David is the General Manager of CONKERS, a £19 million visitor attraction located in the National Forest, Leicestershire. He has worked in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors for over 20 years.
As the General Manager of CONKERS, visitor attraction which includes a mix of indoor and outdoor activities – from interactive exhibits through to a 4D cinema, a high ropes aerial adventure, catering outlets, retail and events offers along with an education programme David is responsible for managing over 60 staff and the day to day operation of the attraction. David is also responsible for developing the visitor experience – across all income centres: admissions, memberships, retail, catering, events and education.
Before becoming the General Manager of CONKERS David was the Manager of The National Brewery Centre (formerly the Bass Museum), based in Burton Upon Trent. He developed a successful corporate and social catering offer alongside developing a year round programme of regional, national and international events. During David’s time as Manager secondary spend in catering and retail (including a specialist beer boutique shop) increased significantly.
Prior to joining Planning Solution David re-opened the Ryde Castle Hotel on the Isle of Wight as a General Manager, it was part of the Greene King group (Old English Inns). The hotel had been closed for 18 months following a fire and David joined three months prior to the opening to see through the building phase, recruiting the team and marketing the business. He managed a team of over 30 staff.
At a previous hotel he developed their large conference and banqueting department into a more corporate style of product and he also drove the guest experience in their large leisure club by adding an additional brasserie style restaurant and re-marketed their sports bar & café.
He also re-opened a 120 bedroom hotel after a £4.2 million refurbishment. As the Operations Manager David was responsible for recruiting and training the team and developing the standard operating procedures. After three years with the company he was promoted to Hotel Manager where he worked closely with the Managing Director to drive sales and increase profitability after the downturn in the economy.