Chesterfield entrepreneur Steve Perez has bought a hotel and restaurant originally set up by his father and where he learnt valuable business lessons working as a waiter and chef 40 years ago.
The Red Lion & Peak Edge Hotel at Stonedge was established in the late 60s by Santiago Perez and for many years was renowned as one the of region’s finest restaurants until he died in 1975 and the family was forced to sell it.
Since then it has had several owners and is now a well-known and popular wedding venue following the addition of the neighbouring 27-bedroom Peak Edge Hotel and orangery six years ago.
Now Mr Perez - who built and opened Casa in Chesterfield in 2011 - has bought his father’s hotel back in a multi-million-pound deal.
“When I heard the Red Lion was possibly up for sale I knew I had to seize the opportunity,” he said.
“I have many fond memories there and learnt the foundations of business from my father, which have helped me throughout my career.”
But Mr Perez 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.”
Mr Perez has an impressive portfolio of business interests.
In 1997, he created the alcoholic drink VK and set up Global Brands - a company which has evolved from him selling drinks from a van to an international outfit selling 17 drink brands in 57 countries.
Casa - Chesterfield’s only four-star hotel - has also gone on to enjoy success, winning a number of awards including several at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards.
It is also a regular entry in the Trip Advisor top 10 hotels in the UK.
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.
Mr Perez 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.
Barclays and Chesterfield’s BRM Solicitors supported him with the purchase of the Red Lion & Peak Edge Hotel.