Parts of a Northport resort built by MBNA as a conference center and corporate retreat will hit the auction block on Aug. 5, after its owners decided it wasn’t financially feasible to continue operating it.
Only three months after buying Point Lookout Conference Center last year, owners David and Tami Hirschfeld said their efforts to find a partner to lease part of the 387-acre resort had failed and announced intentions to close it.
Now, four buildings and their contents are up for sale to the highest bidder. Buyers will have to remove the buildings from the property. The vacational rentals and recreation center are not part of the auction and will remain in business.
Among items to be auctioned are office and maintenance equipment, commercial kitchen equipment including three walk-in freezers/refrigerators and an eight-lane bowling alley with 150 pairs of shoes and 100 bowling balls, said John Bottero, auctioneer and vice president of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, which lists all the items for sale on its website.
“The most fun thing we’ll be selling is three taxidermy moose, two full bodies and one shoulder-mount,” he said.
Bottero couldn’t estimate how much the thousands of items might bring in, but said buyers could get good discounts.
“A bowling alley owner looking to upgrade could pay millions of dollars, but at an auction like this those items will be sold for significantly less than the purchase price,” he said.
Point Lookout, located on Ducktrap Mountain overlooking Penobscot Bay, was built more than 20 years ago when credit card lender MBNA was the largest employer in midcoast Maine with offices and a call center in Belfast in the late 1990s into the early 2000s.
The auction will be held there at 10 a.m. on Aug. 5. Potential bidders can preview items for sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 3 and 4. Bidding will be live with state-mandated social distancing in place, by absentee bid, by phone or online. Items purchased will need to be picked up in person.
“We’ve been running auctions all through the pandemic online only,” Bottero said. “The live audience in this auction will be limited to state-mandated limits for crowds, whatever it is the day of the auction.”
Those mandates currently limit indoor gatherings to 50 people.
Bottero said his auctions during the pandemic have been “phenomenally successful” because antique shops and antique shows have been shut down and people are at home on their computers, which he said extends the reach of the auction.