Acadia Corp is leaving Asticou

MOUNT DESERT — Acadia Corporation, which has managed the historic Asticou Inn since 2015, will turn in its keys after the inn closes for the season Oct. 20.

“Our Asticou general manager, Will Matteson, has decided to move on, and we have essentially depleted the management talent that we had from Jordan Pond House,” said Acadia Corp President and CEO Dave Woodside.

Acadia Corp operated the Jordan Pond House restaurant from 1947 to 2013.

“Rather than going out and recruiting a whole new team, we decided to just focus on our retail business,” Woodside said.

Acadia Corp has seven retail stores in downtown Bar Harbor and one in Southwest Harbor.

The Asti-Kim Corporation, which owns the Asticou Inn, has developed a preliminary concept for a massive renovation of the 119-year-old building and construction of an annex. But those improvements would require a zoning change, and town officials are looking into what that change might entail.

Asked if the inn’s physical limitations were a factor in Acadia Corp’s decision not to continue managing it, Woodside said, “It’s certainly a consideration. But if Will were staying, I think we would be staying.”

Requests for comment from Asti-Kim President Jim McCabe on the search for a new management group for the Asticou to operate the hotel and restaurant and event business were not returned by press time.

Woodside said Acadia Corp will work with the Asti-Kim board to ensure an orderly transition.

“I think they would like to carry on with what we were doing, and I think they will be successful in that,” Woodside said.

“I believe they would have been happy to have us stay. But with the need for more oversight with a new management team [at the Asticou] and the way our retail business is growing, we decided that we would focus on that. Retail is our core business by far.”

Acadia Corp’s retail stores in Bar Harbor are the flagship Acadia Shop, the Acadia Country Store, Acadia Outdoors, Acadia Park Company, Acadia on West, Best of Bar Harbor and, new this year, Island Trading Company. The Southwest Harbor store is the Acadia Quietside Shop.

“They all do well, but it is getting to be much more of an operation,” Woodside said.

The original Asticou Inn was built at the head of Northeast Harbor by A.C. Savage in 1883. It burned down in the fall of 1900. Savage rebuilt it over the winter and opened it to guests the next summer.

In 1964, ownership of the Asticou passed from the Savage family to the Asti-Kim Corporation, which was formed by a group of summer residents and local business owners.

CORRECTION: Earlier versions of this story misstated dates in the Asticou’s history and misspelled Matteson’s name. The Islander apologizes for the errors.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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