Leisurecorp, the Dubai World investment company focused on the sports and leisure sector, has taken ownership of its latest acquisition, the Turnberry Resort in Scotland.
First announced in May, the £55 million deal sees Turnberry transferred from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) to Leisurecorp.
Starwood has entered a 50 year management agreement with Leisurecorp to manage the hotel and after extensive restoration; the property will become a member of its Luxury Collection portfolio. The hotel is now closed for a £30 million refurbishment ahead of the 138th Open Championship in July 2009.
Internationally-renowned interior designer Mary Fox Linton has been appointed to lead the refurbishment which will see the 101 year hotel restored to the original vision of the original architect, James Miller. Working in conjunction with a heritage consultant, the refurbishment will ensure that the building’s heritage is maintained while delivering beautifully designed stylish hotel rooms and facilities.
Alan Rogers, Group CEO, Leisurecorp, said, “Turnberry is a significant addition to our property portfolio and we take seriously our responsibility to restoring the hotel and facilities to its former glory. When the eyes of the world fall upon Turnberry next summer, we are determined that the venue will stand tall with pride, taking its rightful place as one of the top golf courses in the world.
“At Leisurecorp, we have been lucky enough to have worked with some of the world’s best performers in their fields, from sporting superstars to designers and architects. Since we announced the deal with Starwood in May we have been working hard on the development plans and are delighted with Mary Fox Linton’s appointment and her vision for Turnberry.
“This week Shanghai kicks off the inaugural Race to Dubai and arguably one of the most exciting seasons in The European Tour’s history. For Leisurecorp, this will see three of our golf courses rise to the occasion with The South African Open at Pearl Valley Golf Estates, The Open Championship at Turnberry, and the Dubai World Championship to climax the season at Jumeirah Golf Estates. We are certain that each of these tournaments will prove our passion and commitment to the golf world.”
Mary Fox Linton has an impressive list of historic hotels to her name, including One Aldwych, London; The Dorchester Hotel, London; The Athenaeum, London; The Grove, Chandler’s Cross; and Carlisle Bay Antigua.
Mary Fox Linton said, “The chance to restore this hotel to its former glory is a wonderful opportunity and I feel so passionate about it. When you arrive, you can’t help but smile.
“The interiors of the hotel will be brought back to their original grandeur with a contemporary interpretation of James Miller’s original vision for the hotel. I have tried to look at the hotel through the eyes of Miller and interpret what I think he would have envisioned for the hotel, maximising open spaces, comfort and of course the very best of quality.”