A Perth city centre hotel which closed down suddenly last year will reopen under new owners who have invested half-a-million-pounds in the property.
The Grampian Hotel will be inviting guests back again from next month, bringing around 20 jobs to the area and a much-needed boost to the hospitality trade in Perthshire.
The hotel mysteriously closed overnight last September leaving guests in the lurch after they turned up for their booking to find the front doors locked.
Almost exactly a year later, the building was purchased by restaurateur Kashiram Bhandari who hopes his new venture will help attract tourists back to Perth.
Mr Bhandari, who owns the Shimla Palace restaurant in Cowdenbeath, claims he tried to buy the hotel last year before it closed and was not put off by lockdown when he was finally able to strike a deal.
The Fife businessman has worked for 38 years in the hospitality trade and spent time running hotels in India, Dubai and Scotland.
At the height of his restaurant empire he owned 11 outlets, the majority of which he has sold off as he looks to return to the hotel business.
Mr Bhandari told The Courier: “We wanted to buy it even with lockdown.
“We’ve got lots of of tourists coming from down south trying to see Scotland.
“I think we’ll encourage tourists here as well.
“We looked at the market and we think we will do well here. Every hotel room we looked at is booked.”
The new owner has invested around £500,000 in his new venture, revamping the rooms, bar, restaurant and function room which can hold between 200 and 250 people.
He was also forced to fix the roof which had been damaged in the August storms and repair floors due to the resulting floods.
Mr Bhandari is still putting the finishing touches to the project but hopes to reopen his doors by mid-January.
It will be a welcome step for the hospitality industry with many workers in the region forced out of work due to the restrictions.
With the local authority actively trying to bring more tourists to the city through the £20 million Perth City Hall and Stone of Destiney project, lack of hotel space has long been a concern for those hoping to boost the area’s tourism draw.
Earlier this year councillors pushed ahead with a proposal to build a 55 all-suite boutique hotel with a 50-person fine dining restaurant and events space at their former chambers on High Street.