IMAGINE a day where you can visit Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and enjoy many other Fab Four haunts and then relax and stay overnight and dream about them in a Beatle-themed hotel. It is soon to become a reality with the arrival of another world-wide tourist attraction . . .The Hard Day's Night Hotel.
The announcement of a themed hotel was made at The Cavern - the place it all began - at the start of International Beatle Week and the Mathew Street Festival.
The £8 million hotel development has been awarded a European Regional Development Fund grant of £2.3 million through the Merseyside Objective One programme and will open in 2003.
Cavern Club company chairman, Bill Heckle, told icLiverpool: "All funding is now in place and now at last we have been given the go-ahead for this project.
"Full planning permission and listed building consent has been granted and work should start immediately.
"After five years and three years of waiting it's been a long and winding road but we are there and to say we are excited is an understatement.
"Each room will have a theme from Brian Epstein suite to rooms named after individual Beatle songs.
"And every room will have a Gideon's Bible - which features in the lyrics of the White Album song Rocky Racoon.
"We will have clocks depicting the time of day in Liverpool - but also what time it will be in other places across the world where they were famous such as Shea Stadium in New York and the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.
"It's been a lot of fun coming up with ideas and concepts relating to the Beatle themes and it will go on.
"Beatle fans will love it all because fun was what they - The Beatles - were all about."
The four-star 120 bed hotel - a grade 2 listed building - is ideally placed and will be located at Central Buildings, North John Street, in the Castle Street conservation area at the heart of Liverpool's city centre.
An exciting development is a unique Beatle bonus - the hotel will be connected at basement level - to the Cavern Club.
The hotel will complete the Beatles tourism leisure complex including Cavern Club, Cavern Pub and other related attractions in and around the Cavern Quarter.
A 'tasteful Beatles theme' will be provided in each bedroom by worldclass artist and muralist Shannon who has a lists of corporate clients such as MGM, Disney, Universal and celebrity clients including Sylvester Stallone and Billy Idol.
Shannon stresses she is above all else a Beatle fan.
The hotel is a dream come true for the multi-award-winning Cavern team who believe the long-awaited development will attract even more visitors to the city because of its association with The Beatles.
Steve McGriskin, marketing director, sees the new hotel as another positive piece of city centre renewal: "The opportunities for promotion, advertising, marketing and PR are almost limitless. The Beatles are a worldclass brand and the knowledge of the product is universally recognisable. The Beatles are synonymous with the City of Liverpool and The Cavern Club.
"We will have huge statue of John outside the hotel. There will also be the address. Hopefully, it will be The Hard Day's Night Hotel, John Street - after the Council agree - Cavern Quarter, Liverpool... can you get a better address?"
The hotel is also seen as another boost to the city's ongoing renewal.
Sir Bob Scott, chief of the Liverpool Culture Company, gave the scheme his thumbs up.
"The Beatles legacy will be among the central themes in the bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008.
"This addition will provide a significant boost to the already impressive range of Beatles-related tourism attractions as Liverpool continues to recognise one of its most important cultural assets."
Even before work begins there has been massive interest nationally and internationally. Twin rooms will be available at £60 (current prices).
And tour operators will be able to contact the new website www.hard-days-night-hotel.com to see yet another chapter in the magical history story.
Artist Shannon, who flew in from California, specially for the launch party told icliverpool: "I am starting work on 119 murals right now.
"That's an average of three days per mural for me.
"This is long-awaited day for me. Every room will be special for Beatle fans - here, there and everywhere."