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Updated: February 26, 2024

Bar Harbor hotelier maintains momentum with 13th property

long white building with portico Courtesy / The Boulos Co. The 77-room Port Inn, upgraded by the seller in recent years, will be rebranded the Seasider Motel.

A Bar Harbor hotel group with a growing number of local properties took on its 13th with the purchase of the Port Inn at 40 Kebo St.

A local investor group led by  Stephen Coston bought the inn from Giri Bar Harbor Inc. for an undisclosed price. 

person in flowered shirt
File photo / Tim Greenway
Stephen Coston

In addition to the 77-room, limited-service hotel, the sale included a 2,101-square-foot single-family home, which had been used for employee housing.

The deal was arranged off-market by Roy Donnelly of the Boulos Co. In addition to negotiating the purchase price, a key piece of the transaction was terminating a hotel franchise agreement. 

Port Inn Bar Harbor was part of the Ascend Hotel Collection, itself part of Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH), one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, according to its website.

Giri Bar Harbor Inc. is part of Giri Hotel Management LLC, a large hotel management firm headquartered in Quincy, Mass., that owns 49 hotels in five states.

Giri purchased the Bar Harbor hotel in 2020 and made several improvements, including room upgrades and removing an above-ground swimming pool. 

“I think it will be a good fit with our other properties in Bar Harbor,” Coston told Mainebiz. “We own several other properties right down the street, so it will be particularly easy for us to incorporate it into our operation.”

The deal was financed by First National Bank.

An independent property

The Port Inn, with 77 rooms, was previously a Quality Inn and at one time was called the National Park Motel.

“We will rebrand it and open in May,” said Coston. “It will now be an independent property — no franchise affiliation.”

Coston, a 2023 Mainebiz 40 Under 40 honoree, leads the Stay Bar Harbor Hotel Group, which  operates 263 rooms in the busy tourist town with another 63 under construction or renovation. It is also expanding outside of Bar Harbor, with 100-plus rooms in the pipeline. 

The portfolio includes the Cleftstone Manor Inn, a Gilded Age mansion at 92 Eden St. turned into a bed-and-breakfast; and construction of a 45-room hotel at 77 Cottage St. with business partners Brian Shaw, Tom St. Germain and Nina St. Germain.

“When Cleftstone opens in May and Pathmaker opens this summer, this will put our total room count at 404 in Bar Harbor spread across 13 hotels, motels and inns,” said Coston.

The Kebo Street property will be renamed the Seasider Motel.  

“Before consolidating into MDI High School, Bar Harbor High School’s sports teams had been called the Seasiders,” said Coston. “That’s where the idea for the name came from.”

In addition to rebranding, there will be some improvements made this year.

“We plan to re-open in May,” he said. “That gives us time to do some nice things.  Once we begin to operate the property I am sure we will have new ideas for the 2025 season.”

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