Racecourse operator Arena Leisure today revealed details of its most ambitious hotel project to date as it announced the appointment of a general manager for the property.
Sean Quinney, previously general manager at Down Hall Country House hotel in Hertfordshire, officially takes the reigns today at the £29m Lingfield Park Marriott hotel and country club project in Sussex.
The 116-bedroom hotel, which is due to open its doors to the public next spring, will incorporate a new club clubhouse to complement the existing golf course at Lingfield Park, as well as offering conference and hospitality facilities and a leisure club and spa.
Lingfield Park Marriott will create around 60 jobs and Quinney, who has past experience with Moat House, Hilton and Whitbread, intends to have his senior management team in place by this autumn, with head-of-departments recruited by next January.
"I'll be looking for quality people with experience of operating in group hotels, but they don't necessarily need to know anything about horseracing," he told Caterersearch.
Arena is also spending £4m on modernising the Lingfield Park racecourse, which hosts around 90 meetings a year on its all weather surface.
The course has significant conference facilities of its own and Quinney envisions some of the team and casuals working across both sites.
Arena, which has seven racecourses, operates a 54-bedroom Holiday Inn at Wolverhampton and has planning permission to develop this into a 170 bedroom property featuring a casino, dubbed "racino", but is currently awaiting the granting of a gambling license.
The company also has planning permission for a hotel at Doncaster racecourse, although there is no timeline for the project.
By Chris Druce
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