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Holiday camp chain Butlins announces a major refurbishment

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Holiday camp chain Butlins announces a major refurbishment

Post by Keith » 3 years ago

MailOnline 23/09/14

Mumsnet knows best! Butlins announces new £16m chalets in Somerset after consultation with parenting website
Best known for its 1950s 'Hi-de-Hi' image, the company is looking to leave the past behind with a £16m investment in new 'mum-friendly' chalets.

Working with Mumsnet, Butlins consulted the site on its design plans, which will be installed at its Minehead holiday centre in Somerset.

There will be 117 chalets, which are due to open next April.

The expenditure is Butlins' biggest in 2015 and follows a £2m upgrade this year at Minehead and its holiday centres at Bognor Regis in West Sussex and Skegness in Lincolnshire.

The plans also include Just For Tots breaks, which include the new Bear Care service - which involves youngsters checking in toys to a hotel desk so they won't be lost on days out.

Bourne Leisure head of travel trade Neil Davies said the design was selected after consulting with users on the parenting website.

He added: 'We have worked with the Mumsnet website to consult with mums on a number of the design features, features, furnishing and surrounding area, thus attempting to ensure they meets the needs and wishes of hard-working families.'

'We worked with Mumsnet to ask questions of 1,000 of their members - on everything from what would surprise them on a family break through to their concerns about what gets in the way of quality time,' a spokesperson for Butlins told Mail Online.

'[Mumsnet consulted on] everything from how many TVs there should be through to shaping outside areas with tranquil lakes and outdoor spaces to help kids make friends.'

Chalets will also include arts and crafts equipment and board games to ensure that rain never gets in the way of play time.

'We have gone back on what made us great to draw inspiration for this new development,' the statement continued.

'The chalets will be as lovable as they've always been and will hopefully surprise people who have a view of Butlins as being old fashion - they represent a truly modern shift in family breaks.'

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Butlins's launches new chalets as part of £32m investment drive

Post by Keith » 2 years ago

Butlin’s will on Tuesday officially open the West Lakes Chalet Village, a £16m investment that the company hopes will recapture the spirit of the traditional family holiday. The company has built two lakes on the site and constructed 117 new chalets which have been designed partly in consultation with mothers on Mumsnet, the parenting network.

The intention is to provide an “excuse for families to do things together”, said Dermot King, managing director of Butlin’s.

“It’s more about what we’ve not put in,” he explained, with Butlin’s deliberately opting not to install televisions in childrens’ bedrooms in the chalets, which have open-plan kitchens and living areas. While children can bring their own video games consoles, Butlin’s will not be providing them in the village.

“We have a village library where you can borrow old-fashioned, family games such as Twister,” Mr King said. “That’s because the research is pretty clear that mums are looking for that part of the holiday break where the family come together, rather than kids doing their own thing and parents doing their own thing.”

The chalets are a deliberate attempt “to bring to us back to what a traditional seaside holiday was all about”, Mr King added. If the village is successful and the rebooking rate is strong, the company will roll-out similar accommodation at its two other resorts, in Bognor Regis and Skegness, he said.

The launch comes ahead of Butlin’s eightieth birthday next year. Best known for its Redcoat entertainers, the group traces its roots back to the first holiday camp opened by Sir Billy in Skegness in 1936. He went on to sell the iconic business to Rank in 1972 and Bourne Leisure, the caravan park operator, took ownership of Butlin’s 28 years later when Rank sold its holiday division. Bourne, which is privately-owned, also controls Warner Leisure Hotels and Haven Holidays.

The Minehead village forms the first part of a £32m investment programme in 2015 by Butlin’s, with a further £16m earmarked for spending on accommodation and food over the remainder of the year, Mr King said. The company typically invests £16m-£17m each year, he added.

Mr King forecasts Butlin’s will make a turnover “north of £210m” in the current year, up from about £207m last year. He expects the holiday camps business to make a pre-tax contribution to the wider Bourne group of more than £50m, compared with £47m in 2014.
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