Aberdeen Youth Hostel has become the city’s latest Covid casualty as its operators announced it is up for sale.
Hostelling Scotland, which operates a network of nearly 60 youth and affiliate hostels throughout Scotland, have said its Aberdeen premises is now on the market.
The 65 bedded hostel, situated on Queens Road, joined the network in September 1957 and has been welcoming guests for more than 63 years.
And in 2018 the building underwent a major revamp, which included a redesign of the reception area, creating more open-plan living spaces and a cafe area.
Eight new en-suite rooms were also built, as well as new flooring installed, double glazing, extended wifi coverage as well as additional parking and landscaping to the grounds.
Worst crisis faced since 1931
But the impact of Covid-19 has meant the organisation has had to make many “extremely difficult decisions” over the course the last 14 months.
The firm said coronavirus is the worst crisis it has faced since it was established in 1931.
An 89% drop in annual operational income has resulted in a massive swing from a £1.4 million operational surplus in 2019 to a £2m operational loss in 2020.
It said the financial challenges of this period, along with the contraction of the oil industry in 2016, had lead to this “extremely tough decision”.
‘With great regret’
Margo Paterson, CEO of Hostelling Scotland, said: “It is with great regret we have to sell Aberdeen Youth Hostel.
“The hostel will remain available for RentaHostel until sold and looking to the future, we are keen to attract affiliate partnerships with other organisations in Aberdeen.
“This will include seeking opportunities to operate a summer hostel in the Aberdeen city area. In addition, as part of our ongoing commitment to the north-east of Scotland, we hope to invest in Braemar Youth Hostel ahead of the 2022 season.
“We wish to thank guests who have supported us by staying in Aberdeen Youth Hostel over the years and look forward to helping them create new hostelling memories in the years to come.
“We will continue to adapt to the needs of our members, guests and employees in order to remain the first-choice hostelling accommodation provider in Scotland and the face of modern Scottish hostelling.”
Largest participant in youth hostel market
Hostelling Scotland said it prides itself on being the largest participant in the youth hostel market in Scotland.
As a membership organisation with over 8,000 lifetime members, it has 32 youth hostels and 27 affiliate hostels.
In recent years the network has welcomed up to 380,000 guests annually with a turnover of £9m and an estimated annual contribution to the Scottish visitor economy of £25m.