Airline tycoon seals deal for budget hotel

A BUDGET ­hotel in the centre of Glasgow, which crashed just a year after it was opened by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-­Ioannou, is about to relaunch.

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The tycoon's easyHotel chain has snapped up the cash-stricken business in a multi-million deal which will see the converted 70s office block in Hill Street open its doors again in the coming weeks.

A consortium of businessmen spent up to £7million buying and converting Drummond House - above Italian restaurant Fazzi's - into a 126-bedroom no frills hotel.

They then paid a management company to run the city centre hotel and stumped up more money for a franchise deal, which ­allowed them to use the easyHotel branding.

But the combined fees along with spiralling conversion costs triggered huge debts and as a result the business went into administration in May.

One hospitality expert said: "It's a lovely hotel but everything which could go wrong did go wrong. Even their room rates were far too dear."

Today, however, it was revealed easyHotel bosses had won a bidding war and have bought the hotel for £2.3m.

It will reopen on February 1 with up to 10 staff. Booking can be made from 11am on Monday. Air-conditioned rooms are already being advertised by the new owners at prices below £20.

The sale was completed by Glasgow-based CDLH Leisure and Hospitality Surveyors on behalf of administrators with director Alan Creevy commenting that the debt-ridden hotel had attracted "fantastic" interest from potential buyers in the UK and abroad.

It led to more than 10 bids with Mr Creevy confirming Sir Stelios Haji-loannou's hotel chain had sealed a deal on Thursday.

He added: "The business will reopen and continue to trade under the easyHotel brand and while the financing of the project led to historic difficulties, we have no doubt that the business will prove highly successful under the direct control of easyHotel."

A spokesman for the new owners said: "We hope to reopen the hotel in the New Year with a room rate of £19 on a Sunday through to Thursday and £29 on a Friday and Saturday."


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