Staff are "devastated" after it emerged the American owners of Stirling's Culcreuch Castle plan to close the hotel for restoration and make all staff redundant next year.
It is understood that 11 full-time and 16 part-time staff are being made redundant, with the Los Angeles-based owners closing the 14-bedroom, three-AA-star hotel in Fintry on 3 January 2020 for restoration work. The budget, schedule and reopening date have not yet been set.
General manager Robert Reynolds said: "I have spent 13 many happy years here running the day-to-day operation of Culcreuch Castle both as general manager and, until a couple of years ago, the UK director of Hideaway Country Holidays.
"During that time I have had the privilege of assisting hundreds of couples with their special day and welcoming folks from all over the world to our historic property and I take away many happy memories of my time here. Thanks to all of you who have sent messages of thanks and support over the last two weeks, my staff and I really appreciate it.
"To those couples whose weddings have been cancelled, words cannot describe how badly my team and I feel about the distress this has caused you all. We are working with other venues and will help in any way we can.
"We have done two weddings since the announcement and to the other seven still to take place, be assured we are here and we will ensure that your day is as good as all the other weddings we have done over the years. We also have an art weekend, a golden wedding anniversary and our annual Hogmanay bash, which is fully booked, so we intend to have our normal firework display and literally go out with a bang!
"Finally, to my staff – so many of you have been here for many, many years and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, loyalty and professionalism. It has been a privilege to be part of the team."
The owners acquired the hotel off a guide price of £2.5m in 2007 from David Littlefair and Andrew Haslam, directors of Hideaway Country Holidays. The pair owned the hotel for more than 20 years and were responsible for turning the property, which was the seat of the Clan Galbraith for over 700 years, into a hotel. The oldest parts of the castle date to before 1296.
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