A York hotelier credited with reinvigorating the city’s hospitality association is stepping down from his role as its chair.
Graham Usher – who took over the reins at Hospitality Association York (HAY) in 2015 – has reluctantly made the decision due to his recently launched consultancy business, MATTGRAY Hospitality, winning a number of new contracts.
Graham arrived on York’s hotel scene in Spring 2012 as the general manager of the three star Best Western Monkbar Hotel. During the next six years he successfully oversaw two separate major £3m programmes of refurbishment, elevating the venue first to a Best Western Plus, then to the DoubleTree by Hilton York
Graham said: “It is with a saddened heart that I am standing down from my position as Chair of HAY.
“Since leaving DoubleTree by Hilton York last October, and setting up my own consultancy, MATTGRAY Hospitality, in January, we have secured a number of properties and recently a group of hotels around the UK, which is tremendous for our new venture.
“However, this has meant that any spare time that I might have had (around running two other restaurant & bars as well) has been consumed.
“Unfortunately, my priorities now lie with my consultancy MATTGRAY Hospitality, which will be taking up all of my time.
“I wish the very best of luck to whoever takes over from me as chair of HAY. It is clear to see there really now is a strong resource within the association, and the members are all doing a great job to support and drive it to the next level.
“HAY really will be a successful group that directs and assists in the continued development of tourism within the city. It’s been a total pleasure and I look forward to following HAY’s journey.”