November 24, 2010
We’ve just had a release to say that Fort William’s Nevis Range is to get a new café at the base of the gondola to cater for the growing number of mountain bikers (oh, and those snowboarder and skier types) and it should be finished by the World Cup in June.
Here’s what they say:
Work has commenced on the building of a new café bar restaurant at the base of the Nevis Range mountain gondola, near Fort William, which will help operators cater better for the diverse demands of its growing customer base – sightseers, skiers and snowboarders, and mountain bikers.
Located at the foot of Aonach Mor the restaurant will replace the existing small coffee shop, now more than 20 years old, and is due be opened in summer 2011 in time for the UK round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (4-5 June 2011).
Built with laminated wooden beams and faced with local larch the new restaurant will have a contemporary feel and command great views of the mountain. The project will also incorporate a state of the art wood fuel boiler to heat the new building and adjacent offices, helping the Nevis Range to further reduce its carbon foot print.
Building the new restaurant will provide an alternative bad weather venue for functions held at the Snowgoose restaurant & bar at the gondola top station. It will also enable the resort to increase the size of their Ski Hire by utilising the site of the old café building. The development costs of £390k are being assisted by a £100,050 funding package from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and £32,990 from the Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, Forestry Commission Scotland and the European Regional Development Fund.
Marian Austin, Nevis Range MD, commented: “This new restaurant is an integral part of our plan to grow and diversify the business. Since opening in 1989 as a ski area and all year round visitor attraction, we have diversified into mountain biking, which led to us becoming the venue for a round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. And the success of the World Cup has resulted in the Motorcycle Trial World Championships coming in June this year. Last year we also launched the Nevis Bike School and built a new red graded mountain bike cross country trail, the only one in the UK accessed by gondola. Earlier this year we opened our high ropes courses, High Wire Adventure.”
Ms Austin added: ”The new restaurant has been in planning for several years now and it’s taken us all that time to secure the funding, planning and leases. We are delighted to be able to source so much of the project from local businesses. A N Fraser is the main contractor, the boiler is being installed by HWE, and the timber frame is coming from local larch processed by BSW at Kilmalie sawmill.”
She concluded: “As a business we cannot stand still, we’ve got to keep listening to our customers, and innovate and diversify. As a business located in the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ we are continually working to provide outstanding outdoor experiences for our visitors.”
Alison Gainsford, Head of Business Growth for HIE’s Fort William Area Office, commented: “Highlands and Islands Enterprise has firmly supported Nevis Range’s aims to develop and grow for many years and the new restaurant is a welcome addition to what is already a world class attraction. Nevis Range has proved that Lochaber has a huge amount to offer the outdoor enthusiast and we are delighted to be able to help fund a new activity that will both attract additional visitors to the area as well as serve the local community even better.”