A WELL-KNOWN Chester hotelier is selling the business as he prepares to retire.
Gordon Vickers, who co-owns the Mill Hotel & Spa with son Gary, is putting the129-bed hotel on the market next week.
His daughter Maretta Williams, who is the general manager, said: “It is going up for sale next week. All kinds of rumours have been flying around. We heard it had been sold before it had even gone on the market!”
She said there was no buyer waiting in the wings at the moment.
Mrs Williams added: “Gordon is retiring and I don’t blame him. He’s built up a very successful business. He’s done a lot for Chester and a lot for the hotel.”
Mrs Williams said Mr Vickers’ age was kept a closely guarded secret.
Last year the hotel received planning permission for a large extension featuring 24 extra bedrooms, suites, a crèche, conference facilities, a cafe bar, link bridge to the existing hotel, car parking and a forecourt.
Mrs Williams said the expansion plans represented “a lot of development opportunities”.
Situated on an historic Roman site the Mill Hotel & Spa was opened by its present owners in 1987. The original Griffiths Cornmill building dates from 1830.
Mr Vickers, who lives in Chester, lost his partner Jacquie Williams to cancer in 2006. He got together with Jacquie after his wife Doris died of a brain haemorrhage in 1994.
Mr Vickers image as “Mr Chester” began in the 1960s when he ran the regular Monday Wall City Jazz Club night at Quaintways, Northgate Street, where the RB’s nightclub is today.
It was during this period that he got the chance to manage The Beatles – but turned them down because they were ‘too scruffy’. It was a move he later described as the “worst decision of my life”.
Mr Vickers is also friends with former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and his wife Pauline who often spend New Year’s Eve at The Mill.
Mr Vickers’s association with the Prescotts, who are both from Chester, goes back to when he promoted acts at Quaintways which was where they got together in 1957.
SELLING UP: Father and son Gordon & Gary Vickers who are selling The Mill Hotel & Spa after more than 20 years in business. 2H7M3602