Scotland's first ski hotel is to open in days at one of the country’s busiest tourist attractions.

Chris O’Brien, Managing Director of Nevis Range, said Fort William was “under-served by good hotels” despite being recognised as ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’.

The eco-friendly hotel will provide accommodation for the 200,000-plus visitors who travel to Lochaber to ski, cycle and take the gondola to the top of Aonach Mòr, a neighbour of Ben Nevis.


Rooms are already sold out until the end of March before the hotel has opened.

Nevis Range partnered with Cobbs Hotels, which runs eight hotels in the Great Glen area and plans to open a tapas restaurant at the complex that will use only local food and drink suppliers.

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Mr O’Brien said he hoped the quirky hotel would “provide a new dimension” for tourism in the Great Glen and provide a boost for other, local businesses.

He said: “So many businesses are lifestyle led or they close for the winter but we are never going to do that.


“I’m confident that we can be a place that enjoys 100% occupancy over the Christmas period and we hope we can inspire more business to open all the way through the winter as well.”

He said Nevis Range was not dependent on skiers for revenue but was able to function as a year-round business, in part because of the mountain gondola, which is the only one of its kind in the UK.

“It might surprise people to know that we get around 20,000 skiers, 30,000 bikers and about 150,000 tourists using the gondola alone,” he said.

“It’s one of the most attended tourist attractions in Scotland.

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“In terms of the total visitors to Nevis Range, we actually don’t know the answer because that’s just the people who use the gondola but we’ve got 60km of bike track at the base as well.

“We regard ourselves as being part of the outdoor capital of the UK and the start of the Great Glen.

“Fort William as a hotel is under-served by good hotels.”


He added: “When you think about a classic ski resort, you think of trying to get Summer trade but we are trying to de-risk the winter.

“We are full all Summer and what this is going to do is enhance our revenue stream at that time but it’s also going to provide a new dimension to Great Glen tourism.”

Nevis Range has already been designated a carbon-neutral site and is now on course to achieve net-zero status this year, which covers the emission of all greenhouse gases.

Mr O’Brien said he came up with the plan for the hotel with activities director John Sutherland. Double rooms start at around £135.


He said: “We thought how can we make a hotel that has sustainable principles.

“The actual internal fit-out of the hotel was done with re-purposed and upcycled bits of wood from the hill.

“Bits of old snow fence went into the headboards and pieces of corrugated iron went into bar fronts.

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“If you had to put a rating on it, you would put it somewhere around a three star but the reality is, it’s so quirky and unique that I think people from all over the world are really, really going to enjoy it.”


He said the partnership with Cobbs Hotels would allow tourists to take breaks combining the company’s other hotels in the Great Glen area.

“You can stay in three different hotels in different areas and have a completely different experience on each of those evenings.”

Nevis Range Base Camp Hotel is due to open before schools close for half-term, when there could be a flurry of skiers arriving.

“We are ready to go but there are some final, last-minute planning conditions being discharged,” said Mr O’Brien.

“It’s a Scottish ski reason.

“We had much more people than we expected in January and there is some good, cold weather in the forecast for around half-term.

“As long as you have got a wee bit of experience, you can get up to the summit and have a whale of a time.”