New Pool is Open

When we bought the motel last year we thought we would just fill in the existing pool as it was not in good shape and we didn't think guests would miss it.  It was also not up to code, and was 8 feet deep for diving, which is of course no longer allowed.  But when we opened we got loads of guests commenting on wanting a pool, and so after lots of thinking and budgeting, we went for it.  First we had to cut down one huge pine tree that was shedding needles and blocking the sun - we didn't want to, but there was no way around it.  We then chose Northern Pool and Spa up the road in Eliot, Maine.  They shot a new gunnite pool, moved all the utilities above-ground, and then we had the deck done with exposed aggregate.  It was a very mild winter so we got alot of it done before christmas.  In the spring Dan finished the shed and wood fence and our family painted it.  Finally, we chose to put a salt generator in instead of chlorine to clean the pool.  It was more money up front, but the dividends of having no chlorine and a better system seemed to make sense.  We were worried the pool would be like the ocean, but it's not salty at all.  Here are some pics of the process below Pool hours are 9am-9pm.  Depths is 3 feet x 5 feet.  It's good size - 18 x 38 feet.  Pool towels are provided.  Pool season is memorial day weekend to labor day weekend.

When we bought the motel last year we thought we would just fill in the existing pool as it was not in good shape and we didn't think guests would miss it.  It was also not up to code, and was 8 feet deep for diving, which is of course no longer allowed.  But when we opened we got loads of guests commenting on wanting a pool, and so after lots of thinking and budgeting, we went for it.  First we had to cut down one huge pine tree that was shedding needles and blocking the sun - we didn't want to, but there was no way around it.  We then chose Northern Pool and Spa up the road in Eliot, Maine.  They shot a new gunnite pool, moved all the utilities above-ground, and then we had the deck done with exposed aggregate.  It was a very mild winter so we got alot of it done before christmas.  In the spring Dan finished the shed and wood fence and our family painted it.  Finally, we chose to put a salt generator in instead of chlorine to clean the pool.  It was more money up front, but the dividends of having no chlorine and a better system seemed to make sense.  We were worried the pool would be like the ocean, but it's not salty at all.  Here are some pics of the process below

Pool hours are 9am-9pm.  Depths is 3 feet x 5 feet.  It's good size - 18 x 38 feet.  Pool towels are provided.  Pool season is memorial day weekend to labor day weekend.

Holiday Spirit In Kittery Maine

We didn't go total Griswold, but we did put up our decorations and tied them down real good in case we get another winter like last year.  The new fences and front porch and lamp posts look great with holiday cheer.  Too bad we didn't have the foresight to add outside outlets for the lights on some parts of the hotel.  Anyway, come in for some Christmas cookies and Bing Crosby - it's our favorite time of year.

2288 Yards to the Yard

Pictured below is the plaque that stands outside the visitor center at the foreside entrance.  We thought it was interesting that along with the notable events listed that it does not say Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, but United States Navy Yard, and on the bottom Town of Kittery. It was erected by York in Maine, so perhaps this was their bias. I don't follow the feud between Maine and New Hampshire as to where the yard is located, but for people booking our hotel who are visiting or working at the yard, we are the closest off-base hotel as the wolf runs: 1.3 miles from the location of this sign to the back entrance of our hotel at 59 Old Post Rd, or a 5 minute drive.  And a final note, on the plaque it says principal construction of submarines.  Everyone on the yard calls submarines boats.  I suppose everything is so top-secret, they can't even reference the types of craft they repair there?

Visibility

After 4 months of waiting, today we finally got our neon sign on the top of the main sign.  And once we trimmed the trees around it, now you can see the hotel almost coming off the SML bridge.  Before that, the motel was lost in the trees and would sneak right up on you.  We also painted the curb so people can see turning in.  We had the sign company do new Entrance and Exit signs, as well as the new office sign.  And in the background you can see the concrete guys doing the new deck on the new pool.  We got lucky with the nice weather in November to get all the work done for the winter. 

Celebrity Guests Break World Record

We were lucky enough to have Gunnar Garfors and his team stay with us as his start to breaking the world record of visiting 22 states in 24 hours.  They stayed with us for a couple nights, then left Sunday morning bright and early at 6:20AM.  They broke the record by 3.  You can read about the world record and see photos and videos here:  http://www.garfors.com/2015/09/how-to-visit-22-states-in-24-hours-usa.html

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Our New Coffee From Aerosmith's Drummer

After extensive research and taste testings, the staff finally picked the winner of our new breakfast/ lobby coffee, which was hands down Joey Kramer's Rockin and Roastin's Organic Quatamala Whole Bean Dark Roast.  It's all about our philosophy of enjoying your stay - relax and appreciate good quality.  We serve the coffee in real mugs as it should be.   They didn't have the in-room sizes, so we still serve the premium JavaOne in the guest rooms - along with both black and herbal teas.  If you want to buy it on your own, here is the website: www.rockinandroastin.com

Our New Guest Amenity Recycling Program

After seeing all the wasted soaps and shampoos that we were just throwing away, we decided to sign up for CleantheWorld.org donation program.  They sent us 2 containers, one for soap and the other for bottles of shampoos and conditioners.  Once we fill them, we ship them.  They then recycle the product into reusable soaps and donate them to people around the world.  It costs us $612 per year to participate.  You think that it is our collecting the product might be enough, but if you consider the administrative and logistics of getting new soap to other countries, we hope it makes a difference.  More information about the program is here:  www.CleantheWorld.org

Beaches

We have lots of guests asking us where the closest beaches are to our hotel.  Below is what is listed in the local area guide.  We recommend Short Sands in York because there is lots of parking and its scenic and shops nearby, as well as Nubble Lighthouse.  Plus it's in a bay so it's not as windy.

New Olympic-Grade Internet Access

Old Cisco AP before the switchover

Old Cisco AP before the switchover

Today we finally completed the install of the new internet networks.  We know from first-hand experience that a very good internet connection is essential for guests, the first priority was to set up the best wireless network we could find.  We went with Ruckus, which is the best technology for APs on the market today, and was used in the Winter Olympics.  We tripled the number of APs to enusre complete wireless coverage, updated all the switches and added a new gateway, and decided to go all out and run lots of wire for a wired network as well.  All the networks are secure behind a Fortinet Firewall.  We increased the bandwidth 7 times the original amount to ensure even with several devices each guest will have plenty of speed.  And if not, we can increase the bandwidth for wireless if a guest chooses.

Pool Out of Order

Old pool with lots of pine needles everywhere.

Old pool with lots of pine needles everywhere.

We decided to hold off renovating the pool until the end of the year.  The pool is an old concrete pool with lots of leaks and in disrepair, and would not be befitting of the quality we are going for overall. We apologize to any repeat guests who were looking forward to the outdoor pool.  We did reluctantly cut a big pine tree that was overhanging the pool, so we will be ready once the rest of the hotel is in order.

New Owners

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Pictured above is David Chenell left handing over the key to his motel to Jon Hansen right, the new owner.  Picture was taken in the lobby the day after the closing on Dec 30th, 2014.  All five of the owners were able to traverse quite a distance to the closing, and they stayed at the hotel for a bit, and even helped out with some raking and such to get ready for the winter ahead.