A HOTEL owner who became one of Yorkshire’s most successful entrepreneurs is to step down after 52 years in business.
George Demetriou, owner of Cedar Court Hotels, set up a business empire after launching his first coffee shop in Wakefield in 1960.
He opened shops in Huddersfield, York, Lincoln, Derby, Barnsley, Bradford, Castleford and Leeds, and in 1978 had enough capital to buy a piece of land off the M1 at junction 39, in Wakefield.
The site became the city’s Cedar Court Hotel, a chain which expanded to Bradford, Huddersfield and Harrogate and most recently York’s Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa - now Yorkshire’s only five-star hotel.
Mr Demetriou is stepping down from his role as group managing director of the Acropolis Group of Companies, which owns Cedar Court, to become non-executive chairman of holding company Acropolis Investments Limited. He will also act as non-executive chairman of the main trading company, Acropolis Hotels Ltd.
Mr Demetriou, who was 22 when he set up in business, said: “After spending over 50 years growing the business to the point where it now encompasses five hotels, a portfolio of investment properties and two coffee bars, the time has come to step aside and allow others to build the future success of the business.
“I have been lucky enough to see my greatest dream realised, to create a five-star hotel in Yorkshire, so the time feels right to pursue new interests.
“I look forward to spending more time with my family and friends.”