ONE of Glasgow's oldest chain hotels is to be demolished and rebuilt in a £100million redevelopment plan.
The Holiday Inn Glasgow City-West, in Bothwell Street formerly The Albany Hotel is to close this summer and the site redeveloped over the next two years.
But the move means more than 150 staff are to lose their jobs.
They were expected to be told the bad news later today, although hotel bosses insist they will be offered relocation at other hotels as they seek permission to rebuild on the city centre site.
Bosses have called a mass staff meeting this afternoon where news of the redevelopment plan will be broken to staff.
It's thought the new-look hotel will reopen for business in 2009, depending on planning consent.
And it is expected to see the return of the Albany name to Glasgow.
On the site is expected to be two hotels and what will be Glasgow's biggest function suite, able to accommodate up to 1000 guests.
Owners Intercontinental Hotels Group confirmed a meeting had been called but declined to comment further.
However, a source said: "This represents a massive investment in Glasgow's hotels trade.
"We will be looking to redeploy the staff within the group and will do our best to avoid redundancies."
The three-star Holiday Inn Express is 34 years old and last underwent a refurbishment in 2000.
It has 275 rooms over 10 floors and is showing signs of wear and tear.
Employees at the Holiday Inn were earlier today unaware of the hotel's closure.
One staff member, who did not want to be named, said: "I've been here for four years and would be gutted if I lost my job.
"It's a great place to work and we've had no hints at all that it might be closing. They've done a good job keeping it secret."
Senior staff at the hotel confirmed that there would be a staff meeting at the hotel today but would neither confirm or deny the rumours, saying that meetings are a common occurrence.
The hotel opened as The Albany in 1973 and was one of the first major post-war developments in Glasgow and for many years the premier hotel in the city It was hailed as an ultra-modern hotel and was the first in Glasgow to have colour televisions in every room.
A spokesman for Intercontinental Hotels Group said: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment further before we speak to our staff."
Owners InterContinental Hotels is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms.
The company owns, manages, leases or franchises, more than 3650 hotels in almost 100 countries around the world. Brands include InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Hotel Indigo.
Glasgow has 114 hotels and a total of 8049 hotel rooms within a 10-mile radius of the city centre.
Rival groups are working on a host of new developments to cash in on Glasgow's booming hospitality trade. Marriott International is looking for premises for a new hotel, while the Best Western Group has agreed a deal with City Aparthotel Glasgow to promote the Elmbank Street venue. Demise of hotel to the stars
THE Albany was THE hotel in Glasgow in its heyday.
It helped kickstart Glasgow's hospitality trade and was hailed as one of the most modern hotels in Europe.
Throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s it became known as the home of the stars in the city, as well as hosting large conferences, sporting dinners and gala events.
Footballers, including Celtic legend Billy McNeill, held his testimonial dinner in the hotel.
It housed the world famous St Andrew's Sporting Club and legendary fighters Jim Watt, Ken Buchanan, Pat Clinton, Paul Weir, Drew Docherty, Gary Jacobs and Kevin Anderson fought at the hotel.
Promoter Tommy Gilmour said: "The St Andrew's Sporting Club has been recognised as the home of Scottish boxing ever since its first show on January 29, 1973 when Ken Buchanan beat Jim Watt on a fifteen round points decision to win the British lightweight title in the Albany Hotel.
"The Albany has, of course, undergone a number of name and ownership changes during the subsequent period, but the one constant was the presence of the St Andrew's Sporting Club."
But in December, Gilmour announced plans to switch the club from the hotel - now the Holiday Inn - to the Radisson SAS, ending a 34-year association with the hotel.
When The Albany opened in 1973 it was only the second major hotel development in the city since the Second World War. Run by Strand Hotels, it boasted 250 bedrooms, two public bars, two restaurants and a 700-capacity conference room.
Development executive Vernon Saunders Homes, said at the time: "We were aware of the need for first class accommodation for the growing numbers who are attracted to Glasgow through business and commerce."
The hotel was at the centre of the redevelopment of the Anderston area of the city centre.
Building work began in August 1970 and the hotel opened in February 1973.
It was renamed the Forte Crest Hotel in 1992 and was later bought over by the Holiday Inn.