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Ambitious plans to create Highlands’ entertainment hotspot revealed by Macdonald Aviemore Resort

17/05/2024
Beluga Lagoon

Macdonald Aviemore Resort has revealed ambitious plans to establish a go-to destination for live music and entertainment in the heart of the Highlands.

With a history spanning more than 50 years, the award-winning venue has developed a reputation as a world-class business and leisure setting.

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Following the appointment of a new management team, the resort is now looking to put Aviemore on the map as a draw for top talent, musicians and comedians from across the UK while potentially helping to fill the void left by the closure of the Ironworks in Inverness.

Complemented by its renowned family holidays, business conferences and festive breaks, the addition of an entertainment calendar could open a whole new revenue stream for the resort while providing guests with professional hotel-level service from start to finish.

It is also hoped that the resort – located a few minutes’ walk from the train station – could rival large venues in the Central Belt for major attractions and live events, helping spearhead the transformation of the resort.

Kenny McMillan, managing director at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, said: “Our goal is to rival the big venues in the Central Belt by creating a special place here in the Highlands that brings in new faces and fresh excitement.

“At Macdonald Aviemore Resort, we’re embracing change, aiming to mix the charm of the Highlands with the thrill of live music and events. This is part of our bigger plan to not just be the ideal getaway for families but also a go-to spot for anyone looking for great entertainment in a stunning setting.”

Building upon its reputation as a modern Highland destination, Macdonald Aviemore Resort is keen to evolve to attract a range of new visitors alongside its traditional clientele and showcase the full range of amenities including accommodation, food and drink, and leisure activities.

Recently, the resort’s Osprey Arena hosted more than 1,000 people for a concert with Beluga Lagoon, the cult musical project founded by Scottish artist and wildlife filmmaker Andrew O’Donnell and inspired by the great outdoors

On June 22, the resort will play host to the hotly-anticipated Highland Comedy Show, starring Connor Burns and Ray Bradshaw. A special ceilidh in support of mental health charity, Mikeysline, will take place at the resort on October 12, headlined by the multi-award winning Scottish group, Mánran.

Meanwhile, several big-name music acts are set to be announced for performances between now and the end of the year.

Accommodating up to 1,150 people, the Osprey Arena is a versatile space for hosting concerts, exhibitions and product launches. This function room – equipped with private bars, PA/sound system and advanced audiovisual technology – can be transformed into a dining and conference facility, capable of holding up to 700 delegates.

Kenny McMillan added: “The Osprey Arena is leading the way in this transformation, proving that we’re more than ready to host top-tier entertainment. We want to offer something new and exciting, making sure Macdonald Aviemore Resort remains a favourite for families while also attracting a broader audience eager for live shows in the beautiful Highlands.

“The fantastic Beluga Lagoon event was a demonstration of our ability to become a top destination for live entertainment in the Highlands. We’re ready to show that we can draw big names and big crowds, offering unique experiences that go beyond what you’d expect from a typical venue.”

Macdonald Aviemore Resort, which dates back more than 50 years, is a collection of four hotels, 19 luxury woodland lodges, a conference centre, the Macdonald Spey Valley Championship Golf Course and luxury shopping.

The resort offers something for every member of the family – regardless of age or how active you choose to be – with an array of outdoor pursuits located within a few miles’ radius of Aviemore.

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