Not the only reason to visit town

AFTER reading Michelle Michael's vivid account in the Mercury of how she first knew about the Grand Pier fire from her cleaner and feeling helpless seeing it taking

AFTER reading Michelle Michael's vivid account in the Mercury of how she first knew about the Grand Pier fire from her cleaner and feeling helpless seeing it taking hold so fast and furiously, I had to read her story to the end. I felt quite emotional at the end of a well written article by the Mercury.As a local hotelier I am quite sad to see some stories in other newspapers with a very different approach to the situation: that without the pier there is no point in coming to Weston and the town is dead with numerous cancellations by coaches and visitors alike.Being a member of the Weston Hotels & Restaurants Association, I can confirm that the above is far from the truth. Guests staying at our guesthouse still think Weston has much to offer, in particular Carters Steam Fair, the good value town centre shopping, the fantastic sand sculptures and restaurants and cafe bars which are some of the best in the country.Guests arriving on Saturday thought after reading some newspapers that the whole pier had been destroyed, not just the pavilion, and they were amazed to see much of the pier re-opened only three days after the fire. In fact I went to see it for myself and it seems the pier is so popular that a one-way system has had to be set up in order to cope. Let's please tell the story how it is. I have spoken to many hoteliers, guest houses and restaurateurs, large and small. I am pleased to note that none have reported cancellations or a drop in bookings.Yes, the pier is an important part of our attraction to tourists but it is most certainly not the only reason that visitors love our town and Somerset.Knowing what I know about the Michael family, the pavilion will be rebuilt and up and running before too long, a bigger and better attraction than before. So be positive about our town. They didn't put the super into Weston for nothing.JOHN CHRISTOPHER - Milton Lodge Guest House, Weston


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