Celebrating 20 years of ownership!
Business partners Mark and Geraldine Lewis are celebrating 20 years of managing Hadley Park House Hotel. The business partners started back in 2003 when the hotel had 9 bedrooms and hosted just five weddings a year.
With Telford being one of the fastest growing towns in the UK at the time, Mark and Geraldine recognised the potential, capitalising on the expanding corporate market for overseas visitors during the week whilst transforming the hotel into a wedding venue at the weekends.
Mark Lewis, Director said it wasn’t all smooth sailing in building up the hotel to its current level.
“An expansion to add rooms and a large purpose-built function room that we started during 2007 was affected by the financial crash of 2008. We had to modify our plans from three floors to two and the extension took three years to complete. That didn’t stop us from trading throughout the build so we could continue serving our customers.”
Within 12 months of the completion, turnover had quadrupled, and the hotel has been building on its success ever since. It had its best-ever year in 2022 despite the disruption and loss of business suffered during the Covid pandemic. Growth has been driven by effective social media campaigns, year-long programmes of themed events and hosting nearly 100 weddings each year.
Mark said: “We have a fabulous management team and a great bunch of staff all pulling together, which has helped us win a number of awards. These include the prestigious AA Rosette for our restaurant, numerous Regional Wedding Industry Awards, Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence and getting to the finals for a Shropshire Business Award for Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality.”
The hotel has also had its fair share of famous faces staying at the hotel, from Joan Collins and Pete Waterman to Teresa May on a fundraising mission which Mark recalls involved a considerable amount of security and planning.
Another incident Mark remembers well is some ghostly goings-on at the hotel. “Given the main building goes back to the 1700s, several people have said they felt a presence in our rooms and many groups have contacted us to undertake a paranormal investigation. We eventually agreed to one group and they went into all the rooms in the old house and made recordings. They seemed to think there was lots of activity and I remember some of them running out of the cellar looking quite agitated.”
Although Mark and Geraldine never intended to stay at the hotel for more than 10 years, they are more than happy to celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. Investment continues and there are plans for a garden makeover to incorporate outdoor weddings and events and another extension to incorporate more bedrooms and a beauty suite.