By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, April 18, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[[Photo not in original article]
HAMPTON -- The landmark Ashworth by the Sea at Hampton Beach has been sold.
The Dunbar Hotel LLC, a New Hampshire group, has purchased the hotel from the Grandmaison family, which has run the hotel for the last 52 years.
The limited liability company was formed on March 15.
New General Manager Peter Coutis, a 10-year resident of Hampton, came before selectmen Monday night for permission to continue to have entertainment and a dance hall at the location.
Selectmen approved both requests during the consent agenda.
In a letter to Town Manager James Barrington, Coutis confirmed the new ownership and said they "look forward to continuing the fine tradition of running Hampton's finest hotel."
Reports that the 94-year-old beach icon was for sale started last month at the annual Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce awards dinner and even made their way down to a local hair salon.
At the time, John Grandmaison, who is part of the management team at the Ashworth, denied that a sale had been finalized, but said one could be made in the future.
The hotel and restaurant on Ocean Boulevard is considered prime real estate with guest rooms that overlook the ocean.
Built in 1912 by Col. George Ashworth, the Ashworth by the Sea was one of the first hotels on Ocean Boulevard.
Paul Grandmaison and his brother Norman purchased it in the summer of 1954.
The hotel was only seasonal until the Grandmaison family turned it into a year-round resort in 1969.
In 1980, they added a new building, doubling the hotel's original size and in 1988 conducted a complete renovation of the hotel.