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Rooms still available in Leeds for the Grand Depart

The skyline of Leeds City Centre as seen from Beeston Hill. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.

The skyline of Leeds City Centre as seen from Beeston Hill. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.

Grand Depart accommodation in Leeds is at a premium after it emerged the vast majority of rooms available on July 5 and 6 have been booked.

But with a fortnight to go hoteliers and tourism chiefs are keen to stress that there are still pockets of availability left.

Leeds Hotels and Venues Association (LHVA), which comprises of 35 hotels with 6,000 bedrooms, claims 90 per cent of hotels in the city are now fully-booked while the rest are selling rooms fast.

Elsewhere hotel associations in Harrogate and York have stated almost all rooms have been snapped up already, while in Sheffield, which hosts the stage two finish line outside the city centre, Hospitality Sheffield has reported booking out three quarters of rooms at its 22 hotels.

Bed and breakfasts along the route have also been in high demand, while residents privately letting their homes in Leeds out via buy and sell website www.gumtree.com are asking for up to £1,500 in rent for the weekend.

Gordon Jackson, chair of LHVA and general manager at Thorpe Park Hotel, in Colton, said: “I would say 90 per cent of the hotels are full and 10 per cent look as though they’re going to be full, but there are still rooms left.

“The fact that the city has and will prove it can put on this size of international event all bodes well for the future in terms of the profile of Leeds as a sporting city that is absolutely ready and waiting to take on more events.”

He said Thorpe Park is not alone in hosting one or more Tour teams during the Grand Depart, while people involved in putting on the event and foreign journalists contributed to an initial flurry of bookings after it was announced Le Tour would come to the region over 18 months ago. A steady stream of bookings since has led to many hotels reaching capacity with weeks and months to spare.

The Caravanning and Camping Club has reported a 258 per cent increase in the number of advance bookings from July 5 to 7 on club sites close to the stage one and two routes in Yorkshire.

Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The feedback we are getting is that many places are fully booked or close to capacity due to the high demand and number of people we’re expecting to watch Yorkshire’s Grand Depart. There are however still pockets of availability, so it’s not too late for people still wanting to come, but the message is act fast.”

The agency has been running a Twitter campaign for people to promote or find accommodation for the Tour weekend by using #tdfstay every Thursday between 7pm and 8pm.

Visit letour.yorkshire.com.

 

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