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Hilton Hotel To Close.

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20 hours ago, janetla said:

A little trawl around companies house site gives some interesting information about the directors (current and resigned), of the company named in the report that has 'surrendered' its lease.  A look at the company that is said to 'support' this company makes interesting reading also.  

 

Seems to me that the decisions about this have been made by the owner of the hotel building.  Again, a deeper look at some of the documentation on the website of the owners of the building makes interesting reading as well.  

Can you summarise to save us all the hassle?

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6 hours ago, ohgoditsjames said:

Heart of the city 2 will have 2 new hotels of which one is supposedly to be a 5 star hotel, new offices, new shops, new restaurants, bars, a food and leisure hall and apartments. Have you walked around town with your eyes closed?

They have a presupposed view of Sheffield being downmarket / this allows them to consider themselves upmarket in comparison.

 

its tiresome continually highlighting it but it’s wrong that people look for every opportunity to paint the city in a bad light, then slate people for supposedly not displaying enough ambition.

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What I have found out is this.  The Hilton as a property   is owned by a company called Park Hotels and Resorts Inc.  This is a property investment company, located in Tysons Virginia,  and is a spin off company of the Hilton International.   Presumably still a part of Hilton International, but operated completely separately.  There appears to be corporation  tax benefits from this kind of operation, but as you'd need to be a rocket scientist to understand the IRS it would be hard to know how.  It owns,  in terms of owning the real estate, but does not manage hotels.  This company came into being around 2016, and is set up to provide its investors with  income from hotels especially premium properties in prime locations.  The company's long term plan appears to be to reduce, or remove its exposure to foreign markets and concentrate its portfolio in the USA.  To that end  it has  sold off Hiltons in the UK, and sold one in Berlin in 2018, and one in Rotterdam in 2019.  

 

When this operation came into being, it appears that the Park Victoria Quays Lessee Company was set up to run the Hilton Sheffield.  This company was originally set up with 4 UK directors, who then resigned a few months later and 2 US directors (who are active), took over.  These two US directors, co-incidentally have their location at exactly the same address as Park Hotels and Resorts Inc.  This information is easily available on the Companies House website, and the information about Park Hotels and Resorts is also online.  

 

It seems that the Hilton Sheffield is almost the last of this company's inventory to go.  It obviously doesn't fit into the company's 'core business', from various points of view.  One it's not in the USA,  two it's not a premium hotel in a premium location, and three it's not doing that well.  I don't imagine any of these decisions about the Hilton have been made overnight, it's just part of this company's continuing way of doing business.  It's just very sad that they had to take this decision just before Christmas, and that no-one had the slightest idea it was coming.  Of course, it may be that they have concluded negotiations with a buyer, but that information is not available.  Or at least I haven't been able to find it yet.  

 

It sold off the Blackpool Hilton in 2018, and I understand that Britannia Hotels took it over.  I doubt that we'd want that, it has just been voted the worst hotel chain for about the 7th year running!!  Maybe it's going to be developed into apartments?  It's a good location for nice apartments, especially with all the development that's gone on at Kelham Island.  I heard on the grapevine, but this was just one of those rumours that goes round, that it's chinese money that's bought it.    We know there is a lot of chinese money in Sheffield with the new development around the moor so it's a possibility.

 

It's very sad for all the staff some of them have been there years, and as members of the Living Well gym know many of them quite well.  And of course we all now have to find a new gym!!

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7 hours ago, ohgoditsjames said:

Heart of the city 2 will have 2 new hotels of which one is supposedly to be a 5 star hotel, new offices, new shops, new restaurants, bars, a food and leisure hall and apartments. Have you walked around town with your eyes closed?

No I haven't tried that, but I might.  It would be an improvement! 😃

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7 hours ago, Agent Orange said:

Well, according to this article, Sheffield does get visitors - quite a lot of them it would seem.  

