An Ohio-based hotel investment firm has acquired The Cliff House Resort & Spa in Cape Neddick.

The historic 166-room resort, on 70 oceanfront acres atop Bald Head Cliff, will get a comprehensive renovation after the 2015 season, according to a news release from Rockbridge, a private equity firm founded in 1992.

Rockbridge, based in Columbus, Ohio, bought the 142-year-old resort through a joint venture with Maine-based hoteliers Marc Dugas and Peter Anastos, according to the release. The sale price was not disclosed.

“We’re thrilled to make an investment in another significant Maine hotel,” said Rockbridge CEO Jim Merkel. “We endeavor to create great hotel experiences for our guests, and are excited to do just that with The Cliff House.”

Dugas, who owns Portland-based Dugas Development, said the joint venture is honored to be “taking over the reins” of the resort from its former owner, Kathryn Weare, a longtime friend.

“We’re looking forward to working with Rockbridge and bringing this historic oceanfront resort to the next level,” Dugas said.


The hotel will open for the season in April, and Portland-based New Castle Hotels will manage the resort for Rockbridge, according to the release.

New Castle and Rockbridge partnered on the recent revitalization and rebranding of The Westin Portland Harborview, formerly the Eastland Park Hotel. The Portland Harborview, the first Westin-branded hotel in Maine, reopened in December after a complete restoration.

Rockbridge has more than 325 investments in 45 states.

Gerry Chase, president and chief operating officer of New Castle, lauded Weare and her family for making The Cliff House a top destination, and said the Weare name will figure prominently in the resort’s marketing.

“Because this resort was developed and operated by her family for generations, as we position The Cliff House Resort & Spa for the next generation of travelers, we plan to honor its heritage by connecting the branding to the Weare family legacy,” Chase said.

The Cliff House has 13,000 square feet of meeting space with a 150-seat amphitheater, a 2,500-square-foot fitness center, a vanishing-edge swimming pool, a 75-foot indoor lap pool, a whirlpool, a steam room and a sauna. The first oceanfront spa in Maine, The Cliff House uses indigenous products such as blueberries, juniper and wild roses in its products and services.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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