Cameron House closure a blow to the local economy

A prolonged closure of Cameron House could have a serious impact on the West Dunbartonshire economy, locals warned today.

The five-star hotel is unlikely to reopen in the short term after a major fire killed two guests and hospitalised three more in the early hours of Monday morning.

Owners KSL Capital Partners said the property would remain closed to guests for at least 72 hours, but the scale of the damage to the building means hundreds of guests booked for the Christmas and New Year season could be forced to seek alternative arrangements.

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At least one wedding was due to be held at the hotel this weekend.

Cameron House is one of Scotland's best known hotels

Many of the resort staff live in the nearby towns of Balloch and Alexandria, where tourism is the main employer.

The Rev Iain Miller, minister at the nearby Bonhill Parish Church for 38 years, said Cameron House was very highly thought of in the local community.

“It’s a great employer, particularly for younger people and those looking for part-time work,” he told The Scotsman.

“It will have a big impact on the local economy if the hotel does not reopen in the short term. A lot of folk rely on it, especially during the festive season for extra money.”

Cameron House is one of Scotland's best known hotels

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A history of Cameron House hotel

Mr Miller said he was due to officiate at a wedding at Cameron House on Friday and was awaiting further information.

A taxi driver from Balloch, the closest town to the resort, who asked not to be named, said the majority of his work was collecting guests from the string of hotels that line the shores of Loch Lomond, as well as staff finishing late night shifts.

“It’s an absolute tragedy to hear that people have lost their lives at Cameron House,” he said. “Everyone in the area knows someone who works there.

“It’s especially bad at this time of year, with everyone prepared for Christmas.”