June 20, 2018
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Red Barn hotel returning to full capacity after 2014 fire

By Johanna S. Billings, BDN Staff

MILBRIDGE, Maine — The Red Barn Motel in Milbridge is back in business and at full capacity.

A fire in January 2014 destroyed one of two buildings at the motel, according to general manager Kristen Nabarrete, whose grandmother owns the hotel. A second building with 12 rooms was not damaged.

At the end of June, the 16-room building reopened for business.

Nabarrete said the damaged building was reconstructed at a cost of about $800,000, most of which was covered by insurance. Work began in April 2014.

The room sizes are about the same. However, the rooms used to each have two double beds. Now eight of the rooms have king-size beds and the other eight have two queens, she said.

Two of the king rooms are handicapped accessible.

“They’ve got the wider doorways and the visual fire alarm and all that good stuff,” Nabarrete said.

The decor is a little different because the rooms that were lost had not been updated in a while, she said.

“We just tried to keep it modern but comfortable and warm, like it should be,” Nabarrete said.

The family upgraded the whole property from cable to DirecTV. All rooms have LED flat screen TVs, air conditioning, a small refrigerator and microwave, she said.

Nabarrete said the 12 rooms in the undamaged building remained open since the fire. The family found it difficult to survive on the income from only those rooms, however.

“It’s just not feasible. We can’t run on 12 units and expect them to get us through the winter,” she said.

Nabarrete said the hotel turned many away people away during construction, sending them to Cherryfield or Machias.

“We were trying to keep people as local as possible,” she said.

July has been a really good month, and Nabarrete reports having a lot of reservations for August.

Business comes from a mix of people, including vacationers, people looking for property in the area and people staying for events such as weddings, she said.

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