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Historic Kenmore Hotel taken over by firm behind Taymouth Castle restoration

Kenmore Hotel will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Kenmore Hotel will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

A historic Perthshire hotel will be redeveloped by the same company behind the proposed transformation of Taymouth Castle.

Discovery Land Company is an American business owned by Mike Meldman, an entrepreneur and friend of George Clooney.

Clooney had been linked to the Perthshire castle but The Courier revealed in April he is not involved in the project.

Discovery Land Company is behind several luxury ‘worlds’ in America and one in Portugal.

Discovery Land Company is restoring Taymouth Castle.

Its Perthshire development would be the company’s first in the UK.

American billionaire involved

Now, The Courier can reveal the Kenmore Hotel has been purchased by a US-based investment group.

The group’s investors include billionaire John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company.

The company was acquired by Bacardi for $5.1 billion in 2018.

John Paul DeJoria.

Discovery Land Company will carry out “extensive” refurbishment work at the hotel.

Kenmore Hotel, established in 1572 overlooking the River Tay, shut in April after two “turbulent” years.

It had previously been expected to re-open next year, but that is now not the case.

Last year, manager William Inglis said it was “on its knees” and losing £40,000 a week due to staff shortages.

Who is behind the Kenmore Hotel investment?

A spokeswoman for the new owners said: “Discovery Land Company has been engaged for renovation and operations for a group of properties that has been purchased by a US-based company.

“The properties were previously owned by the same individual and include the Kenmore Hotel, various holiday properties, and the beach at Kenmore.”

Improvements to the beach will be made in time, while there are plans to turn the former holiday homes into houses for estate workers.

However, she said the local post office – which also closed suddenly in May – is not part of the plans.

Discovery Land Company has not taken over Kenmore Post Office and shop.

Mr DeJoria has previously worked with Discovery Land Company on a similar development in the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

Filings at Companies House for Kenmore Hotel Holdings show Kevin Lange, an American financial adviser and investor based in Texas, as one of the directors.

A company, PLH in the Highlands, is listed as a person with significant control.

Mr DeJoria is listed as having significant control of that company.

It is a similar story for other companies, such as Kenmore Beach Ltd and Kenmore Shop Ltd.

‘Major investment’ needed

A website has also been set up to keep the community informed with the latest information regarding the development.

It states “major investment” is required to save the castle and estate.

“The owner and developer of Taymouth Castle, Discovery Land Company, has a shared ambition to return the estate to its former glory and secure its sustainable future,” the statement adds.

“The Taymouth development provides a unique opportunity to provide tangible economic and environmental benefits to the area.

“As our plans progress, we will engage the community to understand how we can achieve this.”

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