A Leeds hotel devastated by the Boxing Day floods has shown just how far it has come in a year - by being nominated for a top industry award.
The Crowne Plaza was one of the city’s worst-hit businesses following the flooding of the River Aire, and was forced to shut for three months and cancel 3,000 reservations.
But despite footing a £1.2million repair bill, the Wellington Street hotel has emerged from near-disaster to make the shortlist for the Hotel Cateys Extra Mile Award.
It is up against three other hotels - all of them in London - and was selected to reward its staff’s dedication to restoring it to glory.
The Crowne Plaza was shut until March, and lost £1.5million in revenue as bookings were cancelled.
Fellow members of the Leeds Hotels and Venues Association supported the business during the extensive refurbishment after the entire IT system and electrics were destroyed by the waters. Guests and conference bookings were accommodated in nearby hotels during the Christmas and New Year period.
Its manager Lynda Coaley said:
“Although I was based at a sister hotel at the time, I watched from afar and was astonished and proud of the dedication shown by all the managers, team members and regional support team in handling such a crisis. Since arriving at the Crowne Plaza Leeds you can still see - and will for many years to come - the special bond between the team that were on site at the time and although we would never like to be in that position again, we all have personal fond memories and stories of the floods of 2015. As such being shortlisted for such prestigious awards like this gives us a great privilege and allows us to reflect on how far we’ve come.”
Leeds Hotels and Venues Association chairman Gordon Jackson added:
“The floods of Christmas 2015 were not only incredibly destructive but also a huge test of the Crowne Plaza team’s morale at what should have been the most magical time of year. It was with great strength that their solidarity turned disaster into success when they re-opened in March with a renewed spirit and determination to be better than before. The combined support provided by Leeds Hotels and Venues Association meant that Crowne Plaza could concentrate on their refurbishment, knowing that they could call on us at any time. We’re absolutely delighted that they’ve been nominated – completely deserved and I know that Leeds will keep its fingers crossed!”
The winner will be announced on November 25 at a ceremony in London.