The tycoons behind the controversial Taymouth Castle restoration have revealed Kenmore Hotel won’t reopen until 2026.
But Discovery Land Company (DLC) insist the village shop and post office remains on track to welcome locals again in March next year.
The timeline for both projects emerged during an invite-only meeting with residents on Thursday night, which was also attended by politicians John Swinney and Pete Wishart.
The American real estate firm finalised a deal to buy Taymouth Castle in 2019 and has since embarked on a multimillion-pound project to restore the historic Highland Perthshire landmark.
As part of the scheme, it plans to renovate a nearby golf course and build more than 100 houses to create a new luxury resort.
Alongside this DLC, who also own Aberfeldy’s Moness Resort, has purchased a number of properties in nearby Kenmore and it is understood this strategy will continue.
The return date for the famous hotel – which was established in 1572 overlooking the River Tay and claims to be “Scotland’s oldest inn” – is now a year later than expected.
Colin Morton, a community councillor in Kenmore, was at the meeting and described the talks with the US real estate firm as “positive”.
He told us: “From the start there’s been a constructive relationship with the developers.
“There’s obviously been concerns about how big this is, but Thursday night was a very good example of how they’ve been able to address those concerns.”
On Kenmore Hotel, he added: “It’s something that’s going to be a really essential asset to the area.”
Mr Swinney and Mr Wishart said the forum was welcome, but they have urged DLC to hold a similar meeting for concerned residents in Aberfeldy.
The former deputy first minister, MSP for Perthshire North, said: “It was a welcome step towards a more open and transparent dialogue.
“However, the fact remains that there are well-documented concerns about both DLC’s overall vision and some of the company’s conduct thus far – particularly relating to their approach to the planning process.”
His SNP colleague Mr Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, added: “This meeting has been a long time coming and is an important step in DLC’s efforts to improve their communication with the public and be more open about their plans.”
DLC insist the luxury estate at Taymouth is not going to be a gated community for the super-rich and say right to roam laws will be respected.
Tom Collopy, the chief project officer, admitted in July the real estate company’s communication “needs to be improved greatly”.
Protect Loch Tay campaign founder Rob Jamieson claims DLC chiefs have not been transparent about the size of the Taymouth Castle development and says they are refusing to hold a public meeting.
A petition launched by the group in July now has more than 155,000 signatures, attracting huge support from well beyond Perthshire.
Mr Jamieson said: “That so-called public meeting was not a public meeting in any way, shape or form.
“Handpicking the people who were invited – that’s bad faith. That’s not a good way to interact with the public.
“They’re full of good intentions and empty promises.”
Discovery Land Company has been contacted for comment.