The company is now the oldest trading registered company in Scotland. Since taking the helm in 1994, Stephen has marshalled more than £40M of investment to transform the property into a true leisure resort which competes on the international stage.
Crieff Hydro is Scotland’s leading leisure resort, with over 200 4* hotel bedrooms, 56 self- catering units (of which a majority are 5*) and extensive conference and meeting facilities – all set on a stunning 900 acre Perthshire estate. There are 5 food outlets and over 60 indoor and outdoor activities on site from high-ropes to horses; quads, segways, golf; as well as spa and beauty treatments.
Crieff Hydro also runs the Murraypark Hotel (Crieff) and in 2014 they also welcomed Peebles Hydro to their family, along with The Park (Peebles), The Yorkshire (Harrogate), The Ballachulish, The Isles of Glencoe and The Oban Caledonian, putting a further 400 bedrooms under their family umbrella. Whilst these additional hotels will take time and investment to redevelop, their team of nearly 1,000 have already started to bring the renowned warmth and personality of Crieff Hydro hospitality to these locations. In addition to this, in December 2015 Crieff Hydro took over the management of Frank Thomson of Crieff, a retail shop in the centre of the town first established in 1902, specialising in ironmongery, sporting equipment and clothing and a wide range of household, culinary and kitchen equipment.
Stephen is in his 4th year as Chairman of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the acknowledged Tourism Industry Leadership Group which leads on industry matters, and acts as the ear and the representative of the voice of the industry to all. He also chairs the Tourism Scotland 2020 (TS2020) strategy group that sits under the umbrella of the STA. The strategy group is comprised of business leaders from across the tourism industry both in the private and public sector. The core purpose is to determine, recommend, monitor and review specific actions that will both ensure sustainability of the sector and deliver the strategic growth ambition aspired to. Added to this Stephen is an active member of the British Hospitality Association Scotland Committee and former Chairman. Passionate about and committed to tourism in Scotland, in November 2013 he was presented with the VisitScotland Scottish Thistle Award for his outstanding contribution to this industry and during 2014 was presented with The Herald Scottish Family Business Award – Outstanding Contribution and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce / Scottish Business Honours – Entrepreneur of the Year. In addition, in November 2015 Stephen was the recipient of The Courier Business Awards Outstanding Contribution.
A past President and Director of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the other offices he holds are Chairman of Crieff Community Council, Chairman of the Crieff Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Group and is a Deputy Lieutenant for Perth and Kinross.
In addition Stephen is a Director and joint owner of Strathearn Engineering Ltd – Land Rover specialists based in Auchterarder.
Wife, Fiona, is a Director of Crieff Hydro and Head of Projects and Interiors, who, with the family of four, share Stephen’s varied interests. Amongst these he numbers classic cars and Land Rovers, piping, skiing, trials biking and sailing.