Glencoe Mountain Resort officials are looking ahead to the winter season as they lodge plans to replace their fire-stricken base station.
Firefighters from across the north were called to the popular resort on Christmas day last year as a devastating fire ripped through their base station.
The blaze left the facility in a state of ruin, resulting in burnt-out walls, scorched pool tables and tarnished furniture.
The loss of these facilities caused a huge strain on the popular resort, leading officials to erect temporary cabins on the grounds to provide necessary amenities to customers.
Now less than a year on, resort officials are striving to replace what was lost as they lodge an application to the Highland Council for full planning approval for a new base station.
New design will take advantage of location
The two-storey building will offer panoramic views across to Buachaille Etive Mor and glimpses up the hill to the ski area from the quieter mezzanine located above the cafe.
Officials will now begin the search for viable tenders to undertake the works, which are expected to commence from April next year.
Managing director Andy Meldrum said the facility will make a great addition to the site.
“At the moment we are operating out of a temporary portacabin at the other end of the site, which is okay but it’s not great,” he said.
“It will be great to get this in place. It’s going to be a similar building with lots of glass taking advantage of the views with a separate mezzanine level which will look out over the mountain as well.
“The works are going out to tender this week and the work will definitely start in April. We scheduled the work to start right after Easter because if we get good snow we can be quite busy so we certainly don’t want the place to be like a construction site for Easter.
“By Easter onwards we don’t normally get snow at that level so it’s normally a good time weather-wise.”
‘Our biggest concern is actually making it happen’
However, Mr Meldrum admits meeting the costs in the current financial crisis does way in his mind.
He added: “We were pretty well insured but like with everything, building a new building under new regulations costs more than an old building and in the current Covid-19 climate of not knowing how we are going to be able to trade, our biggest worry is despite the fact we are insured and the insurance company are footing most of the bill, our biggest concern is actually making it happen.”
The two-storey structure will feature a cafe/bar space, main reception and WC facilities accessible to campers and users of the building, will act as a focal arrival point to customers.
The plans have been drafted by ABC, Anderson Bell and Christie, with aims of providing a facility that is both fit for purpose now and adaptable to the future needs of the resort.
These come just days before Glencoe Mountain Resort opens for the 2020 winter season, limiting the number of skiers on the mountain to 500 per day.
He added: “Over the 60 odd years that the ski resort has been there, we have had all sorts of issues and hassles but the main thing is we can offer great skiing and that’s what we will be focused on again this winter.
“We are relatively excited and happy. There is quite a bit of snow on the forecast this week so we are pretty confident that come Saturday we will have some good snow activities for local kids and bairns to play in. Then by December 19 we will be open for skiing, irrespective of what the weather throws at us.
“We are in a Tier one area, we can operate and open and we just hope that there is a relaxation elsewhere so that customers will be allowed to come and visit otherwise we are going to have a very quiet season.”