THE manager of the Ramsey Park Hotel on Mooragh Promenade has spoken of the valuable custom of a film crew which practically took over the hotel for four weeks.
General manager James O’Neill said the hotel had ‘bent over backwards’ to accommodate the crew, in what is traditionally a lean time of year for the hospitality industry.
Camera Trap is the third project to follow the government’s £12m investment in Pinewood Shepperton film studios, and a 40-strong crew filmed around the island throughout January.
After scouting around a number of options, the crew selected Ramsey Park Hotel as their base of operations.
‘We got them down for a free stay to see it first hand, and they enjoyed it,’ explained Mr O’Neill.
‘They came to us for our flexibility. We looked after them, printed their scripts, and fed them when they got back late at 12 or one in the morning.
‘We bent over backwards to get the business. January and February is quite a difficult period, and we had 21 bedrooms sold out to them.’
Film producer Steve Christian praised the hotel for their patience and tolerance during the residence, which even saw the hotel arrange sandwiches for the crew when a planned burger van let them down.
Mr Christian also spoke of the valuable local spend in Ramsey generally as the crew, split between a day and night shift, used the town as their base for the entire four-week stay.
The 30-room hotel is weathering its first winter since opening in August last year, and Mr O’Neill believes that the ‘brand new’ aspect of the hotel also helped attract the crew.
The nature of the film, a thriller which follows a British wildlife documentary crew tracking an unidentified predator in the mountains of Nepal, meant the crew were out braving snow-carpeted and subsequently flooded locations such as Tholt-y-Will and Axnfell Plantation near Laxey, which meant a lot of mud travelled back with them to the hotel.
‘It was absolutely trashed!’ chuckled Mr O’Neill. ‘We had to redecorate. But it’s a hotel, that kind of thing is going to happen. It’s back to being brand new now.’
The successful stint has also helped lead to a second booking coup for the town, when another film crew arrives to film in the island in March and stay in the hotel.
‘Funnily enough as they were coming in to have a look, the Camera Trap crew were on their way out, and recommended us to them,’ said Mr O’Neill. ‘It was perfect timing!’