Pontins has closed its holiday park at Camber Sands, near Rye, with immediate effect, along with another park at Prestatyn in north Wales.
The company, owned by Britannia Hotels, which also owns the fire-ravaged Royal Albion Hotel, in Brighton, apologised on its website for any inconvenience caused.
On Thursday (29 November), it said: “We regret to inform you that our parks in Prestatyn and Camber Sands will be closing with immediate effect.
“Customers whose bookings will be affected by these closures will be contacted by our team and refunded. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
There have been rumours that the site might be used to house asylum-seekers but the Home Office said that it had “no plans to use the sites”.
The Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye Sally-Ann Hart said: “It’s just before Christmas so to close Pontins so people don’t have jobs is actually horrendous and obviously local businesses will be worried they won’t get the footfall as much.”
The site’s freeholder Rother District Council said: “We have had no communication from Pontins or their parent company Britannia Hotels about the closure, its duration or their intentions for the site in the long term.”
The BBC reported Rother councillor Paul Osbourne describing the closure as “a bolt out of the blue”.
Pontins was started in 1946 by Fred Pontin as a smaller cheaper rival to Butlins and other similar operators.
The business was sold to Britannia Hotels in 2011 and last year the consumer magazine Which? ranked it as Britain’s worst holiday park chain.
It came bottom in a survey out of 19 resort operators.
According to Wikipedia, Pontins employed 715 staff.