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Updated: March 22, 2021 Building Business

Building Business: A much-needed hotel is set to open this summer in Rumford

A 63-room hotel is under construction in Rumford with an early summer opening expected.

The general contractor is Lund Inn Construction LLC, led by Tom Lund, who has built more than a dozen hotels. Melan Hotel Group, based in Bedford, N.H., will be the management company for the property.

The area has needed a hotel for some time, local officials say. It will be known as the Best Western Plus-Rumford Falls when it opens in June.

Rumford is home to an ND Paper Co. mill, Rumford Hospital (which is part of Central Maine Healthcare) and the Black Mountain of Maine ski area. Other attractions include a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

What Rumford hasn’t had is a branded hotel, said Stacy Carter, Rumford’s town manager.

A smaller hotel, the Linnell, was destroyed by fire in 2015. Apart from some small hospitality properties, overflow visitors have often stayed in Bethel or Wilton, each of which are about a half hour’s drive, or Auburn.

“We want people to have a place to stay when they come here for weddings or other gatherings or for recreation,” Carter told Mainebiz. “It’s a great addition and we look forward to it,” he said of the hotel.

The investment, reported to be $5.5 million, has sparked other interest in Rumford’s downtown, which locals refer to as the Island — bounded as it is by Androscoggin River and a canal.

“We’ve seen an uptick in commercial interest in the island. It’s sparked a renewal downtown, with some smaller businesses coming in and a few buildings under contract,” Carter said.

The town has also invested in new water-and-stormwater infrastructure downtown, he said.

The hotel’s financing included Finance Authority of Maine’s 75% commercial loan insurance on a $4.1 million loan by First National Bank to Pennacook Falls Investments. The loan agreement was done in association with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments.

Wright-Ryan finishing up Verdante at Lincoln Park

Verdante at Lincoln Park is mostly complete. The 30-unit building had only minor delays because of the pandemic. Wright-Ryan Construction managed the risk to workers, with no cases of COVID-19 reported on the job site during the entire construction. The first residents were slated to move in in early March. The developer is New Height Group, led by Chip Newell.

The building includes semi-automated parking machines. A German-engineered system, manufactured by Wöhr and installed by Harding Steel, will manage the parking.

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