At a launch event for the London corporate events market held at the Good Housekeeping Institute in Soho, Watson Bell, Gleneagles head of events, confirmed the hotel was putting the finishing touches to the venue and that it would open on 2 May.
The 2,500sqm Arena has a maximum capacity of 2,250 and can cater for 800 guests for dinner or 1,500 for a reception. There are 650 permanent viewing seats and it will be suitable for conferences, product launches, concerts and teambuilding events.
Bell, the newest member of the Gleneagles events team after moving from Fairmont St Andrews last June, told C&IT that interest in the Arena was already strong.
"Interest from corporate groups has been amazing and I'm surprised momentum has picked up so quickly. We already have enquiries for events taking place through to 2017."
He added that usage of the facility would be driven as much by requests from event planners as by the original plans: "What the Arena will be used for is going to grow organically, including the price. This venue is very much designed as an empty black box – ready for event teams to come and do what you want with it."
"I also think that where we're positioned geographically – around 40 miles from both Edinburgh and Glasgow – means we'll do lots of non-residential events."
Gleneagles, which recently announced further investment of £1.1m in ongoing upgrades, will continue to develop its offer beyond the new Arena.
"Every five years, the hotel redefines itself," said Bell. "It's about continual improvement."
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