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Updated: April 12, 2021

Kennebunkport hotelier invests $20M in historic Southwest Harbor hotel

COURTESY / THE CLAREMONT Renovations are underway at the Claremont, a hotel in Southwest Harbor dating back to 1884.

By the time renovations are completed on a historic Southwest Harbor hotel that changed hands last September, total investment in the property, including the purchase price, is expected to be $20 million.

Claremont Hospitality LLC, led by Kennebunkport hotelier Tim Harrington, bought the Claremont Hotel, at 22 Claremont Road, from the Claremont Inc.

The plan is to have the hotel open for Memorial Day weekend, he said. 

The extensive renovation includes replacement of bathrooms, windows, elevators, heating and ventilation systems, and paint; installation of air conditioning, a swimming pool, two restaurants and a spa; and seven acres of new landscaping.

Harrington is a partner and creative director of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection boutique luxury hotel group. His Kennebunkport hotel projects include the Tides Beach Club, Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, Hidden Pond Resort and Sandy Pines Campground. Harrington’s other businesses include Batson River Brewing and Distilling.

Built by a retired sea captain, the Claremont dates to 1884 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The resort consists of a main building and additional guest facilities and amenities.

In 2010, President Barack Obama and his family had lunch there. Author John Updike was a longtime guest.

The Claremont was owned by the McCue family for 52 years and went on the market in September 2019 for $6.95 million. The pandemic resulted in a price drop to $5.975 million. The final purchase price was not disclosed.

A number of previous employees plan to return, Harrington said. He’s also running employment ads. 

Portrait of Tim Harrington
File photo / Jim Neuger
Tim Harrington

Harrington said he arrived to view the property by boat.

“The family decided to sell it,” he said. “So I went up and stepped onto the property and said, ‘I feel like I’m home. I’m definitely buying this’ — before I ever went inside.”

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