Renovations Usher in New Era for Landmark
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 15, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- The new owners of the Ashworth by the Sea hotel will throw a celebration party on Wednesday unveiling what they are calling the "new" Ashworth.
The popular hotel at 295 Ocean Blvd., has just undergone a $1.2 million hotel renovation project that includes updating 63 guest rooms and refreshing the lobby and hallways in the North Tower.
Peter Coutis, general manager of the hotel, said the party coincides with the 95th anniversary of the hotel and also the 100th anniversary of the Hampton Beach Village Precinct.
Coutis said the last time the hotel underwent a major renovation was in 1988 when it was owned by the Grandmaison family.
The family, which ran the hotel for 52 years, sold it last year to S&S Hotels, of Manchester.
While S&S Hotels own the hotel, it is being managed by Colwen Management Company. The new owner of the hotel, Mark Stebbins, is scheduled to speak at the event.
"He plans to share his vision on where the Ashworth is headed in the years to come and how it will fit into the landscape of Hampton Beach," Coutis said.
The renovation project conducted by Pro Con Inc., of Manchester, began in January and wrapped up last week.
"We knew immediately we wanted to renovate the building," Coutis said. "While the old owners took great care of the building, it had grown tired. We wanted to give it a more contemporary and crisp feel."
The renovated guest rooms all received new wall coverings, carpeting, window treatments, furniture and bedding, flat screen televisions and lighting.
Bathrooms in the rooms have new vanities, lighting, commodes, flooring and wall coverings; and new carpeting, wall coverings and lighting fixtures were installed in the hotel corridors.
Pro Con Inc., implemented a phased construction schedule, enabling the hotel to remain fully operational during the renovations.
"Our goal was to retain the charm of this historic oceanfront hotel while giving it an updated look," Coutis said. "We are very excited about the renovations and know that our hotel guests will enjoy the new guest rooms and upgraded amenities."
Built in 1912 by Col. George Ashworth, the Ashworth by the Sea was one of the first hotels on Ocean Boulevard. The hotel was only seasonal until the Grandmaison family turned it into a year-round resort in 1969.
Coutis said the new owners plan to renovate the remaining 42 rooms in the original building next year.