Ex-Dome chief to launch leisure brand

Former Millennium Dome chief executive Pierre-Yves Gerbeau is to launch a leisure complex brand to operate alongside his existing Xscape sports leisure complex.

Owner Capital & Regional is creating a new operating company, called X-Leisure, after it expanded its retail leisure portfolio by buying Marylebone Warwick Balfour’s nationwide chain of 16 leisure complexes last June. These include the O2 centre in North London and Star City in Birmingham.

Subject to investor approval, Gerbeau will be appointed as chief executive of X-Leisure and will then implement plans for the yet-to-be-revealed brand. He is currently chief executive of Xscape at Milton Keynes. This brand will sit within X-Leisure.

The Marylebone Warwick Balfour leisure complexes, which feature different variations of retail outlets, cinemas, bowling alleys and other entertainments, will be overhauled to make them consistent. Unlike Xscape, they will not offer a real snowslope experience or focus on sports.

Gerbeau says there will be marketing synergies between the two brands.

“They will be close and there will be a lot of sponsorship opportunities and co-marketing opportunities,” he says.

Two more Xscape centres will be opened in Leeds and Braehead by the beginning of 2005. Gerbeau was appointed chief executive of Xscape in September 2001 (MW September 24, 2001).

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