News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 8, 2015 and Island Ad-Vantages, October 8, 2015 and The Weekly Packet, October 8, 2015
Deadline extended to win the Blue Hill Inn

Contest to win Blue Hill Inn extended

The deadline for the essay contest to win the Blue Hill Inn has been extended to midnight on December 31. Pictured is room 9, a bright attic suite with wide pine floors and view over the side garden, is a two-room suite that can accommodate three people at Blue Hill Inn.

Photo courtesy of Ken Woisard

The deadline for the essay contest to win the Blue Hill Inn has been extended to midnight on December 31.

“We’ve had one of the best years on record for lodging and ran a successful restaurant in our dining room, so we’ve had a busy, busy season,” Sarah Pebworth, the innkeeper/owner of the inn, said in a news release. “We realized summer is such a busy time for everyone, even if you aren’t running an inn, that we wanted to give people more time to finish their essays and enter the contest.

“The early response to the contest exceeded my expectations, but we haven’t received enough entries to finalize the contest; so, rather than disappoint those who have already written their essays, we will extend the deadline.”

To enter, candidates must write a 200-word essay explaining why they would love to own and operate the Blue Hill Inn. Entrants must include an entry fee, which will be returned if a minimum of 7,500 entries is not received. Full contest details can be found at WintheBlueHillInn.com. The winner will also receive a $25,000 check to help get started, Pebworth said.

Through a website called Submittable, people are able to enter the contest online. Pebworth also pointed out that people can give entries as gifts online, too.

While December 31 might seem like a long extension, Pebworth pointed out that an earlier date would have her and the three final judges working hard during the holidays, and she wanted to be sure all the essays were given fair consideration. “January is the perfect month for us to be selecting the winner,” she said. “While the inn is still open through the winter, it’s a much quieter season here in Blue Hill. And for the new innkeeper, taking over in late winter leaves a nice amount of time to prepare for opening the main building of the inn for the season.”

Pebworth also noted that, due to a controversy regarding a recently finished contest similar to this for the Center Lovell Inn, which had her reviewing her rules to ensure all was fair and legal, she launched the contest later than originally planned. State police found that the Center Lovell contest did not violate any gaming laws, according to an article in the Portland Press Herald. “We had to be sure that all our Ts were crossed,” she said. “Running a contest is lots more work than putting the inn up for sale, but this is a way I can pay it forward.”

Pebworth decided to offer her inn to the next owner in this way in part because her mother passed away when she was 59 and left Pebworth an inheritance she used for the down payment for the small business. “Without her help, I wouldn’t have had these eight great years at the inn,” she said. “I’m excited about passing this opportunity on to someone who might otherwise not be able to pursue this dream.”

Contest details can be found at WintheBlueHillInn.com. Information about the inn can be found at bluehillinn.com.