The world famous Glenealges Hotel will shut for more than two months, as coronavirus restrictions are tightened across Perth and Kinross.
Bosses at the five-star establishment, near Auchterarder, said they taken the “very difficult decision” to shut for a second time this year, but hope to reopen in February.
The hotel was closed for four months at the height of lockdown. This time, all golf courses and membership leisure facilities will stay open.
The announcement comes after fears were raised for “widespread job losses” by Crieff Hydro hotels boss Stephen Leckie.
He told The Courier the hospitality sector could face mass redundancies without sufficient government support.
Gleneagles spokesman Conor O’Leary said: “Following the Scottish Government’s announcement that Perth and Kinross will be moved up to protection level three in the national coronavirus restriction system, we’ve taken the very difficult decision to temporary close Gleneagles’ doors for the second time this year – from Friday, November 13 until Sunday, January 31, inclusive.”
He said: “Having worked so hard to provide a safe environment across our estate, we are saddened by this development, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, the highlight of our calendar for both teams and guests.”
Mr O’Leary added: “However, we’re committed to taking the additional measures necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone at Gleneagles, and to play our part in minimising COVID-19 cases in the region.
“The support and well-wishes we’ve received over the past eight months, including our four-month closure period earlier this year, have been truly humbling, and we look forward to welcoming back our hotel guests from 1 February, subject to government regulations.
“We extend our sympathy to all the individuals, families and teams around the world who have been affected by this crisis and our gratitude to all the essential workers who continue to work tirelessly to keep everyone safe.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) has expressed concern over the closure. “The news that Gleneagles will be closing its doors until February comes as no surprise to me, given the recent announcements.
“I have been having conversations with hoteliers the length and breadth of the country and many are doing similar.”
He said: “The costs of remaining open and providing a total experience which the customer expects, with limitations and uncertainty, are too high.
“While furlough is welcome support for staff who would almost certainly be without a job right now, it offers no direct financial benefit to businesses. A much greater degree of financial support is needed immediately to enable those both open and closed to remain solvent and bounce back when we are through the crisis period and into recovery.”
Mr Crothall added: “We reiterated this on a private call between myself, STA chair Stephen Leckie and the First Minister who acknowledged this and we would hope that additional support measures for businesses operating throughout the sector would be announced in the very near future.”
Perth and Kinross Council leader Murray Lyle, a Conservative councillor in the hotel’s Strathallan ward, said: “It’s quite devastating that one of our major employers has had to shut its doors.”
He said the temporary closure could have a knock-on effect on local suppliers during the busy Christmas and new year period.
Meanwhile, bosses at the Royal Hotel in Comrie have also announced a temporary closure as a result of new tier 3 restrictions.
“It is with heavy heart that we have yet again reluctantly taken the difficult decision to temporarily close the hotel until the latest restrictions are lifted,” a spokesman said. “We are passionately committed to ensuring the long-term success and future of The Royal – for our team, for our customers and for our village, but it is just not viable for us to continue to operate under such restrictive conditions.”