One of the 35 cottages at Joan and Tim Porta’s Migis Lodge in Casco. The couple was recently honored by the New England Inns & Resorts Association. Contributed / Justin Johnson Photography

Joan Porta visited Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake as a guest in 1979 and fell in love with both the Casco resort and the owners’ son, Tim.

A few months later, she and Tim were married, and as Porta recalls, “I never left!”

Joan Porta, center, with her children Susannah Ross and Jed Porta. Contributed / Migis Hotel Group

Tim and Joan Porta were recently honored with the Master of New England Innkeeping Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Inns & Resorts Association.

“That was a surprise, I never saw that coming at all, but it was a thrill,” Porta said. “Our careers as innkeepers were their own reward … this was the frosting on the cake.”

Porta, whose husband is now living in an assisted living facility, said she’s winding down on her career at Migis.

“It’s been a great 44 years,” she said.


The award is the association’s top honor, and celebrates individuals who have made an indelible mark on the culture of hospitality.

Migis Lodge has been in business since 1916. On 135 wooded acres with 3,500 feet of shoreline, it has a main lodge and 35 cottages, a main dining room, a private island for cookouts and a wellness center. It offers waterskiing and other boating activities and has courts for tennis, pickleball and basketball and lots of programs for children.

“The land is sacred and precious,” Porta said. “We don’t feel like we own it, but rather it’s in our care for now. We do our best to share it with people and keep it as preserved as possible.”

Many of its guests have returned each year for generations.

“A lot of adults feel like they’re coming back to camp,” Porta said. “We’ve made tremendous friendships over the years from all over the country.”

She enjoys “meeting a variety of people when they’re relaxed and feeling at home.”


“We’re so lucky to have a job where you make people happy,” Porta said. “What’s more gratifying than that?”

Porta said she’s worked almost every job at Migis. In the early years, she said, most of her work was in the kitchen and bake shop.

The Portas’ son, Jed, is the third-generation manager of the lodge.

“Migis Lodge has been a labor of love for my family,” he said. “The longevity and success we’ve achieved are a testament to the warm and welcoming environment my parents have fostered.”

Past winners of the New England Inns & Resorts Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Maine include the owners of the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport and the Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg.

Comments are not available on this story.