A century-old Midcoast Maine institution is quietly suffering from a hostile takeover. I have spent my past 12 summers, and as many long weekends as my work-from-home job allows, in Phippsburg, a town suspended in a bygone era, where time goes by a little slower than where I come from.

Maybe it’s the early sunrises in the summer, the interminable winter nights or the long bike rides my friends and I take through endless stretches of corn-lined, black-ribbon roads that make the time go by so slowly. I relish foggy mornings with the distant thump of lobster boats steaming out for an honest day’s work. I want that to never change, but this peace is threatened by economic progress that is moving up the coast.

Freeport has been overrun by brand name retailers, Boothbay Harbor almost fell into the same trap but has resisted, as have Wiscasset, Bath and most of the other towns on Route 1. With no other direction to go, economic progress continues to seek fertile soil. The sleepy coastal hamlet where I spend the best of times seems to be the latest victim of this evolution, and a relic is failing because of a (lack of) corporate vision of what a Maine vacation ought to be.

Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg is a prize that, until recently, had escaped unwanted change with its candlepin bowling, bingo nights, softball with Bob Smith, lobster bakes, boat rides and campfire singalongs. When you booked a family vacation at Sebasco, you would go home sunburnt and waterlogged, with a few more friends on Facebook and a solid understanding of what Old Maine felt like.

The resort has been acquired by a Quincy, Massachusetts, holding company that mostly caters to the Best Western or Comfort Inn crowd and lacks the vision to provide the immersive experience that people are looking for when they come to Midcoast Maine.

A corporate mentality has struck a place that warrants no such affliction. It’s as if some young analyst in a cubicle in Quincy decided that eliminating all the wonder of Sebasco would be good for the bottom line. “Campfires? Too expensive.” “Flowers? Grass.” “Charm? Bad for business.” “We don’t provide those amenities at the Best Western in Waterville, and our gross operating profit per available room meets the corporate minimum.”

I walk my dog through the Sebasco property sometimes and can’t help but notice the seismic shift since the change in ownership; my dog used to be greeted with belly rubs, but is now only given the occasional stink-eye. The launch service has been scuttled, the campfires and songs quelched, the joyful screams of children silenced, and what little staff remains is unrecognizable.

Who knows if Sebasco would have survived under its old leadership in our new world, but I do know that under the current one-size-fits-all corporate approach, Sebasco will not survive. I shudder to think what they will do with the Harraseeket Inn.

Jan Wolff is a resident of Watertown, Massachusetts, and Phippsburg.

Comments are not available on this story.