THE owner of the largest hotel in the Skipton area is passionate about the importance of the BID and the Visit Skipton brand.

Malcolm Weaving of the Rendezvous Hotel on Keighley Road is a Skipton BID board member and has no doubt of its importance to the town.

He was the first associate member, as the Rendezvous did not fall into the BID boundary for the first two terms and he was keen for the hotel to be involved, but changes to the BID area mean the Rendezvous will have a vote in the renewal this time.

He says it is vital Skipton has a clear online branding and presence – and the BID is the only organisation that can do that.

“The BID is incredibly important to the town. The main benefit as I see it revolves around the events which take place in and around the town centre throughout the year,” he said.

“These encourage visitors and locals alike to venture into town, spending money and benefiting the businesses – an all-round beneficial situation.”

He said the work done to promote Skipton brings thousands into the town.

From the hotel’s point of view, many guests commented on how vibrant and popular the town is and how much there was to do during their stay.

“This experience encourages them to return to the area more than once,” he said.

The Rendezvous is a long-standing business which invested in marketing, and generated a large number of return visits because of the standards and services in the hotel, said Malcolm.

“It must be beneficial for them to have something to do while they are in the vicinity. They enjoy attending the events, they enjoy the hotel, they come back.”

Anyone who had doubts about the BID simply had to take a look at the figures for visitors coming into the town.

“Look at the footfall counters – the results speak for themselves. All BID levy payers are entitled to see this information and you can instantly see how the footfall numbers improve - without a doubt - on the days when events take place,” he said.

“A large percentage of the BID levy payers contribute a very small financial amount each month.

“It would not be worth them spending this small amount on marketing as an individual standalone company. But when their contribution is added to everyone else’s, the cumulative pot of money makes a massive difference. It’s definitely a case of ‘collectively we win, divided we fall’.”

He said the Visit Skipton branding and Welcome to Skipton website were vital to the town going forward.

“Everyone knows that the internet is the future. Skipton must have a clear and concise presence providing all information needed by visitors.

“There isn’t another organisation with either the financial backing or infrastructure already in existence that can pick up on this service if the BID fails to be re-elected.”

He said a no vote would be a huge blow to the town, and would undoubtedly affect the number of visitors coming to Skipton.

“No events/no website would mean fewer visitors. Fewer visitors spending money in would result in companies losing business, less turnover and the potential cutting of staff – local residents would therefore be worse off.

“It’s a downhill spiral and we should not let it happen.”