Maurice Roundy’s house, on the edge of the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport is the site of a proposed boutique hotel. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

AUBURN — Someday, you might be able to fly in, tuck in and take off: The Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport is looking for developers to build a “boutique” hotel on 12 acres beside one runway.

Airport officials opened a three-week request-for-proposals window from March 22 to April 12.

Airport Manager Rick Lanman envisions the hotel going in near Hotel Road, on property formerly owned by Maurice Roundy, with Roundy’s house coming down. The airport owns the land and would enter a long-term lease with the future developer.

A future 400-foot taxiway would connect the runway to an aircraft parking apron beside the hotel.

“We’ve got to do something to get things turning here at the airport,” Lanman said. “This is one of the things that we’ve strategically looked at that we think is viable for the land that we have open.”

“There’s ample room for land-side and air-side parking,” he said.

The request for proposals specifies a “boutique” hotel, which Lanman said tends to have about 30 rooms and be “a smaller, more personalized facility that is going to appeal to a higher-end market.”

Even with height restrictions from being next to the runway, the hotel could be two stories.

From June 2017 to June 2018 the airport saw just under 1,400 passengers, people who had booked seats or chartered flights. So far this fiscal year, it’s running ahead of that with about 1,500.

Two years ago, the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport was the second-busiest airport in Maine as measured by takeoffs and landings.

Lanman said as of Wednesday, they’d received a few email inquiries.

“I’m just hoping to get one or two (proposals),” he said. “It is a short fuse (to act) on it.”

If that happens and a hotel moves ahead, the airport would build the taxiway and aircraft apron as part of the project, according to Lanman.

“Long term, the plan would be to build a full taxiway parallel to the runway that would eventually also allow other development on that side of the airport,” he said.

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