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York's Cedar Court Grand hotel hit by senior staff departures

27 August 2010
York's Cedar Court Grand hotel hit by senior staff departures

A luxury hotel in York has been forced to recruit for several senior positions after a spate of departures.

General manager Andrew Coney has already left the Cedar Court Grand just four months after it first opened it doors.

And now Caterer has learnt that the front-of-house manager, HR manager, food and beverage manager and head concierge have also left the business.

These departures have led to questions among some staff as to whether the hotel can achieve official five-star recognition.

Coney, a former Acorn Award winner, joined the Cedar Court Grand from De Vere's Slaley Hall in Northumberland last autumn as it prepared for launch in the spring.

A spokesman for Cedar Court Hotels stressed that his primary task was to manage the redevelopment of the former railway headquarters in York into a luxury hotel, establish the operation and manage the hotel, which opened in May.

"What was needed was someone to guide the process - working hard to achieve the standards required of a five-star hotel and recruiting the right people," the spokesman added.

The 107-bedroom hotel, which occupies the Grade II-listed former headquarters of North Eastern Railways, is seeking five-star status.

Cedar Court Group's hotel director John Horvath said the losses had been "teething problems" in a new business with high aspirations.

He added: "Five-star status is going to take some time to establish. The building is up to five-star standard. We're now getting the numbers with the capability in the right departments."

Horvath said that opening a five-star hotel in the North had been challenging but that the hotel was "running efficiently - we have good occupancy and great reviews".

"Having opened several hotels in the past, I would say it can take between three and six months to get the team stabilised and focused on the right strategies and direction," he added.

"Scot Turner, deputy general manager] and I have been working very hard to get the right team in to deliver the five-star journey. It's exacting standards and delivery. You do get shortfalls with regard to our industry. It is challenging up here.

"If you ask me in six months time, there'll be a new GM, the standards will be ticking over and we'll be pushing hard for our five-star award from the AA."

Deputy general manager Turner will continue to be supported by Horvath, who has assumed day-to-day management of the hotel until a replacement for Coney is found. The recruitment process is expected to start next month.

[Andrew Coney leaves Cedar Court Grand four months after it opens >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/08/20/334767/Andrew-Coney-leaves-Cedar-Court-Grand-four-months-after-it.htm)

[York's first five-star hotel opens on Friday >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/05/04/333269/Yorks-first-five-star-hotel-opens-on-Friday.htm)

Former Acorn winner to head up new £20m hotel in York >>

By Janie Stamford

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