PROPERTY developer Mark Shaw, who last year bought an Olympic ski centre and spa at Pragelato in the Italian Alps, has completed a multi-million-euro deal that will see holiday giant Club Med lease the resort for at least the next 15 years.
Shaw, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Hazledene Group, bought the resort in a €30 million (at the time £26m) deal after the consortium that previously ran Pragelato got into “financial difficulties”.
He said: “Pragelato has always had enormous potential as both a winter and all-year-round resort. The partnership with Club Med will undoubtedly help to fully realise that potential.”
The village, built at a cost of more than €100m, consists of 280 chalets, with direct links to the Via Lattea, the biggest winter sports centre in Italy.
A multi-million-euro upgrade of the resort – which lies 50 miles west of Turin – was completed in the summer in time for the start of the 2012-13 winter season, including the opening of four additional runs.
Shaw said: ‘When we decided to buy the resort it may have seemed a strange time to invest in Italian real estate, but we were confident there was an exciting long-term future for Pragelato.”
Shaw funded the deal through a series of projects in the UK, including the sale of his IQ office block in Aberdeen for £50m to European commercial property fund manager Aerium. The office is now occupied by Scottish Gas owner Centrica and Wood Group.
Hazledene’s current projects include its participation in the Inverness Estates consortium, which wants to build a £500m new town to the east of the Highland capital.
Shaw also owns the Park Inn By Radisson hotel, part of a £75m development next to the IQ office block in Aberdeen.