Alpine Bikes to run Glentress Peel bike shop

The new preffered bidders for the Glentress Peel development have been announced. Alpine Bikes, owners of a string of independent bike shops throughout Scotland, have won the tender for the bike shop and hire facility at the new visitor centre at the popular Glentress trail centre. The cafe will be run by GT Restaurant Ltd, a new Peebles based company which has been set up by Claire and Olivier Bony, the owners of the Glentress Hotel.

Glentress Forest is already the biggest tourist attraction in the Scottish Borders, with visitor numbers expected to continue growing from their current level of 300,000 per year.To cope with this increasing demand and to provide modern facilities, FCS has undertaken a significant development and expansion of the current site.

Alpine Bikes say they are “looking forward to operating the bike shop and hire facility at one of the most prestigious mountain biking locations in the UK. Along with its Innerleithen shop, Glentress Peel will continue to build on Alpine’s established success in the Tweed Valley. Following the recent acquisition of Off Beat Bikes in Fort William, along with the summer season lease of the bike shop at Nevis Range, Alpine Bikes will operate ten stores throughout Scotland… ”

Alpine will have more than 150 bikes available to hire at Glentress, including top-end demo models, full suspension, hard-tails and kids.,from brands such as Trek, Genesis, Santa Cruz and Orange. They will also stock an extensive range of clothing and accessories from brands including Gore Bike Wear, Endura, Shimano and Bontrager as well as offering full repair and servicing facilities.

On the announcement of the preferred bidders for the bike shop and the café Bill Meadows, the Commission’s Forest District Manager for Dumfries & Scottish Borders said: “We’ve undertaken a very thorough, open and fair tender for commercial opportunities and I’m very pleased that the process has resulted in the selection of two companies who have many years of experience in the mountain bike and outdoor leisure markets. “Both have shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and innovation in their tenders and demonstrated they are keen supporters in making Glentress a top class visitor attraction.”

Bill Meadows, the Commission’s Forest District Manager for Dumfries & Scottish Borders added “We are really pleased to start working with Alpine Bikes. Their vast experience and knowledge of the market, both nationally and locally, should be a great asset in making Glentress Peel a fantastic success.”

The Commission will now enter formal discussions with the two companies so that contracts can be completed – this will take a few weeks. More details of what the companies plan for the café and bike shop are likely to emerge after contracts are signed.

Bill Meadows, the Commission’s Forest District Manager for Dumfries & Scottish Borders said:

“We’ve undertaken a very thorough, open and fair tender for commercial opportunities and I’m very pleased that the process has produced two companies which have many years of experience in the mountain bike and outdoor leisure market.

“Both have shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and innovation in their tenders and demonstrated they are keen supporters in making Glentress a top class visitor attraction.”

Bryan Shedden, Director of Alpine Bikes, said:

“I am thrilled that Alpine Bikes has been offered the tender to run the bike shop at Glentress Peel. Through our shop at Innerleithen we already have sponsorship relationships with local events and clubs and expect to build on this commitment throughout the Tweed Valley.

“With over 22 years of experience in the bike industry, and following our recent acquisition of the summer lease for bike hire at Nevis Range, this appointment further secures our positioning as Scotland’s premium bike retailer and hire centre provider. We look forward to working with Forestry Commission Scotland and the other tenants to make Glentress Peel a resounding success.”

Claire Bony of GT Restaurants Ltd added:

“Olivier and I are delighted to be offered the opportunity to be part of something as fantastic as the new Glentress Peel development.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Forestry Commission Scotland and the other site partners to create a 5-star visitor attraction, which can only be of benefit to the many users of the forest park and to our local community.”

Glentress Peel is due to open later in the Spring. The Commission is committed to working with The Hub for the remainder of their agreements. The Hub’s bike shop permission runs out end of February 2011 and the café lease in February 2012.

For more detail on the Glentress Peel project, the tendering process, including the documentation used, log on to www.forestry.gov.uk/glentress.

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