Top Harrogate hotelier says 'buzz' of Wembley victory will last for years
One of Harrogate's leading hoteliers is confident the buzz over the town's history-making football club will translate into economic gains for the town.
Managing director the HRH Group, Simon Cotton, who was filmed for ITV's Calendar after Harrogate Town's Wembley success, said being promoted to the Football League proper would give a much-needed lift to the town.
Mr Cotton said: "The buzz and excitement is everywhere right now and rightly so, but my belief is that it is a buzz and excitement that will continue on for a long time to come yet.
"That’s because football success often turns into business success in a local economy.
"When the team is doing well, the feel good factor ripples out to other businesses and the community and creates a sense of pride and desire to succeed."
Mr Cotton, who is in charge of the Yorkshire Hotel, the White Hart Hotel and the Fat Badger pub, said Harrogate's hospitality industry was looking forward to welcoming more away fans next season when Harrogate Town's footballers began life in League Two.
He said: "Being in the Football League is of course going to mean playing against bigger clubs.
"With that comes larger amounts of travelling fans who one would hope, may see Harrogate as more than just a 90 minute match on a Saturday and, hopefully, take the opportunity to stay over in our hotels, eat in our bars and restaurants, spend in our shops and generally contribute to the town’s economy."
Mr Cotton believes the consequences of Harrogate Town's 3-1 win over Notts County in the National League play-off final on Sunday at Wembley will be felt off the pitch for years.
Mr Cotton said: "It will also create the opportunity for Harrogate to be mentioned on the TV more often which all helps raise the profile of our wonderful town.
"It’s already happened today with Harrogate Town FC hitting the headlines in some of the nationals.
"The bottom line is, people always want to be associated with success and good news.
"Harrogate Town’s phenomenal success in the last three seasons looks set to pay dividends to other parts of the town and long may in continue.
"Simon Weaver and his team dared to dream big and they deserve all they have achieved in doing so.
"For me, I’m going to dream that we’re now only three seasons away from the Premier League so
"Watch out Leeds....we’re coming after you!"
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