In 1993 the current owner of The Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant WON the Inn by winning an essay contest. True story. At the end of May she will retire and give it away to the winner of a second essay contest! Now THAT is paying it forward. The Inn is valued at 900K and if she receives seven thousand entries at $125 entry fee each, well—you do the math. As a marketing campaign it’s brilliant, the rules even stipulate the contest may be extended thirty to sixty days if enough entries have not been received. There are judges and the contest appears to be legal in Maine. The rules are here. And there’s a good article in the Portland Press Herald.
I wrote my first essay from the heart, long hand and then had to whittle away at it to get it down to two hundred words (or less). Then I purchased the ebook Passing Along A Dream written by the previous owners (available on Amazon) and containing the original winning essay. I came at the essay question: Why I would like to own and operate a Country Inn from a different perspective.
I now have two totally different essays! How do you tell a stranger in two hundred words: what this opportunity means; who you really are; why you’re the ONE?
My intention in participating is to say, YES! Actually to say, HELL YES! To every opportunity. To life. To possibility. To be open to whatever the Universe sends through that door—even an Inn in Maine!
Here’s their Facebook page please share and keep spreading the word! The conversations and questions there are fascinating—taxes, insurance, heating bill. The Inn includes a restaurant which is a little daunting to me. The original winner’s husband was a master chef (well now that’s helpful!) The winning owners will need to negotiate with the current staff to determine if they will stay on. HA! If it comes down to me cooking—we’ll serve bacon and eggs!