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Historic Scilly Isles Tregarthen's hotel could go up for sale

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: February 18, 2014

Historic Scilly Isles Tregarthen's hotel could go up for sale
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THE 33-bedroom Tregarthen's on St Mary's, Scilly's longest-established hotel, could go up for sale.

One of the hotel's two directors, Jonathan Lane, said advice had been taken on selling the business but no decision made.

Mr Lane said the hotel was a "traditional and fundamental piece of Scilly" and would continue to trade as normal.

Founded in 1849 by a celebrated seafarer and master of the packet boat The Little Western, the eponymous Captain Frank Tregarthen, the hotel features in the 19th-century Victorian melodrama Armorel of Lyonesse.

It is where poet Alfred Lord Tennyson liked to stay and is where he is said to have written Enoch Arden.

"We still make a profit and are fully booked for gig weekend. Fundamentally the business is sound," said Mr Lane.

Over the last 18 months they had "battened down" and got a handle on costs and overheads. A "timely and very important appointment" had been made in the present "most effective manager".

Mr Lane felt the end of helicopter services had impacted adversely on group tour travel which was "dead".

There had also been a change in the shareholding picture compared to when corporately reconstructed at the end of the Great War. Then there were just five shareholders.

Mr Lane explained: "Now we have over 60. None live in the islands. Many have never seen the hotel."

He said there was "an acceleration in the splitting down of the number of shareholders on inheritance", so nobody now has overall control.

"Over three or four generations the nature of ownership has become less and less direct to the hotel and the business."

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