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Updated: December 18, 2023

Kennebunk hotelier expands portfolio with Ogunquit acquisition

aerial of cottages and mudflats Courtesy / Atlantic Hospitality Twelve acres of oceanfront lawns are 300 feet from Ogunquit Beach, separated by dunes and a tidal river.

A Kennebunk-based hotelier, real estate developer and entrepreneur with properties in southern Maine and on Mount Desert Island has scooped up another opportunity in Ogunquit.

Tim Harrington and Kevin Lord acquired the Dunes on the Waterfront at 518 Main St. from Aaron and Cindy Perkins for an undisclosed price.

The listing price was $15 million.

small white house with green trim
Courtesy / Atlantic Hospitality
The property design includes whitewashed cottages.

Vicki Benenti of Pack Maynard brokered the transaction.

Harrington’s company, Atlantic Hospitality, plans to spend $10 million renovating the property, he told Mainebiz.

Renovations will include upgrades, decor and interiors.

Harrington didn’t disclose details of the financing.

The hotel overlooks Ogunquit Beach and is situated among sandy dunes.

The sellers

The Dunes on the Waterfront originated with 12 acres of riverfront pastureland purchased by Russell and Beatrice Weare Perkins in 1935, according to its website.

Four cottages were built and the operation opened in the summer of 1936.

Additional cottages were added throughout the 1930s and ’40s. For many years, the Perkins also lived on the property, managing it from an office in their summer cottage.

Ongoing remodeling and reconfiguring led to the division and renumbering of many cottages. Two of the current buildings were moved to the property from other Ogunquit locations in the 1950s.

The Perkins’s son Richard built a house on the property in 1966 with his wife Cynthia. They managed the operation together until his death in 1977, when she took over.

Their son Aaron and his wife Cindy became the third-generation to run the resort in 2000. A new laundry and maintenance building was built in 1993, followed construction of the current office on the site of an original storage barn.

The third-generation cottage-style lodging listed for $15 million. The buyer plans to spend $10 million for renovations.

screened porch and deck chairs facing ocean
Courtesy / Atlantic Hospitality
The Dunes on the Waterfront originated with 12 acres of riverfront pastureland purchased by Russell and Beatrice Weare Perkins in 1935.

Prior to its acquisition, the property was most recently managed by Aaron and Cindy Perkins, the third generation to operate the resort. 

The buyer

Harrington said he was attracted to the hotel’s beautiful location and “historic bones.”

The Dunes has 12 acres of oceanfront lawns, 300 feet from Ogunquit Beach, separated by dunes and a tidal river. The property design remains the way it was intended by the Perkins in the 1930s, with a variety of whitewashed cottages. Other highlights include a heated onsite pool with views of the Atlantic Ocean, a dock for fishing or launching kayaks and paddleboards, and rowboats for guests to use to cross the tidal river to the beach at high tide. 

Harrington, a 2023 Mainebiz Business Leader of the Year, has been an entrepreneur since before age 20, when he launched his first commercial-leasing project and became partner in a Boston real estate company.

He was a founder of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection where he remains a partner. 

On Mount Desert Island, ventures include the purchase of the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor in 2020, Salt Cottages in Bar Harbor in 2021 and the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor earlier this year. 

His company Atlantic Hospitality owns Sandy Pines Resort Campground, the Lincoln Hotel and the Wanderer Cottages. His real estate development and management company, Atlantic Holdings, partners in and manages diverse subsidiaries including but not limited to the Galleries at Morning Walk, a collection of artist studios and shops in Kennebunk; Quest Fitness, a fitness club in Kennebunk and the newly opened Quest Cycle in Portland; the Goodall Health Center in Kennebunk; and the Five Points Shopping Center in Biddeford.

Harrington also co-owns Batson River Brewing and Distilling. 

Harrington said he expects to reopen the Dunes on the Waterfront for the summer 2024 season.

Biddeford project

As a separate project, Harrington said he plans to redevelop the 5 Points Shopping Center, at 420 Alfred Road in Biddeford, into a recreation and entertainment center called Play 5 and slated to open this coming spring.

The 140,000-square-foot, single story building is on 24 acres. Harrington and his in-house design team are working on a building redesign. A local pickleball club and an indoor golf venue are in negotiations to be anchor tenants. Other tenants being considered are a bowling alley, arcade game, laser tag and ropes course.  

rendering of long low building and parking lot and cars
Courtesy / Atlantic Hospitality
Harrington is redeveloping the 140,000-square-foot 5 Points Shopping Center, in Biddeford, into a recreation and entertainment center.

Said Harrington, “The city is consistently growing and attracting new people. Play 5 will give them a place to eat, mingle and play.”  

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April 8, 2024

No doubt the improvements will be an upgrade, but part of the charm of the “old” dunes was the low key family oriented snapshot in time feel. When discussing the upgrades with the admins re a former one bed cabin, they said that they are removing the screened patios for an additional bedroom. They were great for meals, morning coffee, and just sitting listening to the distant waves. The kitchens were also removed for an additional bed. The footprint of the cabins remain the same. It will no longer be an extended stay experience where you can walked to beach plumb, grab some lobsters and cook a family meal, or make breakfast and watch the wildlife or chat with fellow guests as they walk their no longer welcomed small pets. Oh, and they will also be installing a new pool and new row boats and bikes.

Which brings me to the price. The writer should have mention this, instead of just being a PR piece for the developer. Prices will go from $4-700/night (depending on the cabin size. 7 night minimum) to $2,500/3,400 per night. So for just an additional roughly $22,000 per week, you get nicer bedrooms, a gas fire place instead of wood burning, a bigger pool, no kitchen and no patio. A suite at the cliff house or a beach front home for a 3rd of the price is a (sadly) a much better option now.

April 7, 2024


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