York & North Yorkshire

Businesses reaping 2014 Tour De France benefits

Tour de France sign at Leeds Town Hall
Image caption The race will spend two days in Yorkshire in July 2014

Businesses in North Yorkshire say they are already reaping the rewards of the Tour De France ahead of its arrival in the county next year.

The first day of the Tour will start in Leeds on 5 July and finish in Harrogate with the second stage setting off from York the following day.

Visit York said many hotels and guesthouses were already booked up.

Guesthouse owner Tony Hall said he had taken a booking for the Tour, which had been his "biggest sale".

Mr Hall, who runs Shannon Court guesthouse, said: "It's been quite a surprise that we booked up so quickly.

"Within days we had a call from a cycling club in Manchester and last week a group from Washington in America called and they've booked for 13 nights taking in the Tour De France and the Great Yorkshire Show.

"It's just about the biggest sale I've ever had."

Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate is one of six across hotels Yorkshire which will be a host base for the Tour De France team.

General manager Simon Cotton said: "It's absolutely amazing and we will be bringing staff in who speak different languages over the Tour weekend."

City of York Council is hosting an event later to enable businesses to find out how they can benefit from the sporting event.

It will be the first opportunity for people to come together and talk about how they can be involved with the lead up to the Tour.

Gillian Cruddas, of Visit York, said businesses needed to be thinking about how they could be the "most cycle friendly establishment".

She said: "We're encouraging people to work with Visit England and ourselves to make sure that they have got everything that a cyclist would want.

"It's making sure that we absolutely create this fantastic welcome and I think something like the Tour De France, which is such a huge sporting event, actually concentrates the collective mind on what will York look like for these visitors coming."

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