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February 25, 2019

FAME financing propels development of Rumford hotel

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
The site of the planned Best Western in Rumford, with U.S. Route 2 in the background.

About Finance Authority of Maine

FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides financial solutions that help Maine people achieve their business and higher education goals. FAME recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. It helps to create a Maine work force that with good-paying jobs by focusing on the nexus of economic and educational development. FAME recently was recognized for the fourth year in a row as one of the Best Places to Work in Maine.

A 63-room Best Western hotel planned for downtown Rumford will get loan backing from the Finance Authority of Maine.

FAME's board of directors approved 75% commercial loan insurance on a $4.1 million loan by First National Bank to Pennacook Falls Investments Ltd. for the construction of the hotel.

The Best Western Plus Inn and Suites, at 50 Prospect Ave. near the intersection of U.S. Route 2, is expected to create about 19 jobs and help meet growing lodging needs in the Rumford area.

FAME's commercial loan insurance program insures a portion of a loan to a business made by a participating financial institution. For a business, it may mean the difference between obtaining a loan or never getting the opportunity to start a business.

Pennacook Falls Investments is an investment group established by Rumford-area business leaders to build a brand-name hotel in the downtown.

"We are grateful for FAME's assistance with our plans," said Tony Carter, president of Pennacook Falls Investments. "This financing will allow us to construct much-needed lodging in downtown Rumford and hopefully spur additional economic investment in this redeveloping area."

Rumford has been without a hotel for some time, and the development is expected to help revitalize the downtown area, FAME said in its news release.

Carter in 2016 said the loss of 50 rooms last year in a fire at the Linnell Motel was a large motivator for the construction of the hotel.

The hotel project began in 2016, when the town approved $125,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to start the project, which is on the site of a former lumber yard.

Besides being a gateway to the Rangeley Lakes area and Maine's western mountains, including nearby Black Mountain and Sunday River, which offer ski and snowmobile trails, Rumford also has a community hospital and active pulp and paper mill operated by ND Paper.

"FAME is pleased to help finance this project that is expected to boost downtown Rumford and meet some of the growing lodging needs of the River Valley Area" stated Jay Violette, chairman of FAME's board.

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