Couple drops bid to acquire inn
BRUNSWICK — A deal that would have transferred ownership of the historic Captain Daniel Stone Inn to two seasoned hoteliers fell through late last week.
Town councilors were scheduled to consider a liquor license application from a Belfast couple who had hopes to begin operating the 24-room hotel and restaurant, which fell into foreclosure at the end of 2011.
On Friday, Belfast Bay Inn co-owner Ed Hemmingsen said he and his wife, Judy, decided to step away from the deal after applying for a liquor license with the town.
Hemmingsen declined to comment further on the decision per an agreement with the current owners, 1827, LLC.
At a meeting on March 19, Town Manager Gary Brown told town councilors that municipal staff planned to issue a license for retroactive approval at tonight’s meeting and that the police department had been asked to review the Hemmingsens’ application before that approval.
In November, the property was transferred from previous owner John Verreault of Tourism Properties to 1827, LLC, which was listed in Cumberland County property records with the same mailing address as Saco and Biddeford Savings Institution.
County records indicate that Verreault had taken mortgage loans and lines of credit totaling $1.75 million from that bank in purchasing the hotel in June 2009.
Prior to Verreault’s purchase of the property in May 2009, the historic inn sat vacant for nearly a year after Augustine Lett of Woolwich closed his restaurant there and the property entered foreclosure in a separate process, in late 2008.
At the time of that foreclosure auction, the land, structures and interior furniture and fixtures were assessed at a total of $1.53 million.
The hotel is currently operated by the Bangor-based Lafayette Hotels, which owns around 30 hotels in Maine, New Hampshire and Michigan.
In November, Brock Bradford, a general manager with Lafayette Hotels overseeing the Brunswick inn, said that his company’s contract to manage the inn was for “at least five years.”
Bradford did not return a call to his office placed Friday.
Bradford told The Times Record in November that the hotel had retained “almost all of the employees that were there before” and that there would be a few changes made to the hotel and restaurant, including increasing restaurant offerings from Sunday to Wednesday and completing renovations to a hotel spa.
Bradford said that his company also hired a new food and beverage director.
Approval of the liquor license for the Hemmingsens was listed on tonight’s Town Council agenda when it was distributed late last week.