New owners breathe new life into Scarborough inn

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SCARBOROUGH — The new owners of the Higgins Beach Inn have completed more than $1 million in renovations that add modern amenities and safety features to the property, while maintaining the inn’s historic character.

The renovations were made after the purchase by The Migis Hotel Group of the property at 34 Ocean Ave. from Bob Westburg and his wife Diane Garofalo last December for $1.5 million. 

The Higgins Beach Inn was built in the late 1800s as a home. The second owners added to the property and opened it as an inn, which is now in its 95th season.

General Manager Sidonie Rodman said the 23-room inn and restaurant now have new plumbing, electrical, heat and air conditioning, and Wi-Fi is now available. There are four new handicapped-accessible rooms and the building has improved fire safety features. Many of the interior walls were torn down and rebuilt.

Each of the rooms now has its own bathroom, replacing shared facilities. The rooms are now larger as well, with king and queen beds taking the place of many twins.  

The hotel consortium owns eight other properties, including the nearby Black Point Inn, Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake, 250 Main Hotel in Rockland, The Sparhawk in Ogunquit and The Inn at Ocean’s Edge in Lincolnville.

Rodman said the idea behind the renovation project was to take “an incredible property in an incredible neighborhood” and restore and rebuild the interior to last at least another 100 years.

The inn can now boast modern amenities coupled with historic exterior and interior woodwork, staircases, and floors. Old photographs hang in testament to the past above the wooden doors.

On July 12, the sounds of conversation and laughter could be heard from Shade, the three-season restaurant, as casually dressed guests dined on seafood, steak and chicken while sipping wine in the 80-seat venue.

Shade includes a 15-seat bar, a screened-in porch and a large covered deck with heat. Rodman called it a casual, fun place where patrons can come dressed they are. 

About 400 people did just that on June 8, when, Rodman said, the new owners hosted a free open house and barbecue for the Scarborough and Higgins Beach community “to invite them back to their inn.”  

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.

The Higgins Beach Inn at 34 Ocean Ave. in Scarborough was purchased by the Migis Hotel Group in December and has undergone extensive renovations.

Old photographs of the Higgins Beach community hang above many guest rooms at the Higgins Beach Inn in Scarborough.