We held our monthly Tenants’ Forum on Zoom on 28 October. Thanks to those who attended.
MONTHLY UPDATE: Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust discussed the challenges currently faced by businesses and the added complexity and uncertainty around the new 5-tier framework that is being introduced by the Scottish Government to manage the ongoing risk of Covid-19. Gwilym outlined his plans to proactively review what impact moving through the different phases would have on operations at The Crichton and to make preparations for each stage. Of most concern, is the long-term restrictions on events and in particular, indoor events. The Crichton Trust will therefore focus on maximising the safe and regulated use of the outdoor spaces at The Crichton. On that note, he said: “Look out for some exciting news about plans for the 2021 Doonhame Festival in July – an announcement is due tonight at 6pm!” Gwilym also reported on the progress of Crichton Central, which is due to open in early 2021
ZOOM IN ON OUR TENANTS: This month we zoomed in on Holiday Inn Dumfries, which is part of the Jupiter Hotels Group. Jamie Milligan, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries provided an informative insight into the day-to-day challenges of running a hotel during the coronavirus pandemic.
There has been a significant change in procedures and policies this year with a particular focus on reducing the number of touchpoints in bedrooms and public places, so newspapers are only available digitally, cups are individually wrapped, there are no menus in the bedrooms and new cleaning procedures using UV lights. Jamie said: “There are a lot of changes to day-to-day and management duties to protect everyone for example; we now sanitise our key cards, breakfast bookings are mandatory and we even have to quarantine toilet rolls for 72 hours!”
The hotel was due to undergo a mini- refurbishment this year to include a new ‘open-lobby’ with relaxed seating, workspaces and an entertainment corner, but because of the pandemic this will be delayed until 2021/22.
Despite a loss of business when the hotel was closed in the early part of the year, Jamie said they are fortunate to have been incredibly busy since re-opening in July. Jamie said: ‘We are finding that our destination hotels are faring well this year, primarily because leisure guests just want to get away for a short break and to enjoy the outdoors. The outdoor space at The Crichton has been a saviour for us and our guests.”
It has been a difficult year, but the Holiday Inn has utilised the Job Support Scheme, which has avoided the need for any redundancies. Plans for the next few months including the Christmas period will be very different to normal – no party nights or New Year gatherings, but Jamie and his team are working hard to come up with alternative festive offerings this year – watch this space!
Thank you to Jamie for taking the time to update us all and for allowing us to zoom in on Holiday Inn Dumfries.
Find out more about Holiday Inn Dumfries