THE controversial owner of three hotels along Eastbourne seafront says he’s praying for hot weather in the spring and summer to ensure a bumper tourist season.
Mr Sheikh Abid-Gulzar, chairman of of Lion Hotels - was speaking as we enter the Easter break with freezing temperatures and little prospect of hot weather in the coming weeks.
He said that hoteliers and other businesses in the tourist industry in Eastbourne are prepared for six busy months - but much was dependent on our weather.
“This is a very good time of year to remember what a wonderful resort Eastbourne is, and how much we as a town can offer both to tourists and locals,” said Mr Gulzar, who owns the Chatsworth, Mansion and Albany hotels.
“The borough council has once again put together a great package of events and entertainment to attract visitors from all over the country, indeed all over the world.
“I don’t believe there is a more attractive seafront than ours.
“In the prime of summer, it looks just beautiful, especially the Carpet Gardens.
“The only thing that can be negative to tourism is the weather, and let’s just hope that this summer we have soaring hot weather.
“Bad weather doesn’t stop our regulars but at times it may deter the one-off visit or those who decide on the spur of the moment, or at the last minute to come to Eastbourne.
“Easter is the time when hoteliers start to get busy, and a good season will mean that we are busy from Easter all the way through to September and October, before the Christmas trade.”
Mr Gulzar sold the Claremont Hotel - opposite the Pier - in the winter and has instead purchased the Lions Boship Farm Hotel at Hailsham.
He added: “I am delighted to have purchased the Boship - it has great potential - but Eastbourne is my home, and I remain very committed to the town.
“I am also opening a children’s nursery in April, while I continue to support a number of local charities, which gives me so much pleasure.
“Some people knock Eastbourne but we must all be proud of it and remember what a fantastic town we live in.’