Guest house

York guesthouse owner fears for future amid Airbnb boom

A YORK guesthouse owner seeks permission to transform the building into seven apartments in the face of growing competition in the city from Airbnb and big new hotels.

But Elizabeth Jackson insists she won’t be closing the Priory Guest House in Fulford Road anytime soon.

She said competition made it difficult for traditional guesthouses like hers to do business, but she wanted to keep the priory open and just wanted consent for the change of use as an insurance policy for the future. , in case trade continues to deteriorate.

She said the business has been in the family since her grandmother Lily Jackson opened it in the 1930s, but has been hit hard lately by the growth of huge new hotel chains. and Airbnb – the online service that some people use to advertise. accommodation in guest rooms at their homes.

“I like to run but it gets more and more difficult,” she said. “Airbnb is definitely making a difference.

“I’m not closing the hotel but I want the clearance in place in case it becomes too difficult to continue at some point in the future.”

She said the property was built in the 19th century as a private residence, but in the early 1930s her widowed grandmother bought it to open as a guesthouse, particularly where officers from the nearby Imphal barracks could stay, using it as an officers’ mess.

His parents Barbara and George bought it in 1955 and decided to run it as a guesthouse for visitors to York.

“At that time it was the only one between York and Selby,” she said.

“My father passed away in 1993 and my mother passed away in 2002, since when I’ve been running it. ”

She said the hotel was well known to guests for the twin Gothic arches in the gardens, which are a folly set in during the Victorian era and are overlooked by an orangery and terrace which opened in 2016.

Fishergate Green Councilor Dave Taylor has raised concerns about the problems these guest houses are having, saying that while there were times when York hotels were nearly full, he knew small family guesthouses had had more difficulties in recent years.

“A few owners have told me and I’ve noticed a few conversions, often to student housing, because this market doesn’t seem quite saturated yet,” he said.

City Councilor Andy D’Agorne said he wondered if the number of new hotels in York had reached saturation point and asked what that would mean for the city’s dozens of traditional guesthouses, like the ones along Fulford Road.

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