TRIBUTES have been paid to “big family man” who had been in the hotel industry for more than 50 years.

Len, 83, and his wife Elizabeth Maddocks took over the reins of the Empire Hotel in Llandudno in 1963; the hotel was first established by Edith and Harold Maddocks in 1946.

Len and Elizabeth also had the Osborne House which they bought about 30 years ago.

Len, who fought a year long battle with cancer with incredible bravery, died on August 27.

He leaves behind wife Elizabeth, the couple were together for 58 years, and daughters Elyse, Katie and Victoria.

Elyse and her husband Michael Waddy, a chef from Texas, will continue as the third generation to open and operate the business. The couple took over the running in 1993.

Elyse, who is Len’s oldest daughter, said: “My father was was very determined, very single minded. He had been in hospitality for a long time.

“He did go to catering school and was very well known in the hospitality industry.

“He was very forward thinking."

When Len and Elizabeth took the helm, they expanded the hotel and added bathrooms to all rooms.

They also constructed an indoor pool in 1980 (the first in North Wales) and extended the restaurant and bar.

It was a programme of continual investment which carries on today.

Prior to his death, Len and his wife were still seen on site at the hotel - but not so much.

Elyse and Michael continue the tradition of re-investment and hope to pass on to the fourth generation; daughter Jessica is showing a keen interest.

Elyse added: “My father was very good in business and one of the reasons we are still in operation. In a family business generations never really 'take over' or 'relinquish control', it just happens over time.

“He loved his staff. We just try and look after the staff as best possible and ensure they have good lives outside of work as well.

“It is a family business that still has family in it.

“He was a notorious perfectionist and pusher and he was still on the ground, even with his illness, involved in a planning application. He loved building, always buildings. It motivated him to achieve.

"He was a big family man."

Elizabeth is originally from Deganwy and Len from Birmingham.

Len's family moved to the seaside and had The Sunnyside before the Empire.

“We have received some lovely comments,” Elyse added.

“He has been called a titan of the Welsh industry and stalwart."

The Maddocks and Waddy family and staff expressed their thanks to everyone who had sent messages, comments and cards.

A funeral service for Len will be held on September 16 at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno.