Speculate to accumulate

There is plenty of talk just now about the ebb and flow of the oil industry and the impact that has on business around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The hotel industry is no exception. In this fast moving world nothing can afford to stand still.

Hotels need to look at other revenue streams and other target markets with perhaps not such reliance on the oil companies for business.

At Meldrum House, we have started work on a multi-million pound extension to the property.

This is the first work to have been done on the hotel since a full refurbishment was completed in 2010.

This development project will create an entirely new wing, increasing the number of bedrooms to 51 and providing a 200 capacity new ballroom.

It will also bring an additional requirement for around 15 jobs.

You may think that it is a brave move in the current climate. But we are confident that there is a market out there ready to embrace what we will have to offer come June 2016 when the extension will be ready.

With two conference rooms and a marquee already available at the hotel, these are also used for weddings and events and gives us the flexibility to adapt to guests' needs.

Companies that are cutting back may be using their own boardroom for meetings and bring in outside caterers to cut costs. But to get the best out of your team it sometimes requires you to get away from the office and the normal day in, day out environment.

We also recently spent money on our private members' golf course and professional's shop, which is also open to hotel residents.

We did this ahead of hosting the inaugural Aberdeen Masters but also saw it as an opportunity to make sure that the course is heralded as one of the best in the North-east of Scotland.

Again, it was not a necessity but was done to appeal to the golf and tourism market as well as our golf members.

Hotels are all striving for the same business. The Aberdeen Hoteliers Association regularly gets together to chew the cud and discuss how best to ride the storm.

But we can’t stand still. We need to keep evolving as well as speculating to accumulate.

This isn’t about how to keep up with the pack. It’s about learning to adapt and emerging triumphant.