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Premier Inn opens with ‘very high’ bookings until autumn

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THE new Premier Inn at Charing Cross was officially opened by the Chief Minister on Thursday, just over two years after work at the site began.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré cuts the ribbon at the official opening of the Jersey branch of Premier Inn as the hotel chain’s chief operating officer, Simon Ewins, and local staff look on

Bosses from the hotel have said that it is already performing very well with a ‘very high’ number of bookings from now until the autumn.

Visit Jersey chief executive Keith Beecham said the opening of a such a major chain in Jersey was a mark of confidence in the Island’s tourism industry.

Simon Ewins, chief operating officer for Premier Inn, said: ‘Jersey and St Helier has been a high priority for us for many years and we started looking at setting up something here about three years ago,’ he said.

‘We are trading with very high levels of occupancy and forward bookings into autumn and towards the end of the year are looking very good.

‘We worked very well with our construction partners and they have created a very high-quality build on time and on budget.’

Mr Ewins added that the new development would provide additional business for restaurants, shops and tourist destinations in town. ‘We try to find locations where retail, leisure and businesses are all nearby, so to be able to set up a hotel here which satisfies all three of those criteria is brilliant,’ he said.

‘We find that a large percentage of our guests want to experience the location and eat and drink at the other hospitality and tourist destinations, so it should benefit them too.’

Mr Beecham said: ‘What we have seen in the last few years is a number of hotels closing. This is the first significant increase in hotel rooms that I have seen in the three and half years that I have been here, so that is a really positive sign.

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‘They clearly see a future in Jersey’s tourism industry and we should really celebrate that.’

Chief Minister John Le Fondré, who cut the ribbon at the opening, said that he was pleased with how sensitively the hotel had been integrated into the historic area at Charing Cross.

‘This is the first new hotel development in Jersey in around a decade and a great mark of confidence in the sector,’ he said.

‘I am also very pleased about how sympathetically the hotel has been developed into its surroundings and Pitt Street. It can all only be good news.’

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