When Tim Lewis handed over the keys to Mid-Town Motel on Feb. 11, he said “goodbye” to his family’s business of 66 years. Fortunately, the new owners, Brian “Buzz” Makarewicz and Mark Osborn are neighbors and fellow hoteliers who own Topside Inn which shares a border with Lewis’ property and home so the business he nurtured for decades will still be in view.
Lewis’s parents Carl and Mary Lewis opened the motel in August 1955 and he grew up in the business. He attended local schools and has worked in the motel for 53 years, becoming manager in 1988 and owner in 2007.
Makarewicz and Osborn bought Topside Inn in 2014 and won an award from Hospitality Maine in 2020 as Innkeepers of the Year. Osborn explained, “We became friendly with Tim over the past several years and would work together on staffing issues and helping each other back and forth.”
“It was all about Tim’s timing,” Osborn said. “For seven years we’ve told him, ‘Just let us know when.’” This was the year, Lewis explained. “My accountant said I should sell now because the real estate market was so good.”
Lewis said it’s been a good business and there are things he will miss. Chief among these are the people he has worked with and hosted over the years. Lewis said he hired students under the J-1 visa program; many still keep in touch via Facebook. The motel, a “True 1950s Classic” has developed a repeat following over more than six decades and he has welcomed children and grandchildren of previous guests.
There have been lots of changes in the hotel business over the past 50 years. Lewis pointed to the extensive use of the internet for hotel bookings. “Everything is online now.”
“Today the traveling public is more demanding,” he explained, but said that the nostalgia of his motel appeals to older visitors.
Asked what was most important to having a successful motel or hotel, he responded with two key points: cleanliness and friendliness. “The rooms have to be super clean,” he said. “And the guests have to feel comfortable, which means a friendly staff.”
Mid-Town Motel got the Boothbay Harbor Chamber of Commerce award for customer service in 2015, and in 2011 earned a “Best of New England - Editors' Choice” award from Yankee Magazine for “Best Retro Lodging.”
The motel’s sale will give Lewis more time to travel internationally and throughout Maine. His home is on part of the two-acre motel property and he will continue to reside there.
Osborn said the only changes to the motel this year will be adding air conditioning, upgrading the electrical system and some landscaping.
Topside Inn and Mid-Town Motel will remain two separate and different properties. Osborn said the motel will have pet-friendly rooms but not offer breakfast.
To reserve a room at Mid-Town Motel, contact email@example.com or phone 633-2206.
“Tim’s done an amazing job of keeping the property in good condition,” Osborn said.
Lewis is glad the new owners plan to keep the same “vibe” for the “50s Classic” motel. “My parents would be very happy that they will keep it as is.”
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