Chesterfield Hotel has closed – marking the end of an era for the town.
The hotel, which has been a major employer and social venue since 1877, shut last night.
Town leaders and residents have expressed their sadness at the demise of the well-known institution, one of Chesterfield’s longest-running businesses.
The exact reason for its closure has not been revealed – but Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins held urgent talks with the hotel owners last month to discuss money problems.
Forty-five members of staff have lost their jobs.
Councillor John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “This is devastating news for the staff who are losing their jobs and also their families.
“But it is also sad for the town itself that such an iconic building which has been a part of our history for so long is to close.
“However, we will work to hopefully secure a new future for the hotel and the staff who work there.”
George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire chamber of commerce, added: “The loss of any business is never good news, particularly for the people who will lose their jobs.
“The fact that Chesterfield Hotel is such a prominent building, a landmark for the town for nearly 140 years, makes the potential impact of the closure even more significant.
“With so much regeneration planned for that side of the town, we hope the owners will be successful in finding a future use for the building.”
Mr Perkins said: “The closure of Chesterfield Hotel marks the end of an era for the town – it’s a sad time.
“My heart goes out to all the staff who are losing their jobs.
“They have suffered tremendous uncertainty and have attempted to keep things going under very difficult circumstances.
“I feel awful for all of them.”
As revealed by the Derbyshire Times, hotel staff were not paid for working in December.
Meanwhile, several members of the hotel’s former leisure centre are still out of pocket despite being promised a full refund after it closed last April.
Staff and leisure centre customers are currently in the process of getting the money they are owed and all creditors will be paid, Mr Perkins understands after his crunch meetings with the owners.
Bride-to-be Vicky Verity was looking forward to her Valentine’s Day wedding at the hotel – but has now been given a full refund.
Vicky, who will instead tie the knot at Casa on February 14, said: “I feel sorry for the staff.”
Over the years, Chesterfield Hotel has been the venue for thousands of occasions, including weddings, birthday celebrations and Christmas parties.
Residents have contacted the Derbyshire Times to tell of their sorrow at the news.
Sara Peters said: “We had our wedding at Chesterfield Hotel a few years ago. It was a lovely day.”
Matt Fletcher said: “Sad times – another Chesterfield landmark bites the dust.”
Dean Pound said: “It’s a real shame it’s closing but how long will this sit empty for?”
Vicky Newton said: “I will miss this place and the staff.”
The firm which owns Chesterfield Hotel is still active, according to Companies House.
Mr Perkins said the owners now intend to commission a study to consider what to do with the Malkin Street site.
Nobody at the hotel or representatives of the owners were available for comment.
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