Travelodge has officially opened its first hotel in Peterhead, which is also the town’s first branded hotel.
The purpose built 63-room hotel which includes on-site car-parking is situated on Chapel Street, in the heart of the town.
The hotel represents an investment of £4.5m for the landlord, Ardent Group, and has created 15 new jobs within the local community.
To celebrate Travelodge coming to Peterhead, the hotel chain teamed up with The Buchanie to offer one lucky reader the opportunity of a lifetime of becoming a local VIP and to officially open the new hotel.
To qualify, readers had to submit a poem about Travelodge coming to Peterhead and local resident Lesley Carle was selected as the winning author.
Lesley attended the official opening of Peterhead Travelodge with her daughter, Valleri and eight-month old granddaughter, Charleigh.
Lesley joined The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Hamish Vernal and Travelodge Regional Director, Beth Doleman for the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially mark the opening of Peterhead Travelodge.
Lesley said: “I was over the moon when I was told my poem about Peterhead had won.
“It is such an honour to be given this opportunity to open the town’s first branded hotel.
“I’m so proud of Peterhead, it’s where I was born and raised, and I am delighted that visitors to the area will be able to read my work whilst staying at the Travelodge.”
Lesley’s winning poem has been hung in the hotel reception area for all visitors to read whilst checking-in.
Lesley has also won a family weekend break at any Travelodge which she plans to take this summer when she goes to see Adele perform in London.
Her winning poem is called Travelodge in Peterhead:
"Welcome Travelodge to Peterhead and about time too
It’ll help give Peterhead Tourist Industry the boost it’s due
Peterhead’s famous for Fishing and the Oil Industry
with a Harbour, two beaches and plenty to see.
"There’s Arburthnot and the Old Prison Museum
and Peterhead Town Trail, if you fancy sightseeing
Not forgetting Buchanhaven’s Heritage Centre
and its quaint Harbour, now that’s worth a venture.
"And where better to lay your head
than Travelodge, which is streets ahead
It’s child friendly and the costs are fair
with pleasant staff who’ll attend your every care.
"So book Travelodge and put them to the test
whether passing through or local, come and try the best
It’ll be easier to reach soon, if travelling from afar
with Aberdeen’s new By-pass making it quicker by car.
"So come on down to Travelodge on Chapel Street
You won’t be disappointed by their meet and greet."
Peterhead Travelodge is being managed by Karen Higgins, who has recruited her team locally to fill various positions within the hotel.
Karen started her career in the leisure industry more than 20 years ago and during her career has worked in hotels in Jersey as well as in Scotland.
Karen said: “Not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be making history by managing Peterhead’s first branded hotel, it’s such an honour.
“As this opening is a milestone in Peterhead’s timeline we thought it was fitting to hold a poetry completion to celebrate Travelodge coming to Peterhead and invite a local resident to officially open the hotel.
“We received a fantastic response but Lesley’s poem really encapsulated our true brand essence and now our customers can enjoy reading Lesley’s work whilst checking-in.”
“I am very proud to have built a fantastic team who are as passionate as myself about delivering great customer service. Our Peterhead Travelodge has got off to a flying start.
“We are booked out with business customers during the week and with leisure travellers at the weekend.
“Our new hotel will help to attract new visitors, which is great news for the local economy, as our research shows annually Travelodge customers will spend nearly £1 million with local businesses during their stay.”
Robert Keane, director at Ardent Group, said: “We’re delighted to bring a national brand such as Travelodge to Peterhead and, in the process, support the town’s economic development goals. As well creating jobs, the new hotel will generate extra spend in the wider local economy.
“We’ve established a good relationship with Travelodge and would be pleased to work with its management on other projects in the future. We have a number of developments in the pipeline and are always looking for new opportunities or partnerships.”
Ardent used more than 150 local workers on the Peterhead project, which features five disabled rooms and parking for 24 cars.
Two shop units are now available either side of the hotel, which has a listed façade.
There has been interest in both units, although deals have yet to be completed.
Peterhead councillor Alan Gardiner said: “The ‘before and after’ of the Chapel Street building is there for all too see – it now looks fantastic.
The arrival of Travelodge has made a huge difference, and hopefully other national brands will move into the units and help to attract more people into the town centre. This is a great example of everyone – myself, local businesses, Ardent Group – working together to bring a project to fruition.”
At the opening of Peterhead Travelodge, the hotel chain also announced that Scotland remains a key growth area, fuelled by businesses looking to reduce travel costs and with the new generation of independent leisure travellers.
To support this growing demand, Travelodge is looking for 21 new sites across Scotland where it can potentially open a hotel.
This expansion represents an investment of over £100m for third party investors and could create around 400 new jobs.