 

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/politics/this-is-the-staggering-amount-tourists-spend-in-sheffield-every-year-430592

 

Not bad for a little backwater, quaint and relatively unvisited city, eh? ;)

 

 

Ah yes, the case for the defence!  Interesting article that, because what it says quite clearly is that we don't market the city effectively.  A more interesting way of looking at it is to compare us versus other cities.  Here are some comparisons:

 

Top towns for 'staying visits' by inbound visitors

  2018   2017 2016
  Town/city Visits (000s) Town/city Visits (000s) Town/city Visits (000s)
1 London 19,090 London 19,828 London 19,060
2 Edinburgh 2,362 Edinburgh 2,015 Edinburgh 1,689
3 Manchester 1,408 Manchester 1,319 Manchester 1,191
4 Birmingham 1,100 Birmingham 1,117 Birmingham 1,115
5 Glasgow 837 Liverpool 839 Liverpool 671
6 Liverpool 803 Glasgow 787 Glasgow 659
7 Bristol 598 Bristol 602 Oxford 586
8 Cambridge 547 Oxford 536 Bristol 570
9 Oxford 526 Cambridge 519 Cambridge 498
10 Brighton/Hove 459 Brighton/Hove 491 Brighton/Hove 465
11 Bath 348 Cardiff 372 Cardiff 357
12 Leeds 344 Bath 361 Inverness 340
13 Cardiff 342 Inverness 311 Leeds 331
14 Inverness 313 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 297 Bath 331
15 York 278 Leeds 294 Nottingham 304
16 Aberdeen 238 York 289 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 296
17 Nottingham 233 Aberdeen 276 York 265
18 Luton 216 Nottingham 267 Reading 245
19 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 214 Reading 229 Aberdeen 237
20 Leicester 210 Southampton 218 Leicester 229

 

We don't even make the Top 20.  Yet we are the 4th (or 5th depending on how you look at it) largest city in England.  Lickle old Luton beating the pants off us now! 😲

 

I think it's poor personally, but I'm not surprised that some folks don't want to admit that.  It is, after all, the thing that holds us back.

Edited by DerbyTup

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I think that the lack or otherwise of visitors to Sheffield, and the way that Sheffield is marketed for tourism,  may inform the success or failure of many businesses in the city, but what has happened to the Hilton is little to do with that.  It seems to be just the result of corporate culture, the setting up of property investment companies and the type of property you want in your portfolio to make the most money for your investors.     In the case of this particular company, exposure to the 'foreign' market is not deemed to be suitable for the making of money for said  investors.  Make of that what you will.

 

What I want to know is where is poor old Ronnie O'Sullivan supposed to stay now.  

 

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On 28/10/2019 at 22:57, abbeyedges said:

There has always been a problem with Park Square roundabout blocking off any type of pedestrian access from the town into the Canal basin.

 

The council have made so many areas of the town more accessible for pedestrians eg the walk from the railway station into the town centre, the walk from Showroom Cinema up Charles Street into the town centre.  Plus the current work on Fitzalan Square where there seems to better access to Arundel Gate and Norfolk Street.

 

Canal basin unfortunately has remained inaccessible. 

I disagree, it's easy pedestrian access there, multiple routes and ways to get there...

I frequently walk past Quays and over PS Roundabout to get to town or Duke Street....

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20 hours ago, DerbyTup said:

Ah yes, the case for the defence!  Interesting article that, because what it says quite clearly is that we don't market the city effectively.  A more interesting way of looking at it is to compare us versus other cities.  Here are some comparisons:

 

Top towns for 'staying visits' by inbound visitors

  2018   2017 2016
  Town/city Visits (000s) Town/city Visits (000s) Town/city Visits (000s)
1 London 19,090 London 19,828 London 19,060
2 Edinburgh 2,362 Edinburgh 2,015 Edinburgh 1,689
3 Manchester 1,408 Manchester 1,319 Manchester 1,191
4 Birmingham 1,100 Birmingham 1,117 Birmingham 1,115
5 Glasgow 837 Liverpool 839 Liverpool 671
6 Liverpool 803 Glasgow 787 Glasgow 659
7 Bristol 598 Bristol 602 Oxford 586
8 Cambridge 547 Oxford 536 Bristol 570
9 Oxford 526 Cambridge 519 Cambridge 498
10 Brighton/Hove 459 Brighton/Hove 491 Brighton/Hove 465
11 Bath 348 Cardiff 372 Cardiff 357
12 Leeds 344 Bath 361 Inverness 340
13 Cardiff 342 Inverness 311 Leeds 331
14 Inverness 313 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 297 Bath 331
15 York 278 Leeds 294 Nottingham 304
16 Aberdeen 238 York 289 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 296
17 Nottingham 233 Aberdeen 276 York 265
18 Luton 216 Nottingham 267 Reading 245
19 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 214 Reading 229 Aberdeen 237
20 Leicester 210 Southampton 218 Leicester 229

