Kay, 36, pleaded guilty to a charge of arson that was reckless as to whether life was endangered when he appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday. The fire led to almost 200 people, including 11 children, being evacuated from the hotel.
“Myself, my family, our staff, guests and clients can now move forward,” said Chris Naylor, managing director of Peckforton Castle. “Onwards and upwards and business as usual has been very much our mottos since the day after the arson attack and it is now even more possible without the cause lingering in the back of our minds.
“Many of the staff are particularly thankful that they don’t have to go through the process of providing evidence at a gruelling and emotional court case.”
Peckforton Castle re-launch party
The court heard that Kay, who had consumed a large amount of vodka, was seen on CCTV going into the drawing room, where the blaze started, after rowing with the staff and hotel's owners regarding late payment for the wedding and a bar bill. Fire investigators later discovered the fire was started on some curtains.
Kay was bailed, but has been warned a custodial sentence is ‘inevitable’.
Naylor added: “We can now concentrate on the huge re-launch party we are planning in February and the re-opening of four of the damaged bedrooms, the Long Gallery bar and Library function room this Friday.
“We are rebuilding our business step by step, support from our guests and community is vital and we encourage everyone to visit the Castle for lunch, dinner, a spa treatment and take advantage of all that we have to offer.”