SANDMAN Hotel Group wants to expand across the UK and Europe after hailing its rewarding move to open a hotel in Newcastle.
The 175-room Sandman Signature Hotel and Shark Club Gastro Bar was the company’s first foray outside North America when it opened on the site of the Scottish and Newcastle Brewery head office in Gallowgate.
The company is owned by the Gaglardi family, who see the opening as the first in an international expansion which they say will lead to employment for 200 people.
Director and family member Mitch Gaglardi said: “Launching a new international hotel and bar in the Newcastle market has been demanding yet rewarding. We have tremendous confidence in this city and its future.
“The cultural developments of the past decade are very impressive and seem to have given the region great resilience. We see a very positive outlook for quality leisure operators who offer distinctive products.
“Combined with the Geordies’ global reputation for knowing how to enjoy themselves, and being right opposite Newcastle United’s iconic ground, we are even more delighted to have Newcastle as our first international location.
“I have also been impressed by the professionalism and attitude of the business community up here. NewcastleGateshead Initiative has been first class, providing valuable information and positive support throughout the process.”
Sandman opened its first location in British Columbia more than 40 years ago, and now has 40 sites across Canada alone. Its brands include Bar One Urban Lounge, Denny’s Canada and Moxie’s Classic Grill and Lounge.
The company has been advised by law firm Sintons’ Leisure Services group since it made its original investment in the Newcastle site in 2009, and has helped with aspects such as securing necessary funding.
The Sintons team was led by Christopher Welch and Alok Loomba, and it also worked alongside Sandman’s legal and professional team in Canada.
Loomba said: “We were delighted to be chosen by Sandman Hotel Group to provide legal advice on establishing their first site outside North America.
“With over 40 locations, they are already a major international operator and set to expand further. We look forward to working with them to achieve this.”
The funding package was secured by the Co-operative Bank’s Newcastle Corporate Banking Centre (CBC).
Jeff Fryer, business development manager at Newcastle CBC, said: “Despite the difficult financial climate, the Co-operative Bank is pleased to support businesses such as the Sandman Hotel Group.
“It has been great to work closely with Mitch Gaglardi to develop a solution to allow the company to focus on continued expansion in the UK. The international aspects inevitably added complexity to this deal but decisions were made quickly and by people with first-hand knowledge of the project.”