These Harrogate hotels have reported 100 per cent increase in takings from UCI cycling championships

Simon Cotton, Managing Director of HRH Group, said the UCI was "the greatest marketing campaign" for Harrogate.
Simon Cotton, Managing Director of HRH Group, said the UCI was "the greatest marketing campaign" for Harrogate.

It helps to be in the right place at the right time, and the Yorkshire Hotel certainly rose to the challenge of making the most out of the UCI.

Positioned just off the start of the finishing straight of the Harrogate town centre circuit during the cycling championships, it enjoyed a stunning week.

The man behind it, Simon Cotton, has no doubts the whole thing was a complete success. And he says it shows that Harrogate can, and must, change to secure a prosperous future.

The group managing director of the HRH Group, the Harrogate and York based hospitality group which owns the likes of the White Hart Hotel, the Fat Badger and the Yorkshire Hotel, said: “Our businesses did extremely well out of the UCI and the staff at our hotels loved coming to work and the whole buzz around the event.

“The disruption the cycling events caused was not anywhere near as bad as feared in my opinion. Without question, our businesses have done very well from this and so have many others I’ve spoken to. We’re looking at an increase of over 100% on our usual trading figures and have in turn had to spend more money on staff wages which will then in turn be spent in the local economy.

“This has been the greatest marketing campaign we could have ever had to promote our beautiful town to the world and I have had guests saying they will come back again after the championships as they’ve loved it.

“We should reap the financial rewards for many years to come.

“Harrogate needs to be prepared for change. The conference centre was a great addition to the town’s economy 40 years ago, but that industry has been changing rapidly over the last decade and will continue to do so.

“We can’t rely on it to drive historical levels of business tourism and we therefore need to welcome any opportunity to host world class events such as the UCI. I think this event will have shown the world what we are capable of and what a great destination we are for hosting international visitors in large numbers. I appreciate some people will have been inconvenienced a little, but it’s amazing how quickly life returns to normal and I would have to praise the organisers for a job very well done.”