Fitness club founder David Lloyd has branched out into the hotel market by launching a chain of budget hotels under the brand name Metro.
Lloyd, through a company called American Amusements, plans to open a chain of Metro-branded "deluxe budget" hotels, and already has two up and running.
They are the 24-bedroom Metro Hotel Woking and, from the end of last month, the 120-bedroom former Bournemouth Hilton, now renamed the Metro Palace Court Hotel.
Palace Court was the original name of the hotel before it was sold to Stakis in the 1990s.
Bournemouth-based entrepreneur Andy Price, a co-director of the company, said: "The Hilton has enjoyed a very high occupancy rate over the years and is probably one of the highest grossing hotels in Bournemouth.
"We want to build on this and focus further on corporate business with our excellent conference and hospitality facilities."
by Nic Paton
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