The former Ramada Inn in Bangor will reopen this spring as an upscale, 117-room hotel after a Brewer restaurateur and a Bangor property manager bought the property earlier this month.
The Odlin Road hotel’s reopening as the Bangor Grande Inn & Suites will mark a new chapter for the property after it served as an extension of the Hope House homeless shelter for much of the pandemic until the end of last year.
Thomas Shanos and Parker Dresser bought the 357 Odlin Road property and business on April 1, according to records from the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds and Bangor city assessor’s office.
Dresser operates Dresser Properties and the Dutton House Inn in Bangor, and Shanos owns the High Tide Restaurant & Bar in Brewer. He previously owned Kosta’s Restaurant and has owned a number of pizza shops in the Bangor region.
Dresser and Shanos plan to renovate and reopen the hotel in time for the tourist season and have invested more than $5 million into updating the property, said Free Martin, the former Ramada manager and co-owner who stayed on as an adviser while the property changed hands.
The hotel will also have a restaurant called the Blue Sky Restaurant & Lounge and a new swimming pool, as well as new carpeting and furniture and a newly revamped lobby.
It dropped its affiliation with the Ramada by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts franchise after Shanos and Dresser bought the property.
“We plan to have this property, in a very short order, be, if not the greatest, one of the greatest independent hotels in Maine,” Martin said.
Tourists spent nearly $8 billion visiting Maine last year, which saw record numbers of out-of-staters as fewer COVID restrictions helped drive an increase in visitors from away as well as from within the state. Martin said Shanos and Dresser hoped to capitalize on that interest as state officials expect another banner tourism year in 2022.
The former Ramada Inn exclusively housed homeless residents for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic as homeless shelters had to reduce their capacity so guests could socially distance. It also served at various times as a quarantine and isolation space for Hope House guests with COVID-19.