Conference trade boosts Hilton Liverpool opening

The new Hilton Liverpool opened to guests today with £1m of forward bookings already secured.

Marcus Magee, general manager, said 60% of bookings had come via the BT Convention Centre at Kings Dock but leisure trade would soon overtake corporate bookings as tourists became aware of the newly opened hotel.

Specialist hotel investor the Ability Group acquired the 215-room hotel and 40 apartments on three upper floors from Grosvenor for an undisclosed sum in September 2007. Ability pays Hilton a management fee and a share of profits above an agreed level.

Magee added: "Reaching the £1m pre-booked mark on opening day is a good place to be. The important thing is that we at Hilton Liverpool and the city as a whole continue to make sure business people and tourists outside the city consider Liverpool as a destination. The city has come a long way but there is still work to be done on spreading the message that Liverpool is open and has a quality product to offer."

Hilton Liverpool Pima barThe Cesar Pelli-designed hotel has various maritime mercantile themed touches: the Pima Bar is named after a type of high-quality cotton from America and the bar's interior includes cotton-related artworks and lighting that creates the image of floating cotton balls.

Conferenece and banquet facilities include the Grace Suite ballroom with its own bar area and capacity for 400 theatre-style guests.

Magee said the introductory room rate for staying guests would be £99 and the pricing policy going forward would be to charge a premium of between £7 and £10 over competitors' prices.

Hilton Liverpool receptionThe Hilton Liverpool opens several months late after over-runs by contractor Kier. It is the third hotel to open in the city in recent weeks, following the Novotel in Liverpool One on Hanover Street and Hampton by Hilton at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

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