic hotels in the Harrogate district.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 1:02 pm
Updated Friday, 24th July 2020, 1:06 pm
The Ripon Spa Hotel, which first opened in 1906, has fallen victim todifficulttrading conditions,exacerbatedby theforced closure due totheCovid-19 pandemic.

The Ripon Spa Hotel is to close with immediate effect.

The three-star hotel, in Park Street, Ripon, has fallen victim to difficult trading conditions, exacerbated by the forced closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty as to when trading conditions may return to normal.

The hotel issued a statement saying it was "with sadness and deepest regret that the owners, the Hutchinson family, must announce the redundancy of all staff, so many with such long associations with the Ripon Spa."

Director Charles Hutchinson said: “This is the hardest decision we have had to take because the Ripon Spa is defined by the wonderful staff members, as much a fixture at the hotel as the ballroom, the Turf Bar and Bistro, the international-standard croquet lawns and the eight acres of gardens and grounds.

“Led by managing director Samantha Thompson, the second generation of the Curry family since the early 1970s to manage the hotel, in the wake of her late mother, Georgie, we cannot thank them all enough for their hard work, their dedication, their devotion to providing the best service, their ever-welcoming manner and their love for Ripon, the city and its community. They have been friends and family to us all, not only to the Hutchinson family, but to so many regular visitors too.”

The Hutchinsons have had a long and proud association with the Ripon Spa Hotel since it opened in 1906, spanning four generations, from W.H. Hutchinson, his son C.B. Hutchinson, to Michael and Prue Hutchinson, to brothers Charles, James and Andrew Hutchinson.

The owners wish to thank all the loyal and enthusiastic customers who have supported the hotel over so many years.

Charles Hutchinson said: "We are grateful to have played a small part in the lives of many Riponians and those farther afield, whether for their weddings or family celebrations, their Christmases and New Year parties, and so many Sunday lunches.

"Thank you too to the business community and clubs, associations and groups for their consistent custom."

The hotel had never been on the market commercially, such has been the stability of the Ripon Spa, but it is no secret that the owners have been seeking to sell the hotel, hoping to find a new owner to take the business forward.

Charles Hutchinson said: “By gearing the strategy toward seeking a sale since 2018, in turn the wish was that such a transaction could save jobs and give Ripon a hotel re-equipped for the future as a continuing asset to the city itself.”

On three occasions, a sale was close to the finishing line but sadly all of these failed due to a variety of reasons. Brexit uncertainty and a tightening in finance scuppered the first, the second prospective buyer suffered a catastrophe at another of their hotels and had to withdraw and the third sale, this spring, was scuppered by Covid-19.

The Ripon Spa Hotel continues to be marketed for sale. All interested parties should contact Colliers International.

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