IT is almost three years since the Spa Bridlington reopened its doors after an extensive refurbishment.
Since then, the old venue has seen a host of top stars pack out the grand seaside setting, with visitors from far and wide flocking to watch established chart musicians, top comedians, and scores of plays and pantomimes.
Reporter Mike Brown spoke to General Manager Andrew Aldis, and Marketing Officer Nicola Frankish about their experiences so far, and what they think the future holds for the Spa.
“I think the Spa has always been a building that Bridlington could be proud of, but we want to make sure it is a business that the town can be proud of,” says Andrew Aldis, who has been General Manager at the Spa since December 2009.
Nicola Frankish, who also joined the Spa as Marketing Officer in December 2009, agrees.
“The enthusiasm of the team of staff here, and the feedback we get from the people who come to our shows, is unbelievable,” said Nicola.
“It feels like I have only been in the job for five minutes because there is always so much going on here.”
Since Andrew and Nicola came to the Spa, they and the rest of the management team have focussed on meeting people in the town who use the Spa, and developing what the venue offers.
Andrew said: “We have had over 800 people come around on tours of the building, which is fantastic for us because we have a chance to show off the brilliant facility we have here, and also to tell people about what we have on offer,” Nicola continued: “The feedback has been really positive.
“Some people live in the town but hadn’t stepped foot in the Spa before, so it is really worthwhile to be able to answer questions and let everyone know what we are all about.”
The team has also hosted user forums, in which local hoteliers and businesses were invited to ask questions and give their opinions on how the Spa is run.
Andrew said: “It is really beneficial to have a good relationship with local businesses, and I think that it is improving all the time.
“If the Spa does well, then hopefully that is good for other businesses in the town.
“At the last meeting we put on some entertainment for the hoteliers, some of the Spa staff put on a show and Guest House Association president Peter Davison sang Don’t Stop Believing which was fantastic –everyone really enjoyed that.”
Developing what the Spa offers is also important, according to Andrew. “Our weekly matinee movies have become really successful, people come along every week and have a cup of coffee and it has developed into a real social afternoon.
“We have moved the grand piano into the harbour suite and we have someone to play it three times a week. Instead of having it wasted at the side of a stage, it is being used and it is proving really popular.”
So what does the future hold for the Spa?
“Once we have finished planning one thing and tickets go on sale, we are busy planning more and more into the future,” said Nicola.
“We are really looking forward to the pantomime this year, Jack and the Beanstalk, and are holding a competition for children across the East Riding where we give them seeds to plant and take care of, and they decorate the pots.
“The winners will come to the pantomime and meet Charlie Dimmock and the rest of the cast.
“We’ve got some fantastic shows coming up with the likes of John Barrowman, Omid Djalili and Sarah Millican, and so much else.”
Andrew Aldis also sees a big future ahead. “I would really love to see the Spa become part of the (theatre) touring circuit.
“It would be expensive but I think that people in Bridlington would appreciate it and enjoy the types of show we could bring.
“We want to keep developing what we offer, such as this year’s New Year’s Eve party.
“We are looking to create a cruise ship theme, with all sorts of entertainment on offer in different rooms and a huge cruise ship buffet, which I’m really excited about.”