 

We don't even make the Top 20.  Yet we are the 4th (or 5th depending on how you look at it) largest city in England.  Lickle old Luton beating the pants off us now! 😲

 

I think it's poor personally, but I'm not surprised that some folks don't want to admit that.  It is, after all, the thing that holds us back.

Maybe you should look at visitor numbers for the city over the last few years to see if there's been a marked increase, rather than comparing us with other places.  I believe that would paint a true picture of how tourism is doing in the city.  

 

The city is going in the right direction, but it takes time.  A number of things have been done to rebrand and market the city (and quite successfully), such as documentary festivals and tramlines amongst others, but these take time to establish a reputation in order to pull people in from far and wide).  I am not sure what you expect the city to do differently in the short term to increase visitor numbers (maybe you could lend some ideas).  The city is, after all, a post industrial city with little or no tourist attractions so it is never going to be easy to sell to potential tourists, especially given the proximity to other cities, which are rich with historical and tourist attractions.  

 

 

Edited by Agent Orange

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1 hour ago, Agent Orange said:

 The city is, after all, a post industrial city with little or no tourist attractions so it is never going to be easy to sell to potential tourists, especially given the proximity to other cities, which are rich with historical and tourist attractions.  

 

 

This made me laugh and feel sad at the same time.

 

Firstly, do you not see how sad it is that our tourist appeal is that the fact the city is . . umm . . close to other cities?


Secondly, I agree Sheffield is a post industrial city with little or no tourist attractions, but how is that different from, say, Leeds or Manchester?  Neither have any natural attractions - in fact, i'd say sheffield is better located than them, yet they have made so much more of their history than us.

 

A great example is football.  Sheffield is the birthplace of the most popular sport in the world, but who would know it?  How can it be that we haven't leveraged that?  Instead, where is the National Museum of Football?  yup - you guessed it - post industrial city with no natural attractions, Manchester.

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1 hour ago, bendix said:

This made me laugh and feel sad at the same time.

 

Firstly, do you not see how sad it is that our tourist appeal is that the fact the city is . . umm . . close to other cities?


Secondly, I agree Sheffield is a post industrial city with little or no tourist attractions, but how is that different from, say, Leeds or Manchester?  Neither have any natural attractions - in fact, i'd say sheffield is better located than them, yet they have made so much more of their history than us.

 

A great example is football.  Sheffield is the birthplace of the most popular sport in the world, but who would know it?  How can it be that we haven't leveraged that?  Instead, where is the National Museum of Football?  yup - you guessed it - post industrial city with no natural attractions, Manchester.

When I was talking about the competition of local cities, I was referring to places such as York, Lincoln and Harrogate.  Sheffield could never truly compete with such places (as these places sell themselves) for tourist numbers.  However, you mention Manchester and Leeds... both these cities are probably more successful in marketing and attracting more tourists for a number of reasons.  Unlike Sheffield, which is only world famous for being a place of industrial excellence, the other two cities are world famous (more so in Manchester's case) due to years of exposure with successful football teams etc.  Furthermore, both these cities have easy access to the world via their airports making them easier to visit for foreign tourists. 

 

Sheffield can compete with the likes of Manchester and Leeds for tourists, much more than the other places, however we cannot pretend that it will magically happen over night.  It will take time and a lot of investment to reinvent the city.  The city is slowly getting there and articles like this indicate that https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/england/yorkshire/sheffield/articles/Is-Sheffield-Britains-most-underrated-city-break-destination/ 

 

Edited by Agent Orange

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I recently landed at Manchester Airport after a short flight from mainland Europe to the new extended bit of Terminal 2, I had to endure a long long walk to passport control and in doing this walked along a very sparse dull wide corridor (it’s a construction site). As you’re walking you can’t help but look at lots of posters and banners on the walls advertising Manchester and what it has to offer, the city centre, the football clubs, the historical parts, the modern parts, it’s squares, shopping and culture, but not only that you come across smaller posters/banners advertising other areas in the north.......Newcastle, Durham, York, Liverpool, Leeds, Chester, Yorkshire Dales, North Wales...........even The Hope Valley, absolutely nothing, not one single poster with Sheffield on. I just shook my head and laughed, but wasn't at all surprised this city is so far off the map and people’s radar it’s frightening. The place is dead  to outsiders and the people that live here go ape if they have to spend more then a tanner. 

