Despite fighting to keep the hotel open, Lovat Lodge Hotel, one designed to provide accessible holidays in the north of Scotland, has announced that they will be closing their doors at the end of 2019.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Lodge’s opening, and despite a significant push from staff and locals in Nairn, where the Lodge is located, trustees have made the decision to cease trading, leading to the loss of eight staff positions and hotel which exists specifically to cater for the needs of people with mobility impairments.
A letter sent to visitors in September noted that the number of guests, which has seen a significant decline over time, has left them unable “to cover high overhead costs involved in running such a specialist operation, without increasing room rates beyond an affordable level.”
Liz MacDonald, Lovat Lodge’s director and a councillor for the local area told the Press and Journal: “It was a really hard decision to come to, to close Lovat Lodge. We were not generating enough guests to keep it open. I know quite a few members of staff who have found other jobs so it’s not going to be too much of a problem.
“It’s heart-breaking for the clients who holidayed and made the choice to come to Lovat Lodge and the regular renters who we have really appreciated over the time.
“We did try and find alternative solutions but there was just not enough people to come and make it valuable. It’s really sad; the staff did all they could. The staff were wonderful, the manager tried really hard to fill the hotel.”
Despite the loss of the hotel, which has excellent reviews across Facebook, Trip Advisor and Euan’s Guide, the councillor says the Lodge’s closure due to loss of clientele is a positive as it means other hotels are matching the Lodge in terms of accessibility.
MacDonald said: “We are all really sad. We were running it at it over 50% capacity. We couldn’t see any way to make the difference. It was maybe of its time.
“It’s a good thing as it means more hotels have better disability facilities, people have better choice. It’s really sad but we are hoping they will leave some sort of legacy behind.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine
Source: Press & Journal
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