The Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center has an auction date set for April 27, 2023 through Tranzon LLC with preview dates set for April 13 and April 20 by property managers. Credit: Paul Bagnall / The Star-Herald

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A sprawling former hotel in Presque Isle will be sold to the highest bidder at auction next month.

The Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center will be auctioned on April 27.

The inn shut down suddenly in January after staff and the city battled with code violations and an unresponsive owner. The closure left around 25 former employees, who had lived on site without work and lodgings. A new buyer could mean new life for a unique Presque Isle property that has lodging, meeting and restaurant space.

“I anticipate a lot of people will show up. It’s not in terrible shape and there’s nothing like it in the region,” said Ruth Lind, associate broker for Tranzon Auction Properties of Portland, who will sell the former inn.

Preview tours of the Presque Isle Inn are slated April 13 and April 20, to be led by the property managers, Lind said. She declined to name the property managers.

Anyone bidding on the property will have to fork over a $25,000 deposit, according to Tranzon’s requirements.

The building’s latest owner, Cang Quach of San Francisco, bought the hotel for an undisclosed price in 2021.

The inn opened in the 1970s as the Swamp Fox Motor Inn, and became Keddy’s in the 1980s. In 2000, owner Kevin Simmons opened it as the Presque Isle Inn & Convention Center, and also owned the Caribou Inn & Convention Center. Simmons lost his battle with cancer in early 2021.

Cleanup crews were emptying the building Tuesday in preparation for the auction.