Some more info and images: [www.scottishconstructionnow.com
Adam Gough from Natural Retreats commented:
Current activities on the mountain are heavily weather-dependent and the buildings are no longer fit for purpose. This project will address both of these problems and transform CairnGorm into a four-season mountain destination.
To improve the weather resilience of the business, some elements of CMLs trading must move to either Coire na Ciste or lower such that at least some of the business can operate irrespective of whether the roads to/from Coire Cas can be kept open.
Weather is rarely as severe in the lower Ciste as in Coire Cas, and the road into Coire na Ciste is nowhere near as exposed or vulnerable to very severe drifting that the roads to/from Coire Cas are.
I truly believe our plans will elevate CairnGorm Mountain to one of Europe’s top leisure and adventure destinations, which would be a fantastic boost to the area’s economy.”
Neither of these objectives can really be achieved within the area of the Coire Cas carpark.
The Ciste Carpark nestles into the hillside at the tree-line in a much more sympathetic way than the manor in which the Cas Carpark cuts a barren swathe across the contours of the hill in Coire Cas. The location of the Ciste Base overlooking both Loch Morlich, Glenmore Forest and the Ryvoan Pass is quite simply a far more scenic location than the Cas Carpark.
Natural Retreats proposals as they stand do nothing to address the lack of facilities in Coire na Ciste, yet will result in increased use of the Ciste Carpark . There is nothing world class about arriving at a carpark 1800ft up a Highland Mountain after a lengthy drive, without so much as a toilet available. Increasing the number of days the Ciste Carpark has to be used will likely have a negative effect on customer demand if no facilities are available in the Ciste.
The interpretative, educational, conference and freestyle training facilities envisaged would also be better situated where access is more reliable.
Plans for a proposed multi-million pound project to enhance facilities on CairnGorm Mountain and transform it into a year-round destination will go on public display for the first time this week.
This is exactly the sort of 'speak' that went with the Funicular project. There clearly is an opportunity and a need to improve facilities on CairnGorm for all visitors. A centralising approach based around the Funicular has failed to achieve these goals, making the same mistakes again, with the same sort of budget is unlikely to change the outcomes - just squander funds that could achieve so much more across the mountain.