Maine Locations

Maine Vacation Rentals and the Importance of Service

It wasn’t too long ago that, when travelling to a big city like Boston, New York or Washington, you would take a licensed cab from the airport to your hotel.  Or, when leaving a restaurant, you would go curbside to hail a passing cab.

However, with the advent of mobile technology, travel patterns have changed dramatically. Pull up your UBER or LYFT app on your phone and you will soon have a choice of drivers offering their car to take you to your destination. And people sure do like the service of Air B n B where you have choices of renting houses, condo units or rooms directly from the owners, with prices somewhat cheaper than a hotel of large part of their appeal.

On the surface, this all seems very attractive. However, many communities are having issues with the short-term rentals. Problems such as too many occupants, loud parties with the renters showing no respect for the neighborhood. And from the renters’ perspective, there are stories of renter’s not finding the residence as advertised or not being told that they need to bring a supply of their own linens.

Which leads me to the following:

Since Kezar Realty opened in 2009, we have offered Vacation Rentals in Lovell and surrounding towns. In addition to listing and selling property, Broker Jeanne Bonner manages our Vacation Rentals. Jeanne has been matching vacationers with the perfect Maine cottage for more than 25 years.

In January 2018, Down East Magazine published an article “Home Advantage” that highlighted the positive resources that many local Vacation Rental Agencies in Maine provide, such as handling bookings, greeting incoming renters, coordinating Saturday morning cleaning, making sure the trash was taken to the transfer station and not left at the cottage, replacing misplaced/lost keys and much more. Kezar Realty is a member of the Vacation Rental Professionals of Maine, a group of about 30 Maine Vacation Rental companies and provides support and lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry.

An important element of renters arriving in Lovell is that they have a friendly place greeting them when they arrive and are provided with a packet of information about their cottage as well as local merchants and recreational activities. And if they need something during the week, they know that Jeanne is just a phone call away.

As we inch closer to the summer season, be sure to contact Jeanne for assistance on vacation rentals. And remember, you will be pleased that the personal touch is still considered important here at Kezar Realty. And that includes having extensive local knowledge as well as caring that you have a great experience.

Technology is great and we all benefit from the tools that it provides but hopefully it will never eliminate the Jeanne Bonners of the world.

2018 Kezar Lake Ice Out

It is official -- 2018 Ice-Out on Kezar Lake is today, April 25th. The determination is made by Lovell's resident expert, John Bacchiocchi.

The State of Maine's Bureau of Parks and Land uses the following to establish the date: "Ice Out" is defined for this webpage as when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other. There may still be ice in coves or along the shoreline in some areas, but when a person can traverse the entire waterbody without being stopped by ice floes we will consider the ice to be out.

To see the list of Ice-Out dates around the state, click hereFor a list of ice-out dates in Maine from 2003-2017, click here. For a historical New England list, including Kezar Lake, that dates back to 1901, click here.

 

The VERY LAST Stoneham Rescue Service Breakfast!

Here's a real bit of sad news. For so many years, every Memorial Day Sunday and every Labor Day Sunday, the place to go was the Stoneham Rescue Service Breakfast. Upon entering the room, the smiling crew greeted you and the servers always heaped generous portions of scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon or sausage. Plus, delicious donuts, coffee and orange juice were at the tables. All for just $5!

It takes a lot of time and energy to put on such a successful event twice a year and that may be why the decision was made to end the breakfast. The men and women of the Rescue Service already devote a lot of time to the community and the holiday weekend meal takes several days of preparation and hours before and after. So, this Sunday from 7-10 am, come on out to the Stoneham Rescue Barn and thank the crew for the great emergency service they provide and also for all their years of giving the local community a great place to gather, see the neighbors and fill our bellies!

 

Lovell and Kezar Lake at Your Local Newstands

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When both Vacation Renters and prospective homebuyers come to Kezar Realty, I always have a packet of information prepared for them. In addition to local publications such as Lake Living, West Coast Maine and the Buyer's Guide to Real Estate, I also include information about hiking trails, Greater Lovell Land Trust activities and articles that have appeared in local newspapers over the past few years. All of them highlight the many diverse activities that are available in our western Maine region.

It is, however, surprising to have lengthy stories about Lovell appear in two different magazines in the very same month. The first is in Down East magazine, available everywhere, and the second is in a not so widely-distributed publication called Maine Townsman. The latter journal is made available to municipal officials throughout the state.

Both articles approach our town from two very different angles and they are both very accurate. Click here for the Down East magazine article (starting on page 94). Click here for the Maine Townsman article (starting on page 19).

BTW, let me know if you happen to come across any newsstands!  

Best Gallery in the State of Maine

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Looking forward to reading the upcoming issue of Yankee Magazine' s Best of New England where the editors selected Harvest Gold Gallery as Maine's Best Gallery! Located in Center Lovell for almost 20 years, Bill and Lynda have a large showroom where they showcase not only their own jewelry but the fine arts and crafts of over 200 artists.

 

Be sure to make a trip to Lovell soon to visit the Gallery at 1082 Main Street. Ring the bell at the front door, step inside and explore. I am sure that you will find something that's perfect for you. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502 or harvestgold@fairpoint.net.

