Residents of a Perthshire village have hit back at claims “malicious rumours” caused the closure of the local hotel.
John Hewitt, owner of The Glenfarg, in the village of the same name, has provoked outrage by stating he was pulling out because of a hate campaign.
He claimed he and his family have been victims of an online bullying campaign which had contributed to massive losses.
He said the hotel will cost him around £100,000 in losses this year.
However, several dismayed Glenfarg residents hit back at his comments.
Kate Armstrong, who has lived in the village for 40 years, said: “I couldn’t believe what I was reading and one of my friends even suggested that the article must refer to some other village of the same name.
“Glenfarg is the most supportive, inclusive and friendly community I know and over the years I have seen the village recognised as such by Positive Perthshire Awards, Britain in Bloom, Calor Village of the Year, to name just a few.
“It’s the kind of place where everyone helps each other, in good times and in bad.”
She went on: “The local hotel has recently closed with the owner quoted as saying that the hotel is not ‘economically viable amid vicious remarks’ he claims are aimed at his family.
“As a local, I have always enjoyed using the hotel over the years, be it for a Friday night back bar chat and socialising or attending one of the many events for which this village is famed from Hogmanay ceilidhs to wedding parties and various club dinners or dropping in for a meal.”
Another villager, Steve Whiting, who successfully ran the hotel for more than 13 years, added: “Running a village hotel requires hard work, commitment and knowledge of your market and if run professionally can be very rewarding and profitable.
“A village hotel succeeds when you are offering the customers what they want pitching the right menus at the right price, professional service, a proper management structure and consistency are all key.”
Shopkeeper Mark Crossey said he made more friends in his first year living in Glenfarg than he did in 24 years in London.
“I have never felt more at home anywhere than in Glenfarg, and the activities, organisations and events here are second to none,” he said.
Mr Hewitt was unavailable for comment.