City of New London Seeks New Innkeeper for Historic Lighthouse Inn Resort

Lighthouse Inn Resort - Credit: Patch archives
Lighthouse Inn Resort - Credit: Patch archives

The City of New London is looking for a new innkeeper for its historic Lighthouse Inn Resort, located at 48 Guthrie Place in New London, Connecticut, and recently issued an Invitation For Bids (IFB) for the private rehabilitation of the storied property. Situated on more than four acres, overlooking the picturesque Long Island Sound, the Lighthouse Inn Resort features the historic “Mansion”, as well as two additional buildings and associated landscaping. The most prominent building is the celebrated 40,000-square-foot, two-story Lighthouse Inn, an example of Mission-style architecture built in 1902, which offers 27 guest rooms, as well as a kitchen, bar and dining area.  The additional outbuildings include the charming 11,000-square-foot, two-story Carriage House with 24 guest rooms, an 860-square-foot salon/spa building, outdoor swimming pool, and gazebo.


“The Lighthouse Inn is a unique New London treasure,” said Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio. “The City has set its minimum bid price low and has limited the restrictions on any potential bidder’s proposal. Purchasing this historic structure will be a fantastic opportunity for the successful bidder.” 


In order to purchase the historic Lighthouse Inn, the City has requested that qualified developers put forward a minimum bid of $500,000, as well as confirm that the rehabilitation of the mansion – the main inn building comprising guest rooms, a restaurant and meeting rooms – remain consistent with the historic building preservation guidelines by the Secretary of the Interior.  In addition, the City is looking for prospective buyers who will operate the Lighthouse Inn in a manner consistent with the traditional inn and will be required to complete repairs to the property within two years.

Qualified individuals, firms or development teams interested in purchasing the Lighthouse Inn property can find bid information on the City’s website at www.ci.new-london.ct.us under “Projects” or may contact the City of New London’s Office of Development & Planning at 860.437.6309.  All proposals are due by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.


In 1902, steel magnate Charles S. Guthrie built the Lighthouse Inn as his country home overlooking Long Island Sound and called it Meadow Court after the wildflowers, which surrounded it. Famous landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park, designed the formal grounds. The Mediterranean-style mansion, known today as the Lighthouse Inn, formed a half circle so every room of the house had a view of the gardens or the Sound. Meadow Court became a focal point for society events and a retreat for film stars including Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Operated as an inn since 1927, the mansion guest rooms were once filled with antiques, four-poster beds and armoires.


Today, the historic Lighthouse Inn Resort, an American classic that was once a millionaire’s dream home, is now available for a new generation to enjoy. This extraordinary development project features 48 rooms and includes a restaurant, tavern and outdoor dining area, plus gazebo, pool and patio. As a former Gold Crown Resort, the property also offers pool facilities, a salon and day spa, and is a short walk to the shore and beach.  The property is situated less than two hours from both Boston and New York, and conveniently located just minutes away from two of the world’s largest casinos, great family attractions, fabulous shopping and countless fine and international dining opportunities in the coastal center of Mystic Country in New London, Connecticut.

George Lazare February 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM
Good Luck with this... If it was not in NL it might sell.. Its biggest problem is LOCATION
Bobby Crash February 07, 2014 at 09:11 PM
Twist my arm.... I'll take it... The Crash Lighthouse & Inn..
A New Londoner February 08, 2014 at 12:15 PM
I wish I had that kind of money I'd love to buy it and run it. I've always loved the Lighthouse Inn.
MADELINE February 08, 2014 at 01:53 PM
Dominic Grillo February 08, 2014 at 05:39 PM
Face it, the inn had its run and now is just a fading memory. Nobody in their right mind can afford to spend the money to put the inn back to its previous glory. This is the age of fast food restaurants, such as Chilis, Applebee's, Ninety Nine and Fridays. The days of men and women dressing to the nines and going out for fine dining are long past. People today go out for a fast cheap meal and a few drinks and that's it. The only so callled high restaurants are overrated, over priced and use portion control.
Susan Schlais February 08, 2014 at 11:49 PM
I tend to disagree with some of the comments: New London properties in that area are sought-after. There is a large "foodie" community that frequents the high end restaurants in this area because if our proximity to the casinos. There are also many wealthy clients of both casinos that would most likely stay at a high -end inn if it was available. I think there is still a market for this jewel. But subjective opinions are many, only time will tell. Personally I would love to see This gem back in full swing- and do the Sunday Brunch again too!
carlos carion February 09, 2014 at 09:49 AM
if there is such a large "foodie community" in new london, why didn't the commoner make it? these young chefs were great at their craft and dedicated, to no avail, as new london did not support it, and that's nothing new
Stacey R. Costello February 09, 2014 at 11:34 AM
The real question is how long can the New London taxpayers afford to pay for round the clock security. Look at FT. Trumbull and how long that has taken with not actual development in sight. We may be on a new path finally with a high school graduate at the helm of the planning & development arm of the city but that may not be enough to get the job done. Maybe we can bring in a few folks from 19 Jay street as consultants at $50 an hour to assist with our planning and development efforts.
William Desmond February 09, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Maybe a Chipotle Mexican Grill could go at the old lighthouse inn location, They are a huge success with a good growth record on the stock market. I hear that these places are very popular with the younger members of society. A great addition to the Renaissance City. Young, hip and happening.
A New Londoner February 09, 2014 at 12:36 PM
I agree that there is a budding "foodie community" and I believe I'm part of it. Over the last year or so I and a lot of my friends have become disillusioned with the Olive Gardens/Outbacks/Chilis of the world. More and more, my husband and I are going back to locally owned restaurants. I think there's a market there. I also think the Lighthouse Inn would make a wonderful bed and breakfast. It doesn't have to have 'dressed to the 9s dining'...just good food. I think the right person, with the right wallet and drive, could make a real go of it.
William Desmond February 09, 2014 at 02:53 PM
To A New Londoner, get a loan and make a go of it, you will do well.
Jenny Blanchette February 09, 2014 at 06:43 PM
To run this place would be a dream come true!
Daniella Ruiz February 09, 2014 at 10:41 PM
i fear this will end just as the Griswold Hotel on yon shore did. except the square footage will be chopped up and perhaps rebuilt with some fugly out of place McMansion styles for profit only. the money has flown the coop, to the farmland sectors out where cancer bekkons and casinos tend to their highly transient new age 'hope and change' patrons. classy was a real seller, when classy was in style, but today all that class has 'left the building' along with the Elvis types that once respected the concept of class. when 'the good times rolled' thru here, it took the good folks along with their money to the wide open opportunities of quick profit and retail monstrosities with more square footage for parking than the business's themselves. kids cant sit still long enough to have a halfway decent conversation, let alone a meal with more than one course of take out pizza. the noxious interruptions of cell phone ringtones and instant text messages simply does not lend to the atmosphere of 'classy'.
carlos carion February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM
sad, isn't it, and it falls on deaf ears, for they srill believe it's the way to go. remember what pfizer did? the day they signed their socalled agreement, I said they would hit the ground running on the twelfth hour of the last day, without so much as a thanks for the memories.


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