Lomond Shores set to debut next April

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Lomond Shores, a $100 million visitor attraction center will open next April on the banks of Loch Lomond, about 30 minutes from Glasgow.

Some 1.5 million visitors are expected in the first year, officials said.

The center will feature a central attraction building, an orientation center and a retail complex constructed of stone, wood and glass and inspired by the surrounding landscape. A four-star hotel will be added in autumn 2001.

The facility will provide views of the loch.

The castle-styled visitor attraction building will have four stories of floor-to-ceiling glass and a rooftop viewing platform. On the second floor, a giant screen cinema will show a specially commissioned short film, weaving together the history and myths of Loch Lomond.

"Lomond Shores is breaking new ground in tourism and the hospitality business in Scotland. Nothing like this world class visitor experience has existed before now, offering exceptional service and customer care," said Finella Devitt, chief executive of Lomond Shores Management Company.

"We have taken specialist advice and borrowed from the world's most successful international visitor destinations to create an outstanding facility for the more than 5 million people who visit the area each year."

The facility's 100,000-square-foot retail complex will offer a range of dining options, boutiques and other retail outlets.

Its orientation center will provide information on local flora and fauna, the natural environment and outdoor activities.

A boardwalk will lead visitors to beach and picnic areas, while boat trips around Loch Lomond will leave regularly from the nearby pier.

Children's entertainment will feature an indoor soft play area and outdoor adventure playground plus a program of organised events.

A 40-minute drive from Glasgow Airport, Lomond Shores will be accessible from the A82 highway, and regular commuter trains from Glasgow service the village of Balloch, a 15-minute walk from the new facility. Free on-site parking will be available for cars and coaches.

"Lomond Shores [will be] a 'must see' for visitors to Scotland, as well as for Scots themselves. We look forward to welcoming every type of visitor -- from family day trippers to overseas holidaymakers and environmentally aware independent travelers," said Lomond Shores board member and former chief executive of the Scottish Tourist Board, Derek Reid.

For further information, contact Lomond Shores Management Co. at (011) 44 1389 721500 or visit the Web site at www.lomondshores.com.

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