A new hotel being built in Aberdeen is expected to create more than 200 jobs following a £20million-plus investment by Canadian billionaires.
The 218-bedroom Sandman Signature hotel – only the third in the UK – is due to open on the site of the former Robert Gordon University School of Computing, in St Andrew Street, early next year.
Vancouver-based Sandman Hotel Group (SHG) is owned by the Gaglardi family, whose other business interests include Sutton Place Hotels and the Moxie’s Grill & Bar, Chop Steakhouse & Bar and Denny’s restaurant chains.
SHG’s chairman and chief executive is Tom Gaglardi, an avid ice hockey fan who owns the Dallas Stars NHL team in Texas.
As well as Aberdeen, SHG’s international expansion is about to deliver its first hotel in the US – in Plano, Texas.
The group has four-star Signature hotels in London (Gatwick) and Newcastle. It is already eyeing further opportunities around the UK, backed by an “eight-figure” refinancing package with Allied Irish Bank (AIB).
SHG said its new Aberdeen hotel was “another flagship development” as it introduces its brand into Scotland.
Director Mitch Gaglardi added: “We have plans to expand further in the UK – we are looking at a number of sites and have a few irons in the fire.
“Our Aberdeen development is a serious investment and will be a legacy property for us, one that takes us into another new part of the UK.
“It is a large-scale development, with extensive conference and banqueting facilities, but it will replicate the family-friendly atmosphere and great food, service and decor that we are known for throughout the group.”
AIB (GB) relationship manager Chris Dixon said: “Sandman Hotel Group brings a wealth of experience to the task of delivering their exciting plans for the north-east and several other parts of Britain.”
Alok Loomba, real estate partner at the Newcastle law firm, Sintons, which advises SHG in the UK, added: “This is another significant transaction we have completed for Sandman Hotel Group to help them further their ambitions.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with Mitch and Sandman Hotel Group to support them in another big step forward for the business.”
VisitAberdeenshire business engagement manager Elaine Booth said: “The fact that the Sandman Hotel Group has chosen Aberdeen as the location for its first hotel in Scotland shows that we have a robust, high quality tourism product which appeals to the global business and leisure tourism markets.
“The creation of 200 local jobs in the tourism sector is a real positive for the region as a whole.
“The addition of the Sandman brand to the current Aberdeen hotel selection can only be a good thing, as it further strengthens our position as a competitive global tourism destination.”