A consortium of local investors has stepped forward to take over the reins at one of Montgomery’s leading hotels.
Chartered accountant Mark Cadwallader persuaded family and friends to join him in buying the landmark hotel on the borders of Shropshire and Powys in a deal brokered by sector specialists Colliers International.
The distinctive grade II former coaching inn in the heart of Marcher Country stands next to Montgomery Castle overlooking the town’s market place and is a magnet for locals and visitors alike.
Joining Mark in the new venture are wife Rhian, sister Clare and husband Simon Cousins along with Simon and Elaine Bedford.The consortium intend to refurbish the landmark hotel and will work on a five year plan to restore it to its former glory as principal hotel destination in the town.
Mark said: “Living in the town I had been thinking about buying the Dragon for some time and after talking it over with our friends and family we decided to go for it.
“Montgomery is still a significant destination and we believe the town needs to offer the very best facilities to maintain its historic appeal. We will be aiming to offer good classic food to a wide range of visitors and locals.”
With a range of skills and experience to draw upon, the consortium will take turns running the hotel and are looking forward to working alongside the existing staff.
Mark said: “We will not be shutting the hotel while the refurbishment is carried out so we are taking things one step at a time. But the Dragon has plenty of potential and we are determined to see it flying again.”
Colliers International Hotels Director Peter Brunt said The Dragon Hotel was well known for its striking black and white façade and award-winning kitchens.
He said: “The new owners have correctly identified the enormous potential at the Dragon and are looking at several ways of building on the existing trade.
“It is the primary hotel in the area for functions and meetings as well as having a reliable year round and good class bar trade as indicated by the strong turnover.”
Dating back to the 17th century, the hotel features a heavily timbered restaurant with a fireplace created from an old bread oven. The characterful surroundings have helped the pub win a series of AA rosettes over the past ten years and is popular with walkers exploring the many ruined castles in the vicinity as well as Offa’s Dyke.
The 20 letting bedrooms offer a versatile selection of doubles, four twins, two single, five family and one four poster room. Unusually for a country inn the Dragon also boasts an indoor heated swimming pool with sauna, free of charge to guests.