RUMFORD — Town Manager Carlo Puiia announced Thursday night that the planned $3.5-$4 million project to build a three-story, 50-bed flagged hotel with a pool has fizzled.
It was to be built across from the boat landing near McDonald's on Route 2 by Herbert Goudreau and his wife, Heidi, owners of Goudreau's Retirement Inn & Suites in Waterville and Winslow.
"I want to inform the public that the individuals that had expressed an interest in constructing a hotel in Rumford have reconsidered and withdrawn their plans," Puiia said at the selectmen's meeting.
"We may be disappointed, but we should not be discouraged," he said.
"I know most of us love our town and realize the potential that exists, and we'll continue to work and support the efforts and encourage growth."
The initial proposal came after selectmen approved funding for a market study launched in Nov. 2010 to recruit a brand name hotel to town. The study produced favorable results and the recommendation for development of a 50-room hotel.
Last year, the Goudreaus had a 22-acre parcel on Dragoon Road under contract and were working on financing, expecting to start work this spring if everything went as planned.
"I think that possibly the project may have been more than they anticipated, meaning from start to finish," Puiia said after the meeting of the couple's decision to withdraw from the project.
"In fact, I remember when we talked with an individual in the profession who said, generally, it's two years from start to finish.
"There was some apprehension, maybe on their part that they were maybe taking on more than they had originally thought," Puiia said.
"So, unfortunately they decided not to pursue it."
He said the couple, who had been working closely with Jim Rinaldo, a member of the town's Economic Development Committee, told him of their decision.
"And Jim had mentioned it to me and I just felt it should be said to the general public, because we will get people asking us about it after a while," Puiia said.
"We have a study that proves there is a need for one in the area," he said. "It's just a matter of obtaining an investor."
Puiia said Best Western representative Jack Barry continues to work on Rumford's behalf toward landing another investor.
"He's trying his best to get that in our area," Puiia said. "Again, he's soliciting it to other Best Western franchisees. In fact, he's the one that introduced us to the first party."
"So, we're hoping that he can find us another party."