East Anglian holiday park operator to expand by 50%
PUBLISHED: 09:50 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 04 March 2019
East Anglia's Dream Lodge Group has announced it is set to double its presence in the UK, despite having being bought out of administration only a matter of weeks ago.
The company was purchased for an eight figure sum in February by Exclusive Luxury Lodges, saving 40 jobs.
Tony Barney, owner of Exclusive Luxury Lodges and the chairman of Baslow Parks, said he believes the timing is perfect to expand the Dream Lodge chain by 50%, taking it to 11 locations over the next 18 months.
The chain currently has seven sites across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Mr Barney also confirmed that as the new owners of the company, his board has unanimously passed a motion to honour this summer’s 300 holiday bookings, which were in doubt when the Dream Lodge Group went into administration in January.
Mr Barney said: “My family has successfully operated in the luxury park sector for three generations, so we have an inherent understanding of the market, gained over 50 years.
“We are passionate about the Dream Lodge brand, which we believe is by far the best in the sector, so now we have secured the brand’s future and that of its 40 employees, we intend to move the Dream Lodge name forward by increasing opportunities for families wishing to have a holiday home and also private individuals ready to downsize.”
Exclusive Luxury Lodges are no stranger to East Anglia, having saved Lifestyle Living UK in April 2017.
At the time, Mr Barney kept 40 people in their jobs, and four sites across East Anglia open.
The sale of the Dream Lodge Group, also known as Walsham Chalet Park Limited, saw all the business and assets of the company transferred to Mr Barney.
Its sites include Norfolk’s North Walsham Caravan and Chalet Park and close by, Norfolk Park Homes.
It also includes its site at Fornham Park, where 27 lodges are set in parkland which was once the Duke of Norfolk’s estate.
As well as in East Anglia, the group also owns Blosson Hill Park in Devon, The Sanctuary in Berkshire, Woodlands Park in East Sussex and Lazy Otter Meadows in Ely.
Mr Barney said he believed the future looked bright for the sector, with Brexit uncertainty potentially leading to staycation demand to rise.
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He added: “Interestingly, though we are experiencing a marked increase in demand from retiring couples seeking to sell up completely and instead live in the tranquil and luxurious setting of a ‘gated community’ park with like-minded people.
“This is a booming market within our sector and we believe The Dream Lodge Group is ideally placed to have a significant presence in this arena.”