We’re turning 25!


It’s a special year for our MD Mark Thomas and the team at Orion Holidays as we celebrate 25 years in business! We’ve come a long way over the years so what better time to share our story.

Our Start

Back in 1997, Mark Thomas was involved in selling new holiday homes around Spring Lake and Isis Lakes, and a few owners approached him asking if he could help get them some income from rentals when they weren’t using the lodge. Mainly to help offset the ground rent and service charge.

With one of the owners already set up with a small company to rent out their properties, Mark joined them, and together they took on 8 lodges.

After naturally parting ways, Mark continued the business up until the point we’re at now, 25 years later, with over 60 properties under full management.

Getting the Ball Rolling

After going off on his own, Mark took on his first member of staff around a year and a half after the business started. A game-changer for the business struck when Mark obtained some office space free of charge in return for helping out another business, which effectively gave Orion Holidays a year of overhead trading. As any new business owner will tell you, this was invaluable when money was tight!

Pushing Forward

When the time was right to leave those offices, Mark ran the business from inside his car with just a mobile phone, a laptop and some tools. Back before we even had a website (hard to believe now!), all our leads came through the phone and by post, which took a considerable amount of time to manage.

Eventually, a friend in the trade allowed Mark to rent a “cow shed” on The Lower Mill Estate whilst they worked on the development.

As the development of The Lower Mill Estate grew and the properties were being sold on, Orion Holidays was being naturally recommended and we grew faster than we could handle!

After a year of not paying himself and remortgaging everything he could, the business eventually came out the other side.

Moving Into Our Home at the Gateway Centre

Our move to our larger offices in the Gateway Centre was a major milestone in the Orion Holidays story and positioned us as “THE independent agent” in the Cotswold Water Park.

Now with 8 members of staff onsite in the heart of the Cotswolds, a consistently improving website and all the proper systems in place, it’s hard to believe that it was ever a one-man operation.

We asked Mark Thomas what he has enjoyed the most over the past 25 years and he said “I think it’s been the constant variety! No two days are ever the same and you never get the chance to get boated!”

A Big Thank You to Everyone Who’s Supported Us

Property owners, guests, staff, friends, family, local businesses, suppliers…THANK YOU. We’re so grateful to work with and alongside some fantastic people over the last 25 years that has helped us create the well-oiled machine we have today.

We wonder what’s in store for the next 25 years!

Orion Holidays Turning 25