The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
Resort’s fire-hit base to rise from the ashes
Tourism: Temporary buildings first step in renovation project
Officials at a popular Highland ski resort have started renovation work after a devastating fire.
Glencoe Mountain Resort, which welcomes thousands of visitors every year, suffered a major blow when a blaze broke out at the property on Christmas Day.
Among the damage at the base station was burntout walls, scorched pool tables and ruined furniture.
However, three months after the incident, officials are working to restore what was lost by putting up temporary cabins in the grounds to provide amenities for visitors.
The portable buildings will be used as the cafe, kitchen and stores for the resort, and also provide toilets and office accommodation.
Managing director, Andy Meldrum, said this meant the resort would be able to operate its accommodation and chairlift in the year ahead.
He added: “Most of our visitors in the summer are West Highland Way walkers and, if they come to us and there is no cafe, there is nowhere else for them to go.
“The nearest hotel is the Kingshouse, which is one and a quarter miles away, and if they have already walked from Bridge of Orchy or Tyndrum, they are not going to want to walk any further.
“Certainly, for our summer visitors and our ski visitors, it’s incredibly important that we can get food and drink, and facilities, on site.”
The temporary facilities were just days from being commissioned before the resort had to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Centre bosses are now seeking permission from the Highland Council to allow them to remain on site for approximately 18 months during reconstruction of the fire-hit facilities.
It’s hoped those works can begin next March, at a cost of more than £1 million.
Mr Meldrum said the fallout from the fire had put a huge strain on the resort during the winter season.
He said: “It has been pretty challenging and without the great staff we’ve got, we would have struggled this year.
“It has been a really bad ski season and, as soon as we got decent weather and good snow, we had to close due to Covid-19.
“We often have challenges, but we seem to have been really hit with them this year.”
“As soon as we got decent weather and good snow, we had to close”