Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gone to blazes

It's easy to be sniffy about resorts like Skegness, and looking around message boards today, I've seen plenty of the, "fire caused £2m of improvements" type of comments. But even if it's not your idea of heaven, it provides a cheap and cheerful holiday destination for hundreds of thousands of the unpretentious and their kids.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the blaze - and the listed building that was destroyed was of no more than sentimental value. So if things are done right, this area of the seafront could be a big improvement on what stood there until Thursday night. What's so disturbing, though, is the undercurrent of suspicion.

Was it arson? It's being said that cars belonging to the developers were torched at the same time, in separate incidents outside the town. Ominously perhaps, their spokesman said on local TV that Skegness 'has to decide whether it wants them there, or not'. Yet through entrepreneurship, enterprise and doggedness they have shown there's a strong future for investment in the British seaside. As well as the £4m they'd pumped into this complex, they'd revitalised a dilapidated old hotel further up the foreshore by restoring to former grandeur an asset that can attract a different type of tourist from the traditional caravaner.

I only hope vested interests and the petty-minded at East Lindsey Council don't get in the way of a giant leap forward in the town. This spot is prime and now probably unique in any UK resort in having the potential for a totally new-to-Britain concept of entertainment and hospitality, if the opportunity is grasped. No more Golden Age stuff. OK? Forget the folks who wrote in to have you spend £Ks on restoring the Fairy Dell because they loved it 50 years ago. Expunge from your minds any thought of donkeys and chip shops, we've got more than enough already.

People nowadays want to be dry, warm, sleep in clean sheets, have fabulous food, great service and not have to go far to spend money. Here, they can't. In the USA, they can! Let ME be the first to volunteer to go to Atlantic City (expenses only, thanks) and see what I can come up with.


mountainear said...

Seems to take a pretty brave town planner to jump out of the box. Not sure about Atlantic City though - isn't that a 'golden age' sort of place?

All Shook Up said...

AC isn't bad, actually. Remind me to bore the pants off everyone with my story about being repatriated after falling off a bed there there once. I'd be happy to go on an expenses-paid fact-finding mission anywhere, though... Dubai, Shanghai, Hongkers...

J.J said...

Someone else who mentions Skegness in their blog! But by the time I find you, your last post is called 'Blogged Off.' Did I get here too late?