Essay contest to determine winner of Swan's Island inn

Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 10:38 AM EST
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Harbor Watch Inn, the only motel on Swan's Island, is looking for a new owner. Instead of putting the inn on the market, Jennifer Helman and her fiance Dale Joyce are holding an essay contest.

"We thought this would be a fun way to get it out there," says Helman.

The couple wants to make sure whoever takes over is the right fit for the inn and the island. They're asking entrants to explain, in 350 words, why they're interested.

"They way we've set it up it has to go to somebody who really wants to be here. We want to know why owning an inn would fulfill a dream for them and why they would be successful," explains Helman.

The contest will be decided by a panel of independent judges. An entry costs $99 and there is no limit to how many submissions one person can make.

Harbor Watch Inn features four rooms plus a one-bedroom apartment that the contest winner could live in themselves. The prize also includes a $25,000 operating fund.

Sound too good to be true? Helman says it's the real deal. "It is totally a viable business. It is profitable. We have return visitors. We have systems already set up. You get the furniture, you get the reservation system, you get the website. It truly is a turnkey opportunity," she says.

To learn more information, or to enter the contest, go to