Specialized Hotels Close From Lack Of Business
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 14, 2004
WORTHING & NORWICH, ENGLAND--Perhaps this is a sign of things to come.
Two hotels that for decades have catered specifically to people with disabilities are closing.
The reason: Other hotels have improved their services, becoming more accessible and welcoming to travelers.
According to a brief item in Wednesday's The Guardian, the Lantern hotel in Worthing, which has been run by the Disabled Driver's Association since 1963, and Ashwellthorpe Hall in Norwich, operated by the Polio Fellowship since 1950, will close their doors this fall. The hotels have tried unsuccessfully in recent years to keep enough beds filled through fundraising, upgrading and promotions.
"This is a very sad time," Graham Ball, chief executive of the Polio Fellowship, told The Guardian. "We kept the Lantern open as long as we could. But despite a massive effort by everyone, we just couldn't do it."
Both groups credited a culture shift and legislation for the hotels' demise. Bills protecting the rights of people with disabilities have brought about significant improvements in how hotels accommodate such travelers.
Still, Ball said he is concerned that people with the most severe disabilities may not be able to get their needs met through more mainstream accommodations.