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17 hours ago, Agent Orange said:

Maybe you should look at visitor numbers for the city over the last few years to see if there's been a marked increase, rather than comparing us with other places.  I believe that would paint a true picture of how tourism is doing in the city.  

 

The city is going in the right direction, but it takes time.  A number of things have been done to rebrand and market the city (and quite successfully), such as documentary festivals and tramlines amongst others, but these take time to establish a reputation in order to pull people in from far and wide).  I am not sure what you expect the city to do differently in the short term to increase visitor numbers (maybe you could lend some ideas).  The city is, after all, a post industrial city with little or no tourist attractions so it is never going to be easy to sell to potential tourists, especially given the proximity to other cities, which are rich with historical and tourist attractions.  

 

 

Err no.  You shouldn't just look at visitor numbers to this city and see if they are going up - that doesn't tell you much at all.  It doesn't allow for changes in population, demographics or other environmental factors.  You should compare versus other towns and cities.  That is the same with ANY business assessment.  

 

You should always start with looking at the total market - and how that's doing - and then you look at your own product/service (or in this case, "city" is the product) and see how that compares.  Don't be embarrassed if you didn't know that.  I work with major international corporations who still struggle with the concept.  They look only at how their product is doing and pat themselves on the back because it's increased say, by 20% over a period, when in fact the broader market has grown by 40%.  So actually, they've gone backwards 20%.  It's my job to make them aware of that and to build strategic plans to address that.  It's sort of, what I do for a living - well, one of the things I do anyhow.

 

The city has not been re-branded successfully.  Or even "quite successfully" as you put.  The city does not have a strong identity.  You are kidding yourself if you think that.  I bumped into a guy, it's about 2 years ago now, at a business meeting in London.  He had been hired by Sheffield City Council to help come up with ideas to re-brand the city - in fact he was asking me for advice about the same.  "How do we even get it on the weather map?" I think was one of his questions!  So, there is a problem there and it's really never going to get fixed while-ever we have folks blindly defending it and pretending it isn't a problem.

 

What do I expect the city to do differently - well as Jack Trout stated in his book "The Battle For You Mind",  you have to stand for something.  If you try and stand for everything, or even several things, you get nothing.  This is a fundamental of what is known as "brand positioning" - a concept first described by Jack Trout and Al Ries back in the 1950's and still considered one of the pivotal works on "brand positioning" and taught in business schools and universities all around the world.   So, the first thing I'd like the city to do differently is decide what the hell it is that it wants to stand for.  Is it Steel?  Music?  Sport?  The Outdoors?  Festivals?  Something else?  

 

When you say, "maybe you could lend some ideas" - I definitely could.  I've just given you the most important one in that last paragraph - decide what the devil you stand for.  That would be a major step forward.

 

And as for your following statement: 

 

The city is, after all, a post industrial city with little or no tourist attractions so it is never going to be easy to sell to potential tourists, especially given the proximity to other cities, which are rich with historical and tourist attractions.  

 

I'm sorry, but that is just negative, defeatist, nonsense.  Look at the table of towns and cities again that I posted above.  Look at some of the names on there.  Are you telling me that Sheffield has less to offer than some of those places?  Seriously?  You see, I don't think it has less to offer than some/many of those places.  In fact I think it's got far more to offer than many of them.  However, we are not very good at making people aware of it.

 

And every time someone (perceived as being "from outside" perhaps) tries to point this out, it gets a hugely negative and defensive response.  A bit like yours!  

 

"Leave us alone, we like things as we are, and we don't want to change".

 

This, in a sentence, is why Sheffield is like it is.

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