NORTHPORT, Maine — The new owners of Point Lookout Conference Center said Friday their efforts to find a viable partner to lease and run a portion of the resort have failed.
David and Tami Hirschfeld issued a statement to the roughly 50 full- and part-time Point Lookout employees that despite a robust search for an operator and an extension of the deadline for proposals, no one came forward with a plan.
“We are saddened that the effort did not produce any proposals,” David Hirschfeld said. “We hoped there would be more interest in the property so that it could continue to operate as a resort.”
It has been a rollercoaster year for Point Lookout and the Hirschfelds, who in March purchased the 387-acre property on Ducktrap Mountain overlooking Penobscot Bay. It originally was developed as a corporate retreat by credit card giant MBNA about 20 years ago, and features Copper Pine Cafe and Bowling Alley, a fitness center, two event centers, sports fields and 106 cabins.
The couple said this fall they originally intended to live and farm on the upper portion of the property and keep the lower part as an events center, where people could continue to rent cabins and hold weddings and other events. After a hotel-asset management company they hired to study the property determined the numbers just didn’t work, they announced in June that they would close the resort at the end of the year.
When his family learned how much the venue meant to the community, David Hirschfeld said they decided to devise a way to keep it open. In September, they went public with their search for one or more partners to lease the lower portion of the property. But even though they advertised locally, regionally and nationally, sent requests for proposals to a dozen interested parties, and conducted tours for seven different potential partners, they couldn’t strike a deal.
The Hirschfelds will keep the fitness center open and will offer 30 cabins as vacation rentals. They are planning to advertise the lease of the Copper Pine Cafe and Bowling Alley in early December “in a final attempt to keep portions of the facility open,” according to a press release issued Friday.