The Welsh Conservative leader was one of many who lost their hotel deposit in Llandudno as the party cancelled its conference, which had been due to kick off in the resort town, 3 February.
The manager of the Imperial Hotel said 200 rooms had been booked for the two-day conference, including for the media. He estimated the loss in business at around £20,000.
The two-day conference was canned two weeks before it was due to take place.
The party said it would instead hold a one-day rally (date and venue still to be announced), to launch its campaign for May’s council elections.
Llandudno Hospitality Association Chairman David Williams called the news “disappointing” and “a terrible loss”, while the local press indicated security costs and less interest from trade exhibitors could have been factors in the decision to cancel. The Conservatives claimed officially the change was to give “fullest support” to activities ahead of May’s council elections.
The conference, had it gone ahead, would have been the first Welsh Conservative conference since Andrew Davies was elected party leader in the Welsh Assembly last July.
It would have been the first time that the cost of the Welsh conference was born entirely in Wales, and with Government ministers scheduled to attend the security bill, it seems, was significant for the local party.
Last year’s conference in Cardiff was held in conjunction with the UK-wide party’s spring forum.
The Welsh Labour Party confirmed, meanwhile, it was committed to returning to Llandudno with its conference on a rolling basis for the next few years. It is also set to run its spring conference in Cardiff, 17-19 February.
Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones took the opportunity to make some political capital out of the Conservatives’ cancellation: “If you look at the Conservatives, they could not organise a conference in a conference centre. They cancelled their conference, we believe, because they could not get enough delegates.”