De Vere Group acquires Portsmouth site for Village Urban Resorts, names expansion targets

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

The De Vere Group has announced Portsmouth as the location of its first new hotel under the recently re-branded De Vere Village Urban Resorts concept
The De Vere Group has announced Portsmouth as the location of its first new hotel under the recently re-branded De Vere Village Urban Resorts concept
The De Vere Group has announced it has acquired a site in Portsmouth for the first new hotel under its Village Urban Resorts concept since relaunching the brand earlier this year with negotiations taking place in four other locations for further new venues.

The London-based group has purchased a 3.1-acre site in the Lakeside North Harbour development in the Western Road area of Portsmouth for a new-build hotel which is expected to open in the second quarter of 2014 after construction kicks off.

Full details are yet to be released but all the hotels under the brand contain around 125 bedrooms, a health and fitness club and meetings and F&B offerings.

Robert Cook, who was named as the Village Urban Resorts chief executive in January,​ relaunched the brand in June and told BigHospitality he had big expansion ambitions for the concept with a focus on moving closer to city centres with future locations.

Key to success of the venues in the brand rest on achieving a target average room rate of £70 plus 3,500 leisure club members to increase footfall to the F&B offering - around 50 per cent of the revenue for the hotels come from within a four-mile radius.

Proven brand

Andrew Coppel, De Vere Group chief executive said the Portsmouth site would be the first of a number of new hotels under the 'black box' brand.

"An important element in our medium term strategy is the growth of the Village Urban Resorts brand in attractive locations across Great Britain. This purchase is the first of a number which we plan to implement, both with our own resources and with partners. We have a strong proven brand which we believe, with further expansion, will create significant value over the medium term."

Alongside Portsmouth, the group is currently in negotiations over sites in:

  • Aberdeen
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Milton Keynes

The strategy for the brand, which currently numbers 25 properties, is to open six to eight new hotels over the next three years with the following cities also on the target list:

  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Durham
  • Plymouth 

Strategic review

This year's relaunch, which saw Cook create Upper Deck 'premium' bedrooms as well as Victory Chop & Ale House, Victory Ale House, Viva Urban Spa, Velocity Health & Fitness and V Meetings at the Hub sub-brands, came about as a result of a strategic review​ of the group.

The review concluded there were 'development opportunities' in the Village and Venues brands while other properties may be disposed of to fund the growth of those two concepts.

Just last month the group, which had an annual turnover of £360m last year, continued to offload its non-core hotels with the sale of the University Arms venue in Cambridge.

Last month Barony Castle in Scotland was also sold bringing the number of disposals to fund brand growth to four.

Related topics: People, Hotels, Venues, Business

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