Believe It or Not -- Lovell has North America's Tallest Chestnut Tree

A big thank you to my Facebook friend, Charles Cotton, for alerting me to this exciting news! I was quite surprised to learn that researchers go around flying over forests looking for things like this. Or maybe more so that they were able to identify this from the air.

Anyway, it might be time for Larry Fox and his DPW crews to have some new signs made for all of our major roads that proclaim: "Welcome to Lovell, Home of the Tallest Chestnut Tree".

Here's the story from Saturday's Bangor Daily News:

Tallest chestnut tree in North America found in Maine

New Driving Range at the Old Saco Inn

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It was just a few years ago that Pete and Sandi purchased the Old Saco Inn in Fryeburg, just past the Lovell town line on Route 5. It wasn't long before a small sign was added to the large one at the main entrance. It simply said: "Pub Open, Fri & Sat 4 pm".  Since then, the cozy pub and dining room have become a very popular place and if you plan on going for dinner, you need to make your reservations online! It's always a treat to watch Pete behind the bar on a busy night as he seems to remember not only everyone's name but their favorite drink.

One of the newest additions to the Inn is an outdoor Golf Driving Range. What better place to practice your swing than on the wide open field where views of the western mountains are peeking through the trees. This Sunday, June 7th, Brad Littlefield, President of the Lake Kezar Country Club will ceremoniously hit the Range's first ball at 10:15 am. And on this day only, enjoy a free bucket of balls as well as Burgers and Hot Dogs.

The Range will be open every Wednesday through Sunday from 10 - 6 with a bucket of balls costing $13. And it is my understanding that arrangements could be made with Lake Kezar Country Club for lessons.

Come on down to the Inn, hit a few balls and enjoy your favorite beverage in the Pub! But please, please, don't hit Pete while he is out scooping the balls.

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SHOP LOCAL--SHOP LOVELL

With a little more than a week left until Christmas, I'm sure that everyone does not have all of their gifts picked-out. Avoid the hassles of traffic and rude people by looking local. There is a wealth of local merchants, artisans and shops that would love to help you select the perfect gift.

This Holiday season, why not shop in Lovell? Here is a list of shops and ideas where you not only have a great present but you are helping our local businesses!

* Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.

* ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS, Lovell. For centuries, floorcloths have proven to be both durable and elegant. Art Underfoot Floorcloths handcrafted works are created in Maine with tradition in mind. We spend between eight to ten hours on each piece, skillfully crafting heirloom quality art that you will enjoy having underfoot. Paula and Tom Hughes create these artistic and functional floorcloths and would be happy to discuss designing a pattern to fit your home or office. Visit the website for more details and to view a gallery of floorcloths. ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS

*HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy's kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy's webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.

*How about a gift certificate to the 'Best Beer Bar in America', EBENEZER's PUB? During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub's phone number is 207-925-3200.

* Get GREAT BUYS at Center Lovell's three Antique Stores. Although winter hours are by chance and/or appointment both owners would be happy to meet you at your convenience. The WONDER STORE is owned by Peter Worrall and he can be reached at 207-925-1252. Bill Doyle, owner of DOYLE's ANTIQUES, can be reached at his store 207-925-1279. FOUR CEDARS ANTIQUES, located at Swain Road and 5A, is owned by Shoo Hale. She would be happy to help and can be reached at 925-1017.

*HOMESTEAD ICE CREAM SHOP. Beth Armington's new store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans' work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And Beth is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.

*SUSAN SIDWELL. Located at the top of Route 5A in Center Lovell, Susan is well-known for not only for her ability to grow beautiful vegetables and flowers but also produces beautiful artisan prints. Ready for framing, these prints make a wonderful gift. You may reach Susan at 925-1006.

*PIETREE ORCHARD. Located on the top Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, jams and pizza. The 'Pick-Your-Own' season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 207-647-9419.

*How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments: 1)Rosie's Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255. 2)AJ's Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454. 3)The Center Lovell Market. Open again on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine and gasoline! Great pizzas! 925-3090-1051. 4)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here! 5)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.

Still can't figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell's United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)! MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

2014 Mushers Bowl

Mushers BowlFor football fans, the two weeks between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl is an awful long time. For the first time since September, there are no weekend football games to watch. And many Patriot fans just might say the heck with the Super Bowl. So, what does one do with all of the free time?...

This Saturday and Sunday, January 25th & 26th, the Down East Sled Dog Club presents The Mushers Bowl, where you will find competitive Sled Dog Racing and Skijoring Races at Bridgton's Five Field Apple Orchards. This five-mile course is considered the most technically challenging sled dog course in the Northeast but its design also makes it very spectator-friendly.

Admission to the Mushers Bowl is only $5 for both days (parking included). Children five and under are free. Races start at 10 am each day. The South Bridgton Congregational Church hosts a warming hut where soups and baked goods will be sold.

Click on the links below for more information:

www.desdc.org The Bridgton News, January 9, 2014 Story The Bridgton News, December 27, 2013 Story

Photo Courtesy of Down East Sled Dog Club's web site.