UK’s largest independent holiday park operators snap up 5 Gwynedd parks into Lyons den

A DENBIGHSHIRE-based family-run tourism group has now peaked as the largest independent holiday park operators in the UK following a multi-million pound deal this week.

Lyons Holiday Parks, founded in Rhyl in 1924, have now expanded into their fourth county in North Wales as Sunnysands Caravan Parks Limited was signed over to the fifth-generation business.

Before their latest western Wales acquisition, the Lyons Group currently operate 14 holiday parks in North Wales and Cumbria, welcome over hundreds of thousands of guests each year to their destinations, and currently employ more than 500 permanent and seasonal team members.

With five new parks near Barmouth, including Lyons Sunnysands Holiday Park, Lyons Snowdon View Holiday Park, Lyons Caerelwan Holiday Park, Lyons Moelfre View Holiday Park, and Lyons Tyddyn Goronwy Holiday Park, the Lyons empire now operates 20 sites across Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, and Allonby in Cumbria, offering over 6,000 pitches in total.

The entire portfolio, which began catering to guests with converted double-decker buses in 1930’s Rhyl, now boasts a wealth of accommodation including caravans for hire, static holiday homes to purchase, touring pitches, camping pitches, glamping pods, two hotels, holiday cottages and a farmhouse to hire, as well as a leisure resort with log cabins and hotel rooms that is currently under construction.

Having dominated the North Wales coast from Holywell to Penmaenmawr for decades, the decision to migrate the award-winning business to mid-Wales was the next natural move for the ‘ever expanding empire.’

The Lyons Mounds men at Snowdon View in Llanberis

Last June, an analysis of mobile data revealed that Talybont in Barmouth, the location of the main site Sunnysands, saw the biggest increase in visits of any coastal town in England and Wales.

Sunnysands’ park’s prime locations in Barmouth and Snowdon were a huge appeal to the Lyons Group, who plan to continue offering holidays to some of the millions of tourists who flock to West Wales each summer.

The other deciding factor was the close-knit, family run history that Sunnysands bequeathed, having remained safely in the same hands of the Mead family for over 50 years. This familial factor is what director Geoff Lyons Mound Senior, whose Grandfather Joe Lyons established the Lyons Camp in Rhyl in 1924, deems as the ‘winning chip’ of any business venture.

Mr Lyons Mound, alongside his two sons Geoff and Joseph Lyons Mound, along with their sons Geoff Lyons Mound Jnr and Danny Lyons Mound, and Joseph Lyons Mound Jnr and Levi Lyons Mound, attended the official handover in Sunnysands this week (picture.)

Joseph Lyons Mound said: “To be here with my father, my brother, my sons and my nephews, taking on this new venture in an area untapped by the Lyons name is incredible. We’re all extremely proud to be a part of this family, and each one of us has contributed to the expansion of this company in some way.

“My father has been a significant participant in North Wales’s tourism sector for over six decades, and has seen some huge changes, developments, and demolitions in his career. Knowing that he is now passing on his knowledge and experience to both my son Joseph Jnr, and my brother’s son Geoff Jnr, means everything to us and encompasses everything it is to be a ‘family-run’ business.”

The young directors, both in their early twenties, will be playing a major part in operating the five new Gwynedd parks.

Joseph Lyons Mound Jnr said: “We’re keen to evolve the Lyons brand in West Wales and maintain the company’s longstanding reputation and bring in things we know have worked for us in the past at our parks in Denbighshire and Conwy. We’ve been doing this for almost 100 years, and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved in this time.”

The directors of the Lyons Group took time to meet the existing team who have been dedicated to the Sunnysands brand over the past half decade. Joseph Lyons Mound said: “We’re very fortunate to be able to continue working with those who have supported the Meads over the past few years, and who have a wealth of local knowledge and expertise.

“We understand that company takeovers after many happy years can sometimes be unsettling, so our goal this week was to answer any questions, and reassure these wonderful people that they, as well as their jobs, are in safe hands. It’s all about the coming together of two families to share knowledge, learn from each other, and support each other across multiple venues. We’re all here for the same thing: to maintain North Wales’ status as a top tourist destination and to ensure our guests have the best experience.”

The Lyons Group’s mission statement has never rung so true: to be the preferred holiday destination for affordable family holidays where guests can make precious memories for years to come – with such a wealth of accommodation available, the directors feel this goal will be achievable with their new integrated teams.

Geoff Lyons Mound Jnr said: “We’re so fortunate here in North Wales to be sat among history, wherever we go. All it takes is one trip to the beautiful Lyons Snowdon View Caravan Park in Llanberis to be reminded of our ancestry, both in the natural world and in the industrial world. The landscape of Lyons Sunnysands, where the mountains meet the sea is just stunning, and it’s our job now to protect and preserve this landscape for generations to come.”

Geoff Lyons Mound said: “We’re Lyons Holiday Parks. We’re investors, we’re visionaries, and we love nothing more than upgrading and investing in our parks to ensure the best experience possible for our guests. Whenever we have building plans, we do our utmost to use local suppliers and tradespeople, because although the tourism industry in Wales appeals to a global market, it all starts here with the community.”