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November 12, 2021

Trade Winds Inn in Rockland faces closure after 56 years

A 56-year-old hotel on Rockland's waterfront, the Trade Winds Inn, faces potential closure or fines after the City Council voted to deny it a lodging license.

The Rockland City Council earlier this week voted three-to-one to deny the license due to safety code concerns, according to documents from the council’s meeting.

Councilor Louise MacLellan-Ruf said the vote came after Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock presented safety concerns, such as electrical and sprinkler issues, at the hotel. 

“It would have been unconscionable to ignore the chief’s recommendations,” MacLellan-Ruf said. “Lives have been put at risk before in this establishment as fires have broken out in three rooms. As the Chief said ‘Let’s put some teeth into the bark.’ I 100% agree with him. Safety and lives first.”

Whytock said there would be a follow-up inspection next week.

The council had postponed a licensing decision on the 99-room hotel in September and October. The previous license expired on Oct. 15, but the city council had granted a 30-day conditional extension that expires Monday. The city council will meet again Monday.

"I am looking forward to meeting with the city council on Monday night and addressing these important issues. I am hoping the council will extend our ability to operate and to serve our guests," said Aimee Liberty, president of operations of Liberty Hospitality of Maine, which owns the Trade Winds. "I am working closely with our contractors to address the sprinkler and electrical issues in a timely fashion. Our guests' safety is always our primary concern at the Trade Winds."

The Trade Winds was for sale in 2017, listed for $3.495 million. In 2016, it was featured on reality show "Hotel Impossible."

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