Entrepreneur Steve Perez has bought a hotel and restaurant that was originally set up by his father and where he learnt valuable business lessons working as a waiter and chef, having left the business 40 years ago.
The Red Lion & Peak Edge Hotel was established in the late 60s by Santiago Perez, and for many years it was renowned as one the of region’s finest restaurants, but the family were forced to sell it when he died in 1975. Since then it had several owners and just 6 years ago added the 27-bedroom Peak Edge Hotel and orangery. It is well-known and a popular wedding venue.
Steve went on to use his catering experience to pursue a career in the drinks business. In 1997, he created the alcoholic drink VK and set up Global Brands, and is a previous CBI winner of “UK Entrepreneur of the Year”. The company has evolved from Steve selling his drinks from a van to an international outfit, to now selling their 17 drink brands in 57 countries worldwide.
Now Steve has bought his father’s hotel back in a multi-million-pound deal, his combined businesses rank amongst the largest employers in East Midlands.
The Red Lion & Peak Edge Hotel isn’t Steve’s first venture as a hotelier. In 2011, he built and opened Casa, Chesterfield’s only four-star independent hotel and a regular entry in the Trip Advisor top ten hotels in the UK. Off the back of Casa’s award-winning success, the team has been on the lookout for a new property for some time.
“When I heard the Red Lion was possibly up for sale I knew I had to seize the opportunity.” Steve said, “I have many fond memories there and learnt the foundations of business from my father, which have helped me throughout my career”.
However, Steve says the decision to buy The Red Lion & Peak Edge Hotel wasn’t simply based on sentimental value, he said:
“It is a great personal achievement to buy back the Red Lion, but the decision was made for sound financial and business reasons and it fits perfectly with my ambition to expand my portfolio of quality hotels in Derbyshire.
“There are many synergies with the existing business and it offers lots of opportunities for staff to learn and develop their careers within the group. I’m really proud to support local job creation and career opportunities, while also investing in this great area that has so much to offer tourists and business travellers alike.”
The Red Lion & Peak Edge Hotel has high-quality accommodation and is renowned for having one of the most successful food offerings in the area. Steve has a passion for local produce and plans to supply food to the hotel from his own farm – something he has seen great success with at Casa.