A city centre hotel is starting to welcome back some familiar faces as a major revamp of one of Bristol’s busiest traffic intersections reaches the end of the road.
Imran Ali, General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre said he was pleased to see that the worst of the disruption is over and was looking forward to a full return to ‘business as usual’.
Former customers who had stayed away because of the congestion caused by the extensive road works have started to return and the accommodation provider is hoping that this signals the start of a welcome up-turn in trade.
Work started in June 2017 on the major programme of works, in the area around Temple Meads Train Station, which form part of the £17m Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone scheme.
The works ended late in 2019, although further disruption occurred this month (January 2020) as Bristol City Council said more work was needed to correct some defects.
He said: “We lost a few provisional bookings due to the roadworks; these were ones that requested a show round prior to booking the event and actually experienced for themselves the level of disruption that the roadworks was causing when they tried to get to the hotel.
“We had a lot of guests who were attending conferences here who said that if they knew how bad the traffic and roadworks were, they would have booked elsewhere.
“We have a few conference organisers who chose not to come to the city centre due to the level of disruptions, and the continual ‘put back’ of a final date for completion of works.”
But he said business has improved notably since the start of the year.
“So far, we have seen a positive uplift of conference business this January compared to last year, and we can say with cautious optimism that business is now returning.
“We’ve been contacted by a former regular client who went out of the city centre for two years because of all the disruption, but who is coming back to us in March, which is very encouraging.
“We are currently offering ‘double loyalty points’ in order to raise awareness of the fact that we are here and that it is now much easier to reach us than it has been in recent years.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back many returning former customers and lots of new ones and are hoping for an upturn in business this year.”
The aims of the works were to provide a more direct road layout, better public transport facilities and more space for pedestrians and cyclists.
DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre is managed by Focus Hotels, a leading independent hospitality company with a portfolio of 15 hotels open, under development and in planning, totalling 1,597 bedrooms.