Conlan is a 30 year veteran of the leisure industry. He founded First Leisure in 1983 and led the flotation of the company the following year. The company grew to become one of the most successful leisure companies in the country, with a market capitalisation of over £500m. In 1998 he founded Chorion, a bar, nightclub and intellectual property group listed on AIM, and Conlan remained executive chairman of Urbium following its demerger from Chorion in 2002. In 2005 he organised the sale of Urbium to Electra.
This latest role is not his first dealing with John Conlan. He was also chairman of Barracuda, the pubs and bar business backed by PPM Capital, the mid-market private equity specialist, which was sold for a 3x return in